Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Of winter wonders and of words

Hope everyone's holiday was lovely. Mine was mellow, but enjoyable. While I usually find trekking down to Philadelphia kind of depressing, it was not so this time around. I still can't stand spending extended periods of time in my Mom's house; it's cluttered, drafty, and full of old ghosts. However, with all the festive bustle going on (cooking, errands for forgotten ingredients, etc.), I was too "in the moment" to get bogged down in location issues.

We've never been a big gift giving family, mostly due to financial restrictions, so it's always been one present from each person, or in some cases, a "very nice" (i.e. costly) gift from a bunch of folks. So I was fortunate enough this year to receive the Lord Of The Rings special edition box set (woah!) from Mom and Skip and a lovely crystal set from Lisa and Tom (her fiancé). I'd asked Lisa for a decanter, but she mistakenly purchased a carafe set instead. Still, it VERY NICE lead crystal; heavy as hell and beautifully carved.

I did "run out of book" during my stay, having finished Caesar's Women by Colleen McCullough for about the third time (great book). Luckily, Mom has a rather extensive library and, while browsing, I stumbled across Simon Winchester's The Professor And The Madman. It's a historical work, set in the late 1800s, which documents the relationship between the then editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, Dr. James Murray, and a brilliant, yet deeply troubled inmate at the Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum, Dr. W.C. Minor. I'm half way through the volume already and am completely enthralled. While the topic of the OED might not strike most folks as particularly interesting, to a word junky such as myself, it's captivating.

The most enjoyable aspect of the work is that it's not strictly historical narrative. Winchester routinely wanders off on tangents to discuss the origins of a particular word; in fact, each chapter commences with a definition from the OED itself. For example, it tickled me pink to realize that I could be accused of indulging far too much in "sesquipedalianism", that is, the use of long words. In fact, I could be described as a "sesquipedalian polymath", that is to say, a person acquainted with various subjects of study who uses long words. Sure, it's more than a bit arrogant to insist that one is that, but what a great way to say it, no?

A few other tasty examples: "Lunatic" is derived from Latin word "luna", meaning moon and originally meant someone affected with the kind of insanity that was supposed to have recurring periods dependent on the changes of the moon. "Bedlam", on the other hand, is actually derived from the name of London's Hospital of St. Mary of Bethlehem, founded as a priory in 1247 and latter converted into a "hospital for lunatics" in about 1402. Bethlehem -> Bethlem -> Bethlam -> Bedlam.

Now maybe I don't get out enough, but I find stuff like that just fascinating.

So, if you fancy yourself even a minor "philologist" (one who rejoices in and studies words), I'd suggest picking up a copy of The Professor And The Madman at your earliest convenience.

I wear my geekdom like a burning badge of honor.

Definitions not found in the Oxford English Dictionary:

Digitalverein - Zu Hause
(chilly technodub from the fine folks at Thinner)

Various - Robots Selected Cuts
(mechanical melancholy)

Blood Duster - Cunt
(with tracks like "I Just Finished Sucking Off Metal Heads In The Mens Urinals" and "A Tracksuit Is Not Appropriate Metal Apparel", it has to be good)

Moby - Play
(Eminem is wrong; people do still listen to techno, although this isn't)

Various - Thinner Volume 03
(the nice thing about netlabels is you can make hundreds of CDs for nothing)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


So I'm working from home today thanks to the MTA and the Transit Workers' Union's continued efforts to make everybody miserable. I really don't know the exact arguments from both sides, but I figure they should just give each of the lead guys a sword and lock them in a room. Two men enter, one man leaves; then we find out who run Bartertown.

I guess I'll be walking across the Brooklyn Bridge tomorrow (along with Mayor Mike) to catch the PATH, which is blessedly still running. Off to the New Jersey office. The unfortunate thing is that work is really light now (for a change), so I'll be putting considerable effort into getting across the river(s) only to spend most of the day waiting for something to do, I suspect.


What is more disappointing and disconcerting is that I've got some fun plans this week which may be (and in some cases have already been) nixed. For example, I was supposed to see Danny tonight and give him his Xmas present (mmmmm... tasty 1996 Chateauneuf-Du-Pape), but his got to schlep back to Long Island. Getting here would be a challenge.

Again, alas.

Still, perhaps our two whiny baby groups will come to terms before the week is out. And let the rest of us get on with our lives...

