Monday, August 29, 2005

Aching bones and happy ears

Perhaps I’m just beginning to show my age, but I find it more and more difficult to recover from late night outings. I’m not talking about the side effects of heavy drinking (as I’ve been pretty good about that lately), but rather the toll my insane dancing, coupled with general lack of sleep, takes upon my body. Thankfully, my mind remains happy even when my legs are writhing in pain.

I bring this up because of my latest BDB outing (that would be Bianca, Derek, and Ben). We went to Tonic to check out Monolake and a bunch of other German-influenced, minimal techno acts. A friend of Bianca’s, who goes by the name of End, was also performing. His set was a lot of fun, as he melds spy movie type sounds with breakbeat. Kind of like Propellerheads, but more broken and bizarre. My dancing fits began with him and I was soaked to the skin (as usual) within a couple of minutes. One of the other highlights of the evening was DJ Olive, who was spinning amazing downtempo and breakbeat. I really got lost in headnod mode.

There were several other DJs and acts whose names I didn’t catch, but all of the music was very similar. Simple four-on-the-floor beats with simple melodies. Music geared completely for dancing. In other words, the type of music that makes many people hate techno: no words, nothing to say, just there to make you move.

Monolake hit the stage at about 3 in the morning and proceeded to throw down some gut-rumbling basslines and wickedly distorted beats, all underlined by throbbing drums. I made several attempts at more dancing and managed for the most part but for the pain my ankles were in. One problem, however, was that the place was packed. Tonic is a great venue, but most people weren’t dancing and were simply milling around and getting in the way of those of us who were. But on the whole, I managed to shake my money maker as best I could.

Our Heroic Trio then proceeded to the local creperie for some early morning sustenance. It was yummy. I finally got home about 5am and crashed like a son of a bitch.

A fun night. A great show. Fantastic company. Happy weekend.

Echoing in my heart:

Jimmy Behan - Days Are What We Live In
(where ground is soft most often grows - arise arise arouse a rose)

Various - The Dirtchamber Sessions, Volume One
(the Prodigy displays his considerable mix skilz)

Kraftwerk - Radio-Activity
(1975; the originators, not the imitators)

Johnny Cash - American IV: The Man Comes Around
(great takes that often outdo the originals)

Koordinate Of Wonders - Koordinate Of Wonders
(icy surgical warm front)

>1 day nadasaucia

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Completely unrelated PS

Here's a shot of Rick, Margaret, and me at last Saturday's Contempt. Aren't they just the cutest couple? Aren't I a funny looking dude?

Cometh The Demon Barber

Anyone who lives in New York City knows what the 4 train is like at 8 in the morning on a weekday. For those who don't, let's just say that "claustrophobia-inducing" only just begins to cover it. Passengers are packed in like sardines and on most occasions you'll get more familiar with your neighbors than you'd like. However, this morning I was glad to be crushed up against one particular gentleman. This has nothing to do with physical attraction (guys aren't my thing), but rather everything to do with the paper he was reading. Next to some mindless op-ed piece was a full page ad touting the return of my favorite musical of ALL TIME: Sweeney Todd.

Before I gush more about this, let's talk about Broadway. In my opinion, it pretty much sucks. It's filled to the brim with overly melodramatic, simplistic music and mindnumbing plots. Phantom Of The Opera? Put me to sleep. Andrew Lloyd Weber is a hack who hasn't done anything decent since Jesus Christ Superstar. Miss Saigon? Yawn. The Lion King? All flash, no substance. Sure, Chicago and Cabaret were very good, but that's pretty slim pickin's given the amount you have to choose from. I've always preferred Off- and Off-Off-Broadway stuff: much more exciting; much more experimental. However, challenging stuff never makes any money because, after all, the dumbest buy the most-est. So the return of Sweeney Todd is quite the breath of fresh air for me.

The music is fantastic (after all, it's Stephen Sondheim), the plot dark and gripping. For you poor unfortunates who are unfamiliar, things go like this...

The musical is set in London, probably sometime in the early 1900s. Todd is a barber with a lovely wife named Lucy. Lucy is so lovely, in fact, that she attracts the attention of the local magistrate, Judge Turpin. The judge is so enamored of Todd's wife that he fabricates charges against the hapless barber and has him sent off to prison ("Botany Bay! For life!"). Turpin then moves in as a sympathetic figure, but takes advantage of Lucy, raping her at a party.

Years pass and then Todd escapes from prison. He returns to England to seek his revenge against Judge Turpin. Upon his arrival, he discovers that his wife is dead and his daughter is now the ward of Judge Turpin. Through a series of events, Todd decides to not only take revenge upon the judge, but pretty much everybody else, slicing their throats while they sit is his chair ("And what if none of their souls were saved? / They went to their maker impeccably shaved").

