Thursday, January 26, 2006

Post the Canada election of Conservatives, the Palestineans have elected Hamas to have control of the majority of their parliament.

I'm listening to the 1972 Aphrodite's Child 666 and I'm thinking apocalypse. But I am always thinking apocalypse. I wish there were less things to make me think that.

Democrats better take control of the House and Senate this year, oh my god.

Until then it'll be all bugfuck insane Supreme Court appointees and subsequent decisions and EVERYONE GOING TO WAR.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Conservative party won the Canadian election. I wrote the obvious joke, but I deleted it.

Seriously, this is weird. And disturbing, like pretty much any Conservative victory. (except in situations where the liberals might seriously be too far gone, and my definition of "too far gone" is pretty far out- What I saw of that one interview with the governor of San Francisco was pretty off-the-charts, with the "We don't want a ship that was used in World War II in our bay" opinion, but I'd want more of a minor backlash than a full-fledged election of a neocon, which is in no danger of happening so what am I talking about)

Monday, January 23, 2006

I found out who Shary Boyle was yesterday, upon seeing her work in a preview for the next Kramers Ergot book. I dig it. I know so little about art, am forever behind the times, but most people are even more head-up-their-ass.

to be as "with it" as I am.

EDIT: I don't actually know Shary's gender.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

According to a thing I read on the internet and can't find the link for, Steve Albini claims that Polly Jean Harvey ate only potatoes with sauces during the recording of Rid Of Me.

Elsewhere I'd heard that you can live just on potatoes indefinitely, although you'd be really unhealthy. This knowledge is what really spurred my love affair with the potato.

The album sounds like that potato diet, to me. Just scraping by, unhealthily and nervously. Thin-sounding, although not tinny. Like... I didn't really catch much of a distinction between the album and the 4-track demos. The difference, as was explained to me, is that the demos have no rhythm section. No bass, no drums. Rid Of Me- it's just this vicious little scrawny thing of a record, and it subsists on potatoes, and it's fucking great.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Oh man, people who didn't get into The Best Show On WFMU when I was all "you guys, you guys, the Best Show On WFMU" missed the fuck out.

This show culminated with a rap battle between frequent annoying caller MC Steinberg having a rap battle with the actual Ted Leo (of "and the Pharmacists"), judged by celebrity guests Marky Ramone, (voiced by Jon Wurster) Timmy Von Trimble, (voiced by Jon Wurster) and Philly Boy Roy (also Jon Wurster in a voice-acting comedy improv firehouse barn-burner fooforaw of a performance). Then Ted Leo covered Dancing In The Dark, in tribute to the state of New Jersey. I was dying. Ted Leo made a Mother 13 reference. Jesus. Way to earn my respect, Mr. Leo.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

This Built To Spill record- I guess there's like weird promobot echoed screaming? God, it's annoying. I guess when it comes out, I'll delete the mp3s, because it really is super-annoying- I don't even know what it's saying. "Who is Mike Dowd?" What the fuck?

It's striking me as good, though. It's weird to hear new things that are still really similar to things I've heard before, when those things in question are like my favorite things, but very rarely listened to these days. Which, I think, means that this album is going to be a key one to own, to really get into and live with, because that's what I do with Built To Spill records.

And that reverberated scream really is just awful.

Monday, January 16, 2006

This new Loose Fur album, that I expressed hope for not too long ago, actually blows.

It's playing now. It's a lot more Jeff Tweedy than Jim O'Rourke. The sound is thicker than on the first album, but it's not "dense," it just takes away that minimalist sense of space. It's not as mellow as the first either, it's theoretically more rocking; but never actually rocking, never bringing me to that state of being rocked, getting psyched, etc. It's just dull and nowhere, hard to get excited about.

Actually, no, it's rocking out a little bit right now, noisily, but it does it in short bursts.

There's just no mood at work. The first album was a nighttime in warm weather record, this is just... It's not too good. Did I ever talk about the conclusion that I came to about Wilco? It's this: I only like Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, (or, as my copy is now labeled, Yankee Hotel Buttfuck) as an album, but that was enough to convince me I liked Wilco, even though the other records I own, I like maybe four songs on apiece. And that's after listening to them a lot, I can't think of anything good on A Ghost Is Born. I liked them when I saw them live, too, but that was on the Yankee Hotel Foxtrot tour, playing with Sonic Youth.

But yeah, this Loose Fur record- I don't think I like it. It's also, I should note, a concept album, seemingly, about Jesus and religion. Tweedy's voice, lyrically, is more smart-ass than emotionally affecting, more witty/clever than poetically declarative- I guess that's the O'Rourke influence, but I'm going to say it doesn't work.

