Friday, November 25, 2005

This is my rough top 25 albums of the year 2005. A really great year for music. It's rough in terms of how it could basically be shuffled in groups of five- Any of my top five could be number one (especially the Why?, holy shit) and any of my last five are pretty "enh, respect is due." A lot of order is due to ambition, which is why The Hold Steady are just barely outside the top five- oh man, how I love their lyrics, and I listened to that album a fucking lot, as well as the works of Lifter Puller. This was originally posted on a message board, and I'm kind of archiving it here for my sake only. But if you're thinking "I should buy something Brian likes," I wholeheartedly support that thought process. But a very good year for music, and maybe not so much for any other creative medium, and probably not my life, maybe. So this is, a day late, what I'm thankful for in the year 2005, along with the love and support I received from friends and family, and the good times I had. Mostly I am ungrateful, and that combined with the poverty that marked this not a very good year (which, by the way, can be blamed in many ways on the election of Republicans which made this a shitty year for pretty much everyone poor) is why most of these records haven't been purchased by me yet. Someday, when Democrats are in office and there are jobs to be found, these records will be purchased, and that will be a good year. Here's to that happening before the world ends!

1. Broken Social Scene - s/t
2. Why? - Elephant Eyelash
3. Deerhoof - Green Cosmos EP
4. Animal Collective - Feels
5. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - s/t
6. The Hold Steady - Separation Sunday
7. Prefuse 73 - Surrounded By Silence
8. Need New Body - Where's Black Ben?
9. The A-Frames - Black Forest
10. Sufjan Stevens - Illinois
11. Psychic Paramount - Gamelan Into The Mink Supernatural (this is where it is mostly due to its sheer force, which makes me place it higher than other things- It probably isn't better than the Black Dice, but it's just so violent)
12. Deerhoof - The Runners Four
13. The Evens - s/t
14. Enon - Lost Marbles And Exploded Evidence
15. Black Dice - Broken Ear Record
16. The Books - Lost And Safe
17. Jason Forrest - Shamelessly Exciting
18. Sleater-Kinney - The Woods
19. Fog - 10th Avenue Freakout
20. Broadcast - Tender Buttons
21. Numbers - We're Animals (I haven't heard this, actually, just giving the respect due their live show and the fun times I had therein.)
22. Wolf Parade - Apologies To The Queen Mary
23. Silver Jews - Tanglewood Numbers
24. Caribou - The Milk Of Human Kindness
25. Page France - Hello, Dear Wind

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving, let me tell you about the dream I had last night. It was very narrative.

It starts with me going into a restaurant and being greeted with a woman saying "oh my God Jim Belushi!" and they were very excited to see me, being as I was Jim Belushi, giving me little kisses on the mouth. They were waiting for Jim Belushi, anticipating him. There was a flyer for a show at the Yes Yes where Jim Belushi was opening. The contact information was the comic shop in Olympia I go to.

Later I guess I got into a relationship with this girl, one of the two at the restaurant. She had fins on her sides and was quite the swimmer. We went to have sex in an elevator at Seminar II at Evergreen.

Then a cut. At some point things stopped happening from my perspective and started to happen like I was watching a film. Anyway, after the cut there's some kind of underwater training in a cylinder. The girl with the fins is quite the swimmer.

There are a lot of references made by people to bad teen thrillers- Swimfan was mentioned, although this had nothing to do with her being a swimmer, just a guy saying "Dude, Swimfan was good."

Later on I'm in nature, on a trail with people. Moose are running about. The people I'm with are killed by nature, but not attacked by animals I think. Following that I am in a series of tunnels, running through a maze. That girl is trying to kill me in some complicated way.

When I am running through the tunnels, Alex shows up and I tell him that I'm watching a movie. He says it looks gay. The narrative mostly falls apart as reality fractures and I maybe start to wake up a bit. The only narrative that ends is basically a Simpsons episode which was maybe the movie's ending- I think it played out live-action.

There were townspeople on a beach, and there was a mayor. Jewelry washed up onto the beach, in a way that basically signaled the end of everything- Either the end of the oceans or the burial of dry land. A song was sung, a happy song. People ran out into the ocean to grab whatever tey could grab. The final shot was an oyster reaching for a pearl, only to get smashed. Or that was the gist of what happened, symbolically- I think I saw different imagery, but that was how I understood it.

Monday, November 21, 2005

When Jeff Mangum had a show on WFMU, he opened his first show with a sound collage. It's the thing that gets talked about in that old Pitchfork interview, not like the stuff on demos. I'm listening to it now, it's really good.
I gots that feeling. That one where there's writer's block so the stuff I've been writing I can't quite deal with, but there's still this kind of nervous energy that can only be solved by making art. I wish I could play music, or draw, or something like that, something more rocked the fuck out than deliberated over.

I had an idea the other idea, but that was one that required someone else, and because of the fact that my only real talent is for coming up with ideas, very few people are down for that kind of musical collaboration- even people that would benefit from it the most, people without ideas.

Don Delillo's Libra is mostly not very good, and soon I will be done with it. Most books I have that are waiting to be read I am not particularly down for.