Only the truly talented can sing while getting their throats cut.

His partner is crime is Ms. Lovett, the proprietor of a meat pie shop. She comes up with the wonderfully grisly idea of disposing of the victims' bodies by making them into... yup, you guessed it... meat pies. While this sounds terrible (and it is), the resulting lyrics are some of the most darkly comical you will EVER hear. A brief sampling from "Have A Little Priest"...

LOVETT: It's priest. Have a little priest.
TODD: Is it really good?
LOVETT: Sir, it's too good, at least!
Then again, they don't commit sins of the flesh,
So it's pretty fresh.
TODD: Awful lot of fat.
LOVETT: Only where it sat.
TODD: Haven't you got poet, or something like that?
LOVETT: No, y'see, the trouble with poet is
'Ow do you know it's deceased?
Try the priest!
TODD: (spoken) Heavenly!
Not as hearty as bishop, perhaps,
but then again, not as bland as curate, either!
LOVETT: And good for business, too -- always leaves you wantin' more!
Trouble is, we only get it on Sundays! ...Lawyer's rather nice.
TODD: If it's for a price.
LOVETT: Order something else, though, to follow,
Since no one should swallow it twice!
TODD: Anything that's lean.
LOVETT: Well, then, if you're British and loyal,
You might enjoy Royal Marine!
Anyway, it's clean.
Though of course, it tastes of wherever it's been!
TODD: Is that squire,
On the fire?
LOVETT: Mercy no, sir, look closer,
You'll notice it's grocer!
TODD: Looks thicker,
More like vicar!
LOVETT: No, it has to be grocer --
It's green!

You get the idea, no? Perhaps not for those without a suitably dark sense of humor.

I won't go into further detail, but suffice to say that Sweeney Todd is terrifying, electrifying, and endearing, all at the same time. Truly a symphony of tasty for the ears and eyes. Come to New York and see the show. Or rent the movie. Just be warned that one of the female leads in the movie is just terrible. Ignoring that, however, it's an excellent production.

So I'm buying my tickets after work today. I'm dragging my Mom and my sister and her fiancé up to see it in November.

God, I love this town.

Sondheim would no doubt also enjoy:

Gary Numan - Hybrid
(twisted remakes of some of his classic tunes)

Polar - 37 Degrees C And Falling
(icy dnb from the frozen north)

Analog Pussy - Psycho Bitch From Hell
(pounding 4-on-the-floor dance; infectious as hell)

Various - Spintrax 8
(more random MP3 yumminess I tossed onto CD)

Various - Crunchpod Volumes 1-3
(oh the noise noise noise noise)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Apt PS

My friend Abbey sent me this little gem. This is a pic of one of the vets that was at GWB's VFW speech. Priceless.

Nice try PS

Not surprising to see that Pat Robertson is fiercely backpedaling from his comments regarding Venezuelan President Chavez. How you could "misinterpret" his little speech remains a mystery to me, but I can't say that it comes as a shock that Robertson would try and weasel his way out of the controversy. What an upstanding fellow.

Smile if you lack the courage of your (albeit incredibly twisted) convictions.

Harvesting the young

Today's blog was going to be a treatise on how annoyed I am by one of the guys in my Wednesday morning spin class. However, I was browsing CNN (as is my pre-work pattern) and I came across some statistics that made my annoyances seem pretty lame. Here's why.

I graduated from college in 1992. I was 22 years old and was ready to take on the world. I got a job (actually, I just hung onto the job I'd had during school), got an apartment, and got down to the business of living my life.

What a fortunate boy I was.

By the time I'd turned 30, I'd moved to New York City, was making more than a fair amount of money, and was living my life pretty much as I'd planned it (give or take a few things).

What a fortunate man I was.

I say all this because the stats I referred to above are the casualty lists from our little stint over in Iraq. Rather sobering.

I supposed it's no surprise that vast majority of deaths have been soldiers in their 20s. Still, I cannot image what it must be like to be someone that young having to confront life and death situations every day.

Age       Deaths
<22        535     29.28%
22-24     431     23.59%
25-30     458     25.07%
31-35     178     9.74%
>35        225     12.32%
Total     1827

Almost 30% of the folks have died couldn't even drink legally, but they were killing people and being shot at. The people they were trying to kill blew them up with roadside mines, rockets, etc. And of course these numbers don't include the 13000+ soldiers that were just wounded, many permanently maimed.

Now I've heard that kids in their late teens and early 20s make the best soldiers, as they still have that sense of immortality (especially the guys) and are easily wrapped up in the fervor of patriotism. However, I still can't image what it must be like to confront the grim realities of war at the tender age of 22. Hell, I can't image what it must be like to do that at the tender age of 35 and almost 80% of the dead never even saw their 30th birthday.