EDIT: However, this Books live show I downloaded off the same guy I got the Loose Fur record from is totally amazing, oh man you guys, want to see them when they come to Seattle, if we can, and if we can't, maybe a trip to Canada would be in order? So good, so good!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Did I talk about The Squid And The Whale? It's good- I planned to see it again pretty much as soon as it ended. You'd like it, I bet. It might end a bit more abruptly than I'd like, but that's one of the reasons why I want to see it again. It's a good ending, I suppose, and well-executed in some ways, but... I guess the scene that preceded ended too abruptly, or something? I don't know. I missed the very beginning, so maybe that was key to the pacing. I think I watched it in a weird daze, maybe, where things didn't accumulate like they should've.
In the place of content about things of import, here is an idea for something to do when you only have traces of jam left in jars, and cannot reach them with a knife. Wash it out with hot water, and then use the hot water for tea. Or alternately wash it out with tea, and then drink that, maybe out of the jar. I think this is pretty good, but I am kind of disgusting.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

I seriously just posted, but oh my god, did you know that both of Thora Birch's parents were porn actors- Jack Birch and Carol Connors? And that they also have a kid named Bolt Birch? Holy fucking shit, this is amazing.
I started class two days ago, don't quite know how it'll turn out yet. My project thing involves working for/with Yes Yes. My seminar is godawful, everyone's a Washington resident/community college transfer, and the teacher is a fiscal conservative.

The first book I'm reading, that was read last quarter and I need to catch up, is awful. It's corporate bullshit with new age leanings, the kind of thing your manager would give to you when you worked for General Motors and thought you might not be giving enough to the team. Oh, and I had to buy it new in a panic, and it was expensive. All of these books, business books, whatever, are ungodly expensive new and are then found on Half. com for less than a dollar when a new printing comes out.

Alex plans to go back to Alaska for the summer, which I can't hold against him or even discourage, as this past summer blew, but may make moving out harder, and weirds up my options a bit. I don't know. Maybe I'll hobo about this summer? I should do that while I'm young.

My most recent brilliant idea for the future/perfect job involves working as a DJ for a water park, playing Animal Collective, the Go! Team, and Pavement. Said water park would also have a movie theater/art gallery underground for nighttime and the winter.

My shirts and pants grow more holes.

My friend Ken, who works for Sounds Familyre, said he'd send me a copy of Ships, the new Danielson record, with Deerhoof on it.

I need to finish this chapter of the novel I'm writing, chapter seven. The first seven chapters are designed to give a model for how the book works, how the two narrators play off each other, with chapter seven providing a small emotional climax. It has to be really good. Once it's done, people can read this first chunk, which is something I'm not allowing right now. It's a slow-going process, this bit in particular- I knocked out a chunk over break that I was really proud of.

I downloaded two songs off the upcoming Flaming Lips record, At War With The Mystics. They're not awful, thank God. Not especially vital and mind-blowing, but album context is important, and I didn't really expect them to be.

I don't expect 2006 to be as good a year for music as 2005, but maybe that Built To Spill record that I've been waiting for since, like, 2004 will come out, as well as the new Circulatory System record which I've been waiting for since probably the same time.

I need to write this book, I need to shoot this movie, I need to make things happen.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Fun facts about my dad that are frequently forgotten: He is a liar.

In this instance, I am referring to his saying things like "I will send you money" or "I will send the college money for this quarter's tuition."

He might not necessarily be lying this time, he might just be late. But as it stands, I got dropped from my class for unpaid tuition. Fucking Evergreen.
For those who were wondering whether the next Beth Orton album, the one Jim O'Rourke produced, would be any good, the answer is no. Beth's voice is pretty dull, and her songwriting is as well. The production is good, but not interesting. Like, it's not overproduced or offputtingly slick and huge, like moments on Aimee Mann records, but there's nothing cool going on. I was thinking that- I mean, Beth Orton's got some electronic background, right? Not the good kind, but the dancey kind- I think she was on Astralwerks for a time, yes? None of that here, it's just dignified quiet acoustic backdrops. It's good in that it's actually tasteful. Maybe too much so- Occasionally, it goes for bigger stuff, poppier choruses, volume, dynamics, whatever, and it just doesn't quite come off.

There's supposed to be a Loose Fur album in 2006, right? That should be good.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Man, I never liked Rilo Kiley, but some mp3 blog posted covers they did of After Hours by The Velvet Underground and In The Aeroplane Over The Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel. I'm not going to say they ruined the songs, but I will say they shit all over them. Oh god do they ever.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Not as funny as a black ventriloquist, but still funny, are articles about trends in Hollywood and how sad they are. They are always about a dependence on sequels and franchises and remakes, and always pointing to Oscar-bait as the films that should be saving us all. It's a Mad Libs with blank spaces so specific that you can't even write "fart" when it asks for a noun (or a verb).