I want to shoot film, or video to be accurate about it, and I want to edit the shit out of it and oh I just have all these ideas, and they're fucking bursting but I don't have the tools at hand sonofabitch. Son of a bitch. If I don't get a short film finished by the end of this school year, what the fuck am I doing? It needs to happen. I need to have something to show, something other than short stories and this novel in process. The whole "living life solely for the sake of your own creative output" only works if art is created, and I mean, I'm not depressed, I'm not minding the whole "only joy or really only thing at all is social interaction and art consumption" but that is mostly sad.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

So, Tony Millionaire, cartoonist of the not-very-good-at-all-actually alternative paper comic strip Maakies, said some cool/interesting things in an interview. This is about a Maakies cartoon for Adult Swim, following in the failure of the SNL shorts: Probably be called Maakies’ Tavern. Dino Stamatopoulos — he was a writer on Mr. Show and wrote TV Funhouse with Robert Smigel. He and Jay Johnston are writing the script now. [...] Those guys are both big booze hounds, they love the world of old men in bars, fighting. When the hipsters come in, [in crazy old-man voice:] “My god, these hipsters are coming in ruining our bar!” At the same time the hipsters are bringing all of these young women, and they’re, “But look at her. Look at her boobs . . .” You throw Uncle Gabby and Drinky Crow into the mix and you’re all set. This is from the LA Weekly, by the way. In the interview, he also sings the praises of A.A. Milne's Winnie The Pooh stuff, pre-Disney, and it ends with this: Some philosopher — I don’t remember who — his theory was: You’ve got to give kids really beautiful children’s books in order to turn them into revolutionaries. Because if they see these beautiful things when they’re young, when they grow up, they’ll see the real world and say, “Why is the world so ugly?! I remember when the world was beautiful.” And then they’ll fight, and they’ll have a revolution. They’ll fight against all of our corruption in the world, they’ll fight to try to make the world more beautiful. That’s the job of a good children’s-book illustrator. Kind of too bad about his actual work not speaking to me at all, but there it is.
Haven't been posting here as frequently as I once was because stuff I would write about here I write about on message boards instead. For example, I saw Numbers live, with Cars Can Be Blue opening. That was a very fun show, and Cars Can Be Blue are really nice people who you should give a home-cooked meal to, if they come to your town. They drive around in a vegetable-oil-powered van and sing simple, yet filthy, songs. And Numbers was just a noisy party. There was dancing and violence.

I went to a party the next night held for Capitol Theater volunteers, and was mostly awkward in ways that were occasionally awesome. I brought up a J.D. Salinger short story to people who hadn't read it and was told I was good at party talk, in what I thought was sarcasm.

Also: Someone who lived downstairs from me in the dorms last year now has naked pictures of her on the internet. On Suicide Girls, so it's not a sad raped-and-photographed situation. Just a funny one, because I made fun of this being her ambition, and she denied it. I haven't seen the photos, but I think Loren's seen her tits in real life, as well as John Samson and maybe some other people I know.

I am still unemployed. I'm doing some writing- I got some comic book criticism essays put up on a website I'm not going to link to, written partly to develop my critical voice, and partly as an end in and of itself.

I wrote a top twenty-five albums of the year 2005 list and posted it on the Last Plane To Jakarta forums. Broken Social Scene's self-titled was number one, but honestly, the whole list could be shuffled in groups of five, and any of the first five records I listed could be my favorite.

HBO's Carnivale is not a very good show, but it is self-satisfied, and that's enough to fool some people. I was all "hey, Carla Gallo's on this show, she was on Undeclared." And then all she did in the first episode was be topless, which I didn't think is the kind of thing you get put in the front credits for. Yeah, I won't be watching more episodes of that show.

My plumbing's all fucked up. Bathroom, not internal. But yeah, pipes are crazy. If my internal plumbing was my bathroom plumbing, I'd be ejaculating bloody urine.

Friday, November 11, 2005

I've been listening to the new Why? album, Elephant Eyelash, with some frequency. It's really great, a breakup album for surrealists. It doesn't bear any of the annoyingness to be found on Anticon stuff, it's really indie. I recommend it highly. God, what a great year for music 2005 has been/is.

I'm still trying to finish that chapter I hoped to finish the night of my last post. This record... it's helping and distracting.

Alex and I wrote up a list of 100 records for 2005 to run in the school newspaper, accompanied by three words apiece. They're not in any order, though, although that's how the paper ran them. The paper really sabotaged the intent quite a bit, but in a way that's really flattering. It's kind of funny, actually.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The teachers of the class I'm not registered for have learned that I'm not registered. One teacher, the one I deal with the most, as he reads my papers, said he doesn't mind that I'm there if I really want to be, but he's unsure of that. Then he says he doesn't mind as long as I'm not being disruptive. What's disruptive about what I do?

My papers. He didn't say they were actually disruptive, but my papers and the things I read seem opposed and confrontational which... yes. The discussion was the same as one I had with my Framing Film professor, that of my putting too much opinion into my work, rather than just stating what other people believed.

Anyway, I was also told that I probably can't register for the class at this point, and so can't get credit.

Then, later on, almost independent, I was told to go home rather than attend seminar, as there was a paper I hadn't written, not knowing it was due today, as I missed last week's class. I also didn't have a "seminar ticket" (basically a response paper) last time I was in class, due to my misunderstanding stuff that was said which apparently no one else heard.

So kind of fuck that class, is what I'm saying. I really need to get into something good next quarter.

For now my future is mostly open- I want to finish this chapter of this book today, and I want to have seven chapters done before Christmas break. I've got some volunteering at the Capitol Theater, with their film festival coming up. Sidenote: The summaries I wrote for the program guide weren't used, I guess because they weren't bland and generic enough. Fucking Olympia. Seemingly no one here likes opinions.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

So this is what I know about the next Matmos album:

There is an instrument played that is not unlike a bagpipe, made from the reproductive organs of a cow (including vagina!).

Antony (of and the Johnsons fame) sings on it.

What. the. fuck.

It will probably be completely awesome.

Just listened to Nina Nastasia's Beautiful Day from I think a peel session from an mp3 blog. I think I've mentioned this before on here but wow what a beautiful thing.