I wonder if they and all their families think it was worth it? I'm not being snotty. I really do wonder. I suppose some do. Others (like Cindy Sheehan) certainly don't. I've never lost anyone to war (after all, most of my family are bleeding heart pacifist liberals like me), but I can imagine it would be quite a reality check if your son (with whom you are most pleased) left to fight for his country only to come back in a box.

Regardless, my sympathies are with all the people who held these soldiers in their hearts before (and no doubt still do, after) they died.

Meanwhile, a delightful day of delicious dub:

Lee Scratch Perry - I Am The Upsetter
(four CDs chock full of Mad Man Scratchy)

Tino's Breaks - Volume 5: Dub
(Jack and Ben get it all twisted and splifted)

Various - Trojan Dub Box Set
(three CDs of premium Jamacian, mon)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


OK. Seems to me that Pat Robertson, a man who'd like us all to believe that he is down with The Big Guy In The Sky, would know better than to call for the assassination of another human being.

What would Jesus do, Pat?

Sure, this Hugo Chavez guy seems a little bent in the head, but what's a little paranoia between South American dictators? I just can't see Venezuela as a credible threat. Sure, they own our asses oil-wise (then again, show me a nation of crazy people that doesn’t these days), but Pat would have you believe that they're "exporting Communism and Islamic extremism across the Americas". However, a careful examination of that idea immediately reveals a bit of the ridiculous, don’t you think?

Communism AND Islamic extremism?

You mean "Communism", that tacitly ATHEIST political ideology that encourages people to lay aside their individuality for the sake of the whole; and "Islamic extremism", a movement drenched in RELIGIOUS fanaticism that encourages people to lay aside their lives for the glory of Allah?

Come on, Pat. These are not two tastes that taste great together. One could hardly believe that the SAME country was extolling the virtues of BOTH ideas.

Then again, Robertson is hardly a brain-trust candidate and he doesn’t exactly have a pacifist track record when it comes to folks he’s not fond of, what with calling on his faithful followers to pray for the death of Supreme Court judges and such. You’d think that someone who is supposedly deeply devoted to the teachings of Jesus Christ would be a nicer guy.

It’s unfortunate that this man continues to have a bully pulpit from which he can continue to spew his stilted opinions on everything. Nothing like encouraging more hate in a world that’s already full of it (although I’m guilty of this myself, it appears...).

I’d love to see what happens when Mr. Robertson reaches his just reward. In my heart of hearts, I’d hope for something like this: he’s wandering around in the fog outside the Pearly Gates and feels a tap on his shoulder. It’s St. Peter, who is heard to utter, "Umm... Pat. We gotta talk..."

Playing on my cloud in Heaven:

Abstract Audio Systems - The Ivory EP
(currently listening to two different master takes and will decide which one is juicier)

June Christy - Something Cool
(lovely Peggy Lee-esqueness from the 1950s)

Lords Of Acid - Voodoo-U
(they have the power to bewitch)

Julee Cruise - Floating Into The Night
(a night of smoky bars and broken hearts)

Monday, August 22, 2005

Held in Contempt

Another Contempt has come and gone. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, as I got to flex my DJ muscles a bit more than usual. I made several tours through several styles of music, including a 45-minute set of 80s music, which is always fun. Tossed in some dub, glitch, and general downtempo tuneage as well. Excellent.

I especially enjoyed the evening because I got to chat with one of the new bartenders at Remote. Really cool woman. Very much into music (perhaps the first person I've ever met that has mentioned, without prompting, that they love dub) and a bedroom musician, same as me. I didn't do much dancing (my Saturday morning spin classes really kicked my butt this week), but spent most of my off time talking with the bartender. Got her phone number and plan on giving her a call today in hopes we can get together and talk/trade music.

Mom had invited herself up for the weekend so I had to pass on some stuff, but that was OK. I think we had a good time. She's been pretty bummed out, what with having to take care of Skip, balance her job, etc., etc. Frustration plantation indeed. I hope her visit picked up her spirits a little, although I was kind of zombiesque on Sunday (these 4am spinning gigs can be killer).

Well, that's today's state of affairs. Was just in the mood to ramble today.

Cruising through the day with the following:

Underworld - Second Toughest In The Infants
(epic techno done to perfection)

Yaz - Upstairs At Eric's
(an all time classic)

Aarktika - No Solace In Sleep
(huge, shuddering spaces filled with mist and melancholy)

Moby - Play
(the Bald One goes sampledelic)

Ministry - The Land Of Rape And Honey
(helping separate heads from bodies for almost 20 years)

>1 day nada saucia

Friday, August 19, 2005

Reading is fundamental

The White House released a list of books that Our Fearless Leader took with him to Crawford, TX to read during his brief (that is to say, five week) "working vacation". I suppose he'll be browsing these texts during those brief moments when he's not putting a larger dent in the apparently overwhelming brush epidemic from which his ranch suffers.