My brother rejected a friends request from Rupert Murdoch Must Die and called me lame. He also doesn't like my haircut. I had a bit I wanted to write, to him, post-friendage, about how I like to call it a "Hair Uncut" and pretend that my hair is actually a DVD of a teen grossout comedy, and hope that people will comb through my hair in a search for boobs, which can't be found in haircuts, but can maybe be found in Hair Uncuts.
I just saw a black ventriloquist on BET. His puppet was really large and dressed the same way he was, in a gold suit.

I kind of feel like he might be the only black guy ever that I'm cooler than, but I only saw him do one joke.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

The first town I remember living in was Sicklerville, New Jersey. That was the closest thing I ever came to the quintessential suburban experience- I lived in a house with both of my parents, who were married to each other. There was a backyard, fenced in, a large dad-built deck enclosed within it. I remember my brother jumping the fences, and I did it once or twice myself, albeit with more difficulty.

The last time I passed through Sicklerville, it was gross. Just on some level- some psychogeography or whatever. I felt sick, unpleasant. There's a chapter of From Hell about Whitechapel being designed as this horrible occult place, all the churches forming a pentagram, and how that affects the people that live there. That kind of feeling.

Last night I talked about this with my brother- He pointed out that one of his friend's dads was a taxidermist, and I pointed out that one of his friend's dads was also found out to be a child molestor.

We didn't talk about my actual dad, who was basically serving as his dad at the time, and his mostly normal tendencies- porn half-hidden, late nights at strip clubs.

The house was located in a development, and the street that was in front of our house ran parallel to a highway, which was audible, and visible through a patch of trees. That road, according to Mike, was the expressway to Atlantic City. Which is a horrible depressing place in its own right.

What's funny about this horrible sketch is that Mike and I were both happy there, in this weird oblivious danger. Mike sledded down that hill that led towards the highway, as it tipped up at the end and there was no real danger of actually finding oneself on it. I remember the fence-jumping, the climbing beneath the deck, trick-or-treating.

I reread The Eaters again- That's probably one of my favorite comics. When I first heard about it, I was horrified. I was in like fifth or sixth grade, and it's a comic about a family of cannibals. Later I'd get into the writer, Peter Milligan, and track it down. I read it compulsively, but didn't consciously process it as being good until afterwards. It's a dark comedy. The most reading, I read it and actually laughed while reading it. I just like it more and more each time.

My mom has a subscription to Us Weekly these days.
Hello there, internet. It is now twenty-aught-six, the year of our lord.

New Year's Eve was spent in Philadelphia, running around with my brother and also lurking silently. I realized that my brother, right now, is kind of living the 2046 life with regards to the women: post break-up with someone he loved and now he's just fucking some god-awful randoms. This has been going on for awhile, actually.

Here's a question: Going into someplace and being like "what's the deal with this place": better or worse than walking in somewhere and automatically knowing what it's deal is? And this is a false binary, as the best possible situation is to walk in somewhere and not really give a shit what the deal specifically is.

When the new year came in, I was watching fireworks and wishing for The Go! Team to be playing.

These are the songs I was thinking of this weekend-

Whatever Hold Steady/Lifter Puller song has the line "she says she loves the scene unity, but hates the team spirit." This is as a result of meeting someone cool, ex of Olympia.

This Year by The Mountain Goats. On new year's eve it's outlived it's usefulness, new year's day and I'm hoping it'll never be appropriate again.

Animal Collective's Who Could Win A Rabbit. In the get-psyched team buildup and the welcome to the future payoff, I just wanted to chant this.

Why?'s Act Five-I go on and on. Here's like a slice of what I remember- "Even if the day is saved, and the couples kiss before the credit's list there will be more than a lifetime of death" something something, imagery of a film ending and unspooling.

And The Breeders' I Just Wanna Get Along, at all times forever before venturing out of the house into people and crowds.

I wanted and still want to pick up copies of Sung Tongs, Elephant Eyelash, the Tago Mago remaster for cheap but for cheap is a shifting scale of a phrase. I bought Mouse On Mars' Idiology, the Black Eyes s/t album, and a used copy of The Argument by Fugazi. This is by no means enough.

And if I can get a copy of V. I'd be happy with that turn of events.

I've got this book I'm writing and if I could pound out the chapters I'm working on now before returning to Olympia I would be very happy indeed. I don't know if that'll happen though.

Alternately, I am trying to think of Rupert Murdoch Must Die blogs. The Philly kids almost make me want to take that bullshit site more seriously but I'm keeping up my dedication to jokes.

I've got new shoes and probably should've followed up on that haircut bit, I don't know.

There's a good feeling in the air, I think. Optimism. Got this digital camera and a brain full of ideas. I have a home for the next six months. I am holding out hope for adventures.

Oh- my brother bought my mom a copy of the latest Decemberists record for Christmas. I hope she likes it for the sake of punchline-ease.