Thursday, March 30, 2006

So, Penguin's putting out a series of classic books with packaging redesigned by cartoonists. The Jungle, for example, is going to have a cover by Charles Burns, although I don't think it's that great of an illustration. I think some of the packaging is awesome- Some is good enough to make me care about things I didn't previously care about, some are just better designed versions of things I already care about. I do feel like it's mostly uniformly a step up, even when the artists involved aren't people I care about. Some of them, I just don't know how to feel. The only one I'd designate as being clearly bad is Art Spiegelman's cover for The New York Trilogy, but maybe that's actually awesome and I just don't get it because I haven't read the material. The only one on the market currently, I think, is Chris Ware's version of Voltaire's Candide, which I think looks amazing but I can't find a large enough image to link to. It's worth noting that it's not just cartoonists doing the front cover illustration, although I do think that in many cases, that'd be enough of an improvement- but a design of the backcover and inside cover flaps as well. Ware seemingly even got some jokes in. Even beyond such decisions of design, it's just interesting to me the decisions made for the packaging of the content- I don't know who did the cover, but Rashomon is going to have an introduction written by Haruki Murakami.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Connections drawn: So on the MySpace page for the Mary Timony band, under influences, Paper Rad is cited. In the new Arthur, there's a Ben Jones strip about the nineties, and a quest to Boston for the lead singer. There is talk of Polvo and the lead singer in question ends up being female. It's a good strip. I like Paper Rad, and I've been listening to Helium with some regularity.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

I don't know if I talked about how good the new Ghostface album is- I think I did. Anyway, what I heard was an advance copy, fourteen tracks. The actual album is weaker, in that of what I'm downloading now, a lot of the added material is just godawful skits that no album needs. It's too bad, as that promo is really good.

I'll probably just have it on iTunes, that fourteen-track version, maybe with some of the extra stuff if it's worth keeping, and have the original art up as well. (The one with fish in a net on it, rather than just Ghostface and his posse.)

In other news, it's hard to make french fries. I used a lot of oil, and it never got crispy. I looked up what I should've done after I had already done things wrong. (I should've washed the potatoes in cold water, and then blanched them, before the process.)

Saturday, March 25, 2006

So further notes on exactly what kind of hippie this professor who's not giving me all the credits I rightfull deserve is: She's the kind that'll force you to watch What The Bleep Do We Know?, drives a VW bus, but still when you're sitting in her office you find a well-worn copy of Atlas Shrugged sitting on the bookshelf at eye-level.

"You can tell a lot about a woman by the way she scrubs a cauldron."
Are there any novels out there that are as insightful as to how human nature and America and all the shit work as some offhand Paul Mooney interview nonsense talk? I kind of doubt it.

This is from an interview at that one site some girl you know is probably trying to get images of their breasts hosted on:

"A few weeks ago Hillary Clinton said “This administration was run like a plantation.” Do you know who flipped when she said that? Laura Bush. When you’re on a plantation, who does the master sleep with? Condoleeza!"

No fucking shit: This kind of thought process kicks Phillip Roth square in the balls.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

No, it's cool, I can have the sword of Damocles hanging over my head indefinitely. It's cool.

So yesterday I had my evaluation conference, with a teacher who I already knew liked me. He gave me all the credit he could. But, the class was split up, and I had another teacher for this independent project I was working on. She only gave me two credits of a possible eight.

So I had to set up an appointment with her. I did so, for 3 PM today. When I woke up, I got an e-mail from her telling me she had to reschedule, as her kid relapsed and has a 105 degree fever. I could come in at 10 or 12, but if I came in at 12, the meeting would be limited to only fifteen minutes. I was not awake at 10, so 12 it was. She also asked for an e-mail that would detail what I did and how that was enough work for full credit. I write her an e-mail. When I get there at 12, she's still in her meeting with the person before me- One of those common occurences at Evergreen, the mom who's older than everyone else that all the students feel uncomfortable and wary about. Anyway, the meeting goes on for another ten minutes.

So I say "should we reschedule?" She says yes, because she hadn't read that e-mail I sent her, because it was long. Which it would've had to be, to account for all the time I had spent.

So there'll be a meeting at some point on Friday. With another person there, the program's third teacher, who I never interacted with for any length of time at all. I guess he'd be mediating, assigning credits? I don't quite get it, but she thinks he needs to be there.

I've complained about this teacher in the past, although not on here. I don't like her hippie leanings, the kind that don't manifest themselves in terms of being easy-going or environmentally minded, but just in stupid beliefs. I've got sympathy for her kid's sickness, but part of the problem, I think I recall, stemmed from her going back and forth between antibiotics and new age cures. The latter wouldn't work at all, as being three years old he's probably not cogniscent (sic) of what's happening enough for any kind of psychosomatic placebo effect to take place.

I'm mostly tired of typing about this situation, and only did this post to make that last joke.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Wow, Alex Tripp is on-point.

Okay, so, on this new Matmos album, which I've talked about in the past- (Antony sings on it, and there's an instrument made from a cow vagina/reproductive organs, played with a vacuum cleaner, sounding kind of like a bagpipe- I thought that was an odd combo) there's a song, track 3, called Tract For Valerie Solanas. The concept of the album is a series of portraits for people, with sounds for them- Track 9, Rag for William S. Burroughs, has typewriters for percussion, for example.

Anyway. The tract has more vocals than most, a pretty constant voice, saying things which I don't think are in the SCUM Manifesto but I read that awhile ago. "get a good job, comanaging the shitpile" gets said, as does "Destroy the male sex."

Anyway. What Alex just pointed out to me, that he apparently got like a week ago, is what the sounds that aren't vocals are. The more musical sounds. That's the cow vagina and accompanying organs. Or, a reproductive tract. It's a pun.

And man, holy shit- Matmos can talk all they want about the album, and how they hope people get it when it comes out, since the packaging's so important, (Dan Clowes is involved, drawing something) but this, the slow reveal of the tracklisting with the knowledge of the people, without the aid of liner notes, is something special. Just learning bits of someone's history and then listening to the track for those sounds- The sound of a cigarette burning flesh on "Germs Burn For Darby Crash," for example- It's really fun.

Like on first listen I was thinking "this is a really great album, probably going to end up being the best of the year," and then, the more I listen, the more I learn, the more I catch. There's layers to this.

I imagine that actually buying the album, with liner notes detailing sound sources, will just be such an epiphany.