These "heavy books" are all non-fiction and include a treatise on the 1918 influenza virus (no doubt to be used at some later date as an excuse to invade yet another country "possessing biological weapons"), a history of table salt (which is probably about as interesting as hearing Dumbya speak in public), and an advanced copy of a biography of Tzar Alexander II. Alex was quite the famous conservative (although props to him for abolishing serfdom and watching our backs during the Revolutionary War), so maybe Georgie's looking for some more ideas.

It's my sneaking suspicion, however, that this press release is a flimsy tissue of fabrications and lies. I suspect that if you checked out El Presidente's night stand, you'd more likely find:

Ready, Set, Preschool! by Anna Jane Hays
(I believe it's the hope of George's handlers that he can learn a lot from the socialization sections of this book: making friends, sharing, taking turns, cooperating, etc.; especially in regards to the U.N.)

Oops! by David Shannon
(Once again, a hidden message from Dumbya's more rational consultants. The book's protagonist "finds himself in a few sticky situations, and learn[s] his five favorite words along the way". Hopefully, Big G will realize this is a subtle metaphor for Iraq and that his five favorite words should be "I really fucked things up". Methinks, however, that the concept of metaphor is still a bit beyond young George.)

The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss
(Look for this one to sit there and gather dust as it and its message are patently ignored.)

Hopefully these latter books will help improve Dubya’s attitudes towards others as well as improve his reading comprehension skills.

"This book is too long. I want to go cut more wood."

My books on tape for today:

Various - Eighties Stuff
(chock full o' one hit wonders)

The Strokes - Is This It
(jangle jangle jangle pop pop pop)

Minimal Man - Sex With God/Safari
(sterile, dark, bleak and utterly wonderful)

Pailhead - Trait
(Alien Jourgensen = drug fiend; Ian MacKaye = straightedge; A+I = awesome)

Duke Ellington - Newport Jazz Festival (1956) Sampler
(5 tracks of pure big band jazz perfection)

>Not sauced for 2 days

Thursday, August 18, 2005

A whole Lott of jerk

Trent Lott is a waste of skin.

In his new book (which I may force myself to actually read), he bemoans his betrayal at the hands of the Republican party, saying that backdoor politics lead to his eventual removal as Senate Majority Leader.

Gee, Trent, I thought it was because you said Mississippi was proud to have voted for the segregationist ticket in 1948 and that "if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over the years either."

Sounds like you shot yourself in the foot all on your own, TL.

Add to this the fact that you lead the battle back in the 1960s to prevent blacks from being admitted to your frat at U Of Mississippi, Sigma Nu (a battle which you did, in fact, manage to pull off)?

Oops! You're a racist.

Now you're going to try and portray the situation in a completely different light (or should I say "shade"?). That and talk about how cosy you were with President Clinton. "I seemed to offer some sort of rare zen role for Clinton"? Yeah. I'm sure Bill just loved you.


At this point there's little you can do (I hope) to stop history portraying you as an ignorant, racist son-of-a-bitch; proud representative of a state with the lowest average IQ in the country.

That'd be an 85.

Trent Lott, noted conservative politician, says, "Remember, black people suck."

Fueling my considerable angst:

Bonechurch - The Soulblight EP
(30 minutes of vast, dark spaces)

Bonechurch - Nebenstation
(another crashing, crunching EP)

Milieu - Slow Lid Close
(melancholy yet beautiful down tempo beatness)

The Acacia Strain - 3750
(highly trained eardrum removal crew)

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Gearing up

Come this Saturday I will once again be spinning at Contempt. It's been two months since my last outing and I'm happy to say that I've got a bunch of new tasty down tempo tunes to dispense. The biggest problem (and the problem I always have) is what to bring and what not to bring. I inevitably haul in a huge pile of CDs and then end up using only a handful of them. Some folks are after me to get an IPod, but they don't make them big enough to handle all my stuff. The last count I did on my website put me at a just south of 23000 tracks; besides, I love the feel of a nice CD in my hands.

Kinky, I know.

I need to make an effort and find more places to ply my DJness. I actually had an intriguing dream last night involving the founding of a night where people would pay to DJ whatever they wanted for an hour. Upon conscious consideration, however, I realized that this would be a tricky proposition. The folks might be crappy mixers and chances are you'd see a HUGE amount of turnover, crowdwise, as each DJ finished their set. I suppose you could make some attempt at an overall flow by finding out what everbody was going to spin and then arranging it appropriately, but who knows if even that would work?

And who would host it?

Anyway, I hope a bunch of you New York folks will come out and hear me do my thing. There's a $5 cover charge if you download a flyer from the Contempt website. If you're too lazy to snag a flyer, you'll play $7 instead. I know that extra $2 is killer, but suck it up.

Stuff that won't get played on Saturday (maybe...):

Alec Empire - Squeeze The Trigger
(hyperbeat madness for the man behind DHR)

Dimmu Borgir - Death Cult Armageddon
(roar! grrr! arrgh! oh, almost forgot, Satan too)

Dead Can Dance - Into The Labyrinth
(amazing work by this spectacular duo)

Beef Terminal - The Grey Knowledge
(a starmap to all the sad places)

Madonna - Erotica
(come on; it's a classic)

>One glass turned into another bottle last night, so...
0 days offa da sauce

Monday, August 15, 2005

Universality PS

Just went and grabbed some lunch. The guys in line behind me were discussing the relative merits of sports cars versus pick up trucks and that somehow lead to a discussion of the awesomeness of Aerosmith. I sometimes forget that things south of the Mason Dixon aren't necessarily all that different than things here.

Mackie's back in town

Returned from Georgia yesterday afternoon after a pleasant visit with my sister and... her fiancé. Yes, seems she and her beau have decided to tie the knot. The fact that they met only a few months ago doesn't seem to give them any pause. I'm skeptical (she's my sister, after all), but wish them the best of luck. Her boyfriend is a very nice guy, so that’s comforting.

We spent a lot of the trip driving from place to place, as Atlanta has almost no public transportation to speak off. It’s spread out, a la LA, so lots of car time is required.

Prevalent landmarks include:

We checked out one of the local museum/science centers, which was fun. Took in a planetarium show (something I haven't done in a god's age) and that was especially cool, although the narrator of the show itself made Dumbya sound like a consummate public speaker...

We also went to a karaoke bar on Saturday night. I'll say one thing: karaoke in Georgia is REALLY scary. They have both kinds of music… if you know what I'm sayin'. I don't think I've ever heard that much fiddle during any of the considerable number of karaoke sessions I've attended. Not surprisingly, most of the stuff that got sung (if that's what you call it...) was a complete mystery to me. I did have a great time, though, in a watching-a-car-wreck kind of way.

Folks seemed impressed with our trio's singing chops, which is always nice. I finished off the evening with a rendition of Radiohead's "Creep", eliciting some cheers and happiness from the crowd. However, that the highlight of the evening was being approached by a profoundly large good old boy after I sang "Are You Lonesome Tonight". Bubbazilla extended his hand and said gruffly, "Y’all may be a Yankee, but y'all sho know how ta sing".

I managed to thank him with a completely straight face (just to ensure that it stayed that way).

Suffice to say that it was great to return to civilization. I did truly have a good time, though, and look forward to when Lisa and Tom can come up and have a brief stint with us godless heathen liberals here in New York City.

Not for sale in Walmarts throughout the Bible Belt (including those in GA):

KMFDM - Split/Piggybank
(things that used to be one do indeed become divided, being in halves)

Horchata - Integral
(USDA choice spooky tunes from New England)

Boogie Down Productions - Sex And Violence
(the Teacher backs off on the knowledge and ups the street feel)

Entombed - Left Hand Path
(ideal for clearing the cobwebs of country)

Billie Holiday - The Complete Decca Recordings
(smoky smooth vocals and epic heartbreak)

>Fell off the wagon in Georgia and stayed off, so...
0 days offa da sauce

Friday, August 12, 2005

New quandry

Had a date last night for the first time in quite awhile. I'd been corresponding with this woman via email for a couple of weeks and we decided to met up for dinner and drinks. I had a good time. She's very nice. However, there was really no spark between us. Now, I know it makes me sound like a shallow fellow (which I won't deny, by the way), but when I meet someone the first time, I want to have that "WOW" feeling right off the bat. No one can deny that part of attraction (and large part, at least initially) is physical. That just wasn't there.

We definitely warmed up to each other as the evening progressed and I think we both felt pretty comfortable by the time I dropped her off at the subway, but I want more than this.

Now my problem is figuring out how to be nice about it. Then again, I'm assuming she wants to see me again. I could be wrong about that. Wouldn't it be nice if she called/emailed me and said "This didn't feel completely right to me. Nice to meet you, but goodbye"?

Taking responsibility sucks.

Drowning my ears on the way to Atlanta:

Reign - Embrace
(speed metal that more people should know about)

Frank Sinatra - The Wee Small Hours
(the cure for what ails ya; kind of a hair of the dog thing)

Various - TIP CD 1
(glorious acid trance)

Dustlab - Blaidz
(old skool DIY dnb)

Various - United State Of Ambience II
(fine and mel-ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh)

>Had two glasses of wine last night, but no drunkiness so...
4 days not sauced

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Staving off the dogs

Thankfully a judge has ruled in favor of CBGB's in the latest attempt to shut the club down. The Bowery Residents' Committee has been attempting to evict CB's on grounds that the club hasn't been paying full rent for a couple of years now. According to CBGB's, this was due to bookkeeping errors. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean that the venue is completely in the clear. The rent there is a whopping $19K a month. I've no idea how much they clear a month, but that's a hell of a lot of money.

I don't think the Bowery Residents' Committee realizes exactly how much CB's has done for that neighborhood. Above and beyond that, closing the club down would be like closing Preservation Hall in New Orleans or The Grand Olde Opry in Nashville. These clubs are historic landmarks for those who enjoy the types of music these venues feature. There are still people who make pilgrimages to New York just to go to CBGB's. Letting it close would be tantamount to erasing a national monument.

The Ramones at CBGB's, 1977

This is the kind of history we are talking about here.

I've been gormandizing the following today:

Lionrock - An Instinct For Detection
(downtempo, uptempo, and the mids)

Lightnin' Hopkins - The Complete Aladdin Recordings
(just one man and one guitar, y'all)

Ed Rush & Optical - The Creeps
(bottomless bass drops, squiggley synth lines; oh, the yummy)

Milieu - Brother
(delicate, detailed ambient)

Peter Gabriel - Up
(dark, foreboding and intentionally difficult; "Sledgehammer" this ain't)

>3 days offa da sauce

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Setup PS?

OK. Remember how the Bush administration used 9/11 and the threat of WMDs to invade Iraq? Remember how it turned out to be bullshit? Are they setting up to do the same thing with Iran? Senor Rummy wants us to believe that a cache of weapons recently confiscated in Iraq were "clearly, unambiguously from Iran". As clear and unambiguous as Saddam's huge stockpiles of chemical and bio weapons? Perhaps it's true, but I'm completely skeptical about anything this guys say these days.

Man, people are stupid

I've lived in America all my life. Technically, I was born in Japan (thanks, Air Force Dad), but we were only there for 2 years and it's not like there are a lot of memories from that time. I guess my brain was too busy soaking up everything it could about everything around me. Point being, my entire cognitive life (barring the occasional vacation) has been spent in these United States. But I’ve got a question.

Are all the citizens of the world as stupid as Americans?

I ask this because of the several astounding news items I’ve been coming across in the past couple of days.

1) Kids playing “the choking game”, wherein they hang, throttle, or whatever themselves until they briefly pass out. What are you, retarded? If not, keep it up and you will be. Or you’ll be dead. This has already happened to a couple of little Einsteins. Not to be heartless, but Jesus, how stupid do you have to be to hang yourself on purpose (yeah, that means you too, Hutchence)? Doesn’t anybody just do whippets anymore (which is almost as stupid, BTW)?

2) Fans throwing themselves from the upper deck in Yankee Stadium so they can land in the nets behind the plate. Come on, folks. I know the Yanks are four and a half back from the Sux, but that’s no reason to throw caution to the wind so you can get yourself mocked on SportsCenter.

3) People believing anything George Bush has to say. “Iraq has weapons of mass destruction.” “We never said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.” “I will fight for the environment.” “Here’s my new energy bill.” “I’m a Yale educated scholar.” “I talk real good.” It’s gotten to the point where I can almost ignore him. It’s that or I throw up my hands in frustration and then throw myself from the upper deck in Yankee Stadium. Then again, there was a poll on August 5th that revealed that 50% of Americans think Dumbya isn’t honest. Duh.

4) People still approving of how Dumbya is handling the festivities in Iraq. The August 5th poll said this accounts for only about 38% of the country, but come on folks. How many dead people do you need to hear about before you realize that Big G and company are fuckin' up? The poll results were kind weird, though, for it turns out that "Midwesterners and young women and men with a high school education or less were most likely to disapprove of Bush on his handling of Iraq". Now normally this is not a batch of people I’d give the highest marks to in the brains department (so says the Ivy League educated northeastern intellectual elitist), but they obviously figured out the simple truth of things long before the majority of Americans. Then again, it’s mostly folks with little education who are getting wasted, no? Money for college? How about a free funeral instead?

I’m sure there are lots of other examples of homegrown American stupidity, but these are the ones that are tickling my brain the most at present. But the fact is I’m almost positive that the rest of the human race is a dumb as we Americans. Part of me does hold out a small hope that on some tiny island in the South Pacific there’s a culture where people have heads like those really smart dudes in the pilot for Star Trek (with the brains to match).

But I ain’t holding my breath.

Talosians would beam these into your brain and kill you:

Various - DJ Kicks: C.J. Bolland
(CJB in da club!)

Austere - Dark/Untitled v2
(the guys are still trying to figure out which version to release; I like this one)

Various - Body Rapture
(some old ass industrial shit from Zoth Ommog)

Various - Chess Blues Classics 1957-1967
(a mere sampling from the gorgeous 4 disc set; Wolf, Williamson, Waters, and more)

Various - DJ C’s Mix For Sharon
(don’t know who this Sharon chick is, but C threw it down for ya)

>2 days offa da sauce

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

I want my MBV

Derek has been writing a lot lately about the shows he's been going to. These posts have made several references to "shoegazer" music. I've been a fan of the style ever since being introduced to My Bloody Valentine in the mid-80's. Because of MBV, I stumbled upon bands like Catherine Wheel, Seefeel, Lush, Slowdive, Curve, and many others. Admittedly, some of these folks aren't technically shoegazers, but it's a question of deriving sweet music through the use of noise and feedback; for in truth, I came across My Bloody Valentine thanks to my love of The Jesus And Mary Chain and Sonic Youth, some of the original masters of noise rock. But that's another story and debate entirely. Anyway, the point is this.

I want more My Bloody Valentine.

With the apparent resurgence of shoegazer, it makes sense to me to hear more from that the people who perfected it, for their 1991 album Loveless is THE definitive shoegazer record; anyone who says different is tacitly wrong, in addition to be guilty of blasphemy.

My mind reels at the possibilities of what Kevin Shields is capable of given 14+ years of technological advancements. In fact, rumor has it that after Loveless the band completed two entire albums of material that they never released. I'd think there'd be enough in those records alone to come up with some pretty amazing stuff. Sure, maybe it wouldn't be classic My Bloody Valentine, but I can't imagine it would be bad. In fact, it might reinvigorate or repoint the genre in a new direction, much like their records of the 1980s.

One can only hope. In the interim, I listen to Loveless and all the other stuff I've got be them and simply hope for the best.

Musical travelogue provided by:

My Bloody Valentine - Loveless
(the blueprint)

This Mortal Coil - Filigree & Shadow
(folk, pop, ambient, dance; it's a box of chocolates)

Tino's Breaks - Halloween Dub
(de dead will rize and dance upon de ert)

Madvillain - Madvillainy
(written in cold blood with a tooth pick)

Headcase - Crosseyedrabbit
(D. Garcia of Curve proves he loves everybody)

> 1 day offa da sauce

Monday, August 08, 2005

The weekend that wasn't

Despite all my plans to the contrary, I had a fairly inactive weekend. And why? Because I drink too much. Friday's plans with Marti worked out as scheduled. We met up, went to Ocha (our favorite sushi place), ate a lot and had lots of saki. We then moved onto Planet Rose (our favorite karaoke joint), sang a lot and had lots of scotch. From what I remember, we had a good time.

I woke up on Saturday feeling ill. This almost never happens to me, but I guess the magical combination of raw fish, rice wine, and single malt scotch tests even my considerable recuperative powers. I spent the entire day feeling fairly icky, so I stayed in that evening and watched Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Alias (thanks as always to Netflix).

I did manage to extend my planned tradition of 50 mile bike rides on Sundays. Had a flat about 10 miles in and ended up having to walk the bike to a shop on 103rd and Amsterdam. Bless them for having Sunday hours. However, the detour threw my route off and I ended up going only about 48 miles. Also had weird leg cramps, which was no fun.

Then last night I reheated some pasta I'd made on Saturday and decided I'd enjoy a nice glass of wine or two with my meal. This ended up be a bottle of wine and a bottle of port.

I really need to slow down on the drinking. It's getting out of control, which freaks me out. I should probably quit altogether. Alcoholism runs in my family and it seems I'm starting to carry on the tradition. I keep thinking about going to AA or something, but their approach to recovery (i.e. lots of references to God and powerlessness) turns me off. Plus when I think of AA, I think of people who's lives have been destroyed by their addictions. I think I'd feel weird because my life is not all that fucked up.

What really surprises me about this whole thing is that I have a lot of will power. In fact, I'm mostly stubborn as hell. I just can't seem to apply it to the booze.

And I have to before it kills me.

CDs I'll take with me to Betty Ford:

Nasum - Inhale/Exhale
(better living through sonic brutality)

Various - DJ C's Rubber Teeth Mix
(ragga muffin breakcore techno freakfest)

Various - DTS Volume 11
(lovely tunes from Wicker Basket and Milieu)

Dead Kennedys - Frankenchrist
(for those trips down to the chicken farm)

The Orb - U.F.Orb
(spiralling outward into ambient's unknown spaces)

Friday, August 05, 2005

Prep for da madness

I've spent the week being a bit of a hermit, I'm afraid. Plans were made but ended up being skipped or ignored, which in the end was fine with me. I've been getting my head around my new job and haven't been feeling particularly social anyway. Tonight, however, I begin to buck that trend.

I'll be doing something with Marti this evening. Not sure what yet, but outings with the Wheat always end up being fun, be it karaoke overindulgence, sushi competitions, or some other manner of craziness.

And then tomorrow night at The Lucky Cat...

Mad EP
DJ Terminal Dusk

Aw yeah! Twisted breaks, weird sounds and general electronic music madness. My ears are already slathering for some of that funky stuff. I've got several tracks by most of these guys ('cept Datach'i), so I know exactly what to expect. Could be a bit odd, though, given the size of the Lucky Cat.

The Cat is essentially a bar/coffee house with a small performance space in the back. It is the former home of the now extinct Dogs Blood Rising, wherein I inflicted lots of audio nasty on people. Those were indeed the days.

Anyway, I hope to overload on fun within the next 48 to 72 hours.

More bounce to the ounce from:

Enduser - Run War
(step to the EU and get your shit wrecked)

Entombed - Wolverine Blues
(fine purveyors of quality Swedish death metal for over 15 years)

Keane - Hopes And Fears
(the more I listen to this album, the more I like it)

Matera - Same Here
(miracle wonderman MJ Harris and Mauro Teho Teardo help you alter your states)

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I'm just sayin'

I was not one of those kids who wanted to grow up to be an astronaut. Sure, the concept of seeing the earth from space is pretty amazing, but I've jumped out of a plane at 13000 feet and that was high enough, thanks.

That being said, I've always been impressed by the bravery of those who choose to enter our space program, especially after the two shuttle disasters. I'll never forget how I felt when I saw the Challenger explode or the Columbia disintegrate. Chilling.

So I was a bit apprehensive about the shuttle launch this time around, especially after all the delays due to technical problems. I was understandably relieved when the launch was successful, but a colleague of mine raised an interesting point. If it were not for all of the media hype surrounding the possibility of another disaster, would we have cared? Taken a step further (and directly into the shadowy land of conspiracy theory), could it be that NASA exaggerated the danger for the sake of renewed public interest in the space program?

OK, maybe not. But it's a thought.

I mean, did anybody watch the spacewalk this morning? It was touted as this incredibly difficult and dangerous maneuver, yet it took about 3 minutes and involved one of the astronauts pulling a strip of something off the bottom of the shuttle.

Not really gripping.

Still, I'm not even remotely qualified to guess at what is going on up there. I just wish them luck. If this has all been a media blitz, then I think it may have worked. They got my attention, after all. If it wasn't a media blitz, I just hope that things don't go really wrong.

End of random, meaningless comments.

I would awaken the shuttle astronauts with the following:

Hardfloor - Da Damn Phreak Noize Phunk
(acid acid acid acid acid)

Bowery Electric - Beat
(sounds like somebody likes Seefeel)

E-Sassin - The Best Of Sound Sphere Recordings
(tasty dark ass drum and bass)

Godflesh - In All Languages
(some of the best GF tracks assembled all in one place)

Monday, August 01, 2005

New jobs for everybody

Whelp, today is my first day in my new position. I'm back in midtown Manhattan, which is a relief. Things are slow today as I get rolling, of course, but there seems to be a lot to do. So I'm happy about my new job.

I bet John Bolton is feeling pretty much the same.

Yep. Dumbya has managed to backdoor Bolton into the U.N., using the positively West Wing-ian tactic of recess appointment (thanks to Aaron Sorkin for teaching me all about those...). This way the entire Senate confirmation process gets bypassed. No fuss, no muss, no vote. OK, methinks there will be some fuss. It will come to nothing in the end, but there will be a fuss. Very sneaky, George.

From what I've read about Bolton, he sounds like a steamroller. When accepting his new position, he said, "It will be a distinct privilege to be an advocate for America's values and interests at the U.N."


"Values" is such a charged word in our society (often coupled with the words "family" or "conservative"), so I'm a bit apprehensive to see exactly what he means by this. I've a feeling that Bolton is simply going to add to the bully mystique that the United States is so effectively cultivating these days. Time to make some more enemies out of friends? Let's hope not.

John Bolton would hate:

Various - DTS Volume 11
(strange, downtempo ditties plucked from the net)

Various - Kikapu Sampler 12
(glorious DIY electronic tuneage from the awesome net label)

Souns - Lights
(more joy from Kikapu)

Various - Portraits Of JKFlesh
(various recordings by Justin Broadrick of Godflesh fame)

Cranes - Various Confections
(random tracks downloaded from various places)