The sounds of solace:

Prodigy - Music For The Jilted Generation
(because I do indeed have the poison)

Method Man And Redman - Blackout!
(the Funk Doc and Methical light da skunk)

Slotek - 7
(molasses in January)

Shizuo - Shizuo Vs. Shizor
(because ATR are a bunch of pussies)

The White Stripes - Elephant
(take your seven nations and shove 'em)

Monday, December 19, 2005

As if that weren't enough PS

OK. I've answered 40 questions. Here's one for you:

There's a woman here at work I say good morning and good night to every day. No romantic interest; she's just nice. She's got a nasty shiner this morning, though...

Does one ask where she got it?


Crack a forty

Questions stolen from Bianca.

1) Was 2005 a good year for you?
Pretty sucky on the whole. Too many deaths and catastrophes.

2) What was your favorite moment of the year?
Dancing my ass off at Meat Beat Manifesto.

3) What was your least favorite moment of the year?
Pretty much all of January and February.

4) Where were you when 2005 began?
A really crappy club in the meat packing district (thanks, Danny).

5) Who were you with?
Danny, the Zoppas, Andrew, Nado, etc.

6) Where will you be when 2005 ends?
Staten Island, I believe.

7) Who will you be with when 2005 ends?
Rick, Margaret, Angel, Trevor, etc.

8) Did you keep your new year’s resolution of 2005?
Didn’t make one.

9) Do you have a new year’s resolution for 2006?
Don't usually make them, but I think I'll go with less drinking, more music, dancing, and gym.

10) Did you fall in love in 2005?
No. ("I am empty, but I'm hopeful." - JKFlesh)

11) If yes, with who?
12) If yes, do they know?
13) Are you still in love with them?
14) Do you regret it?

15) Did you breakup with anyone in 2005?

16) Did you make any new friends in 2005?
Not really.

17) Who are your favorite new friends?

18) What was your favorite month of 2005?

19) Did you travel outside of the US in 2005?

20) How many different states did you travel to in 2005?

21) Did you lose anybody close to you in 2005?
My grandmother, my stepbrother, one of my Mom's cats, and my stepdad (almost).

22) Did you miss anybody in the past year?
Several people.

23) What was your favorite movie that you saw in 2005?

24) What was your favorite song from 2005?
"Forbidden Medicine" by Jacen Solo or
"End Of A Beginning (Sublight Version)" by Enduser or
"Driving In The Sun (Dimitri Tikovoi Remix)" by Cranes

25) What was your favorite record from 2005?
Calling The Vultures by Enduser or
Human 2.0 by Nasum

26) How many concerts did you see in 2005?
More than I gots fingaz.

27) Did you have a favorite concert in 2005?
Meat Beat Manifesto

28) Did you drink a lot of alcohol in 2005?

29) Did you do a lot of drugs in 2005?
Amazingly enough, still drug free (not counting da buze).

30) How many people did you sleep with in 2005?
None. Hey, at least I'm consistent.

31) Did you do anything you are ashamed of this year?
No, at least not anything I can remember.

33) What was the worst lie someone told you in 2005?
"I would have invited you up..."

34) Did you treat somebody badly in 2005?
No. I know I need to practice harder at this shit.

35) Did somebody treat you badly in 2005?
Of course. Such is the nature of humanity.

36) How much money did you spend in 2005?
A good amount.

37) What was your proudest moment of 2005?
Not a lot of prideful moments this year. Maybe people telling me I was a good dancer?

38) What was your most embarrassing moment of 2005?
Probably doing something stupid while drunk.

39) If you could go back in time to any moment of 2005 and change something, what would it be?

40) What are your plans for 2006?
More DJing, release at least 2 more CDs of my own stuff, go scuba-diving more. Oh, and maybe mass genocide.

5 reasons I didn't sleep with anyone in 2005:

Big Black - The Hammer Party
(I kill what I eat)

Killswitch Engage - The End Of Heartache
(where do I sign up for that?)

Mighty Force - Hypnovel
(burble bass, breakbeats and bad vocals)

Various - Spintrax 11
(including the aforementioned Jacen Solo track; sweet)

Cowboy Junkies - Studio
(OK, maybe the ladies wouldn't mind this one)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

No redemption

Tookie Williams was executed early this morning. An admitted criminal (though he continued to deny being involved in the murders he was ultimately put to death for), Williams was the co-founder of the Crips, but I believed experienced in prison what he was sent there for.


This was a man who was a gangster, but went on to become a Nobel Peace Prize nominee as well as a nominee for the Nobel Prize in Literature. He turned his back on his life of crime and in fact wrote children’s books with a strong anti-gang message. In short, I think he was an example of how this prison system is supposed to work: it's as much about reform and a chance for redemption as it is about punishment. By executing him, that reform was for naught.

One of the respondents to a CNN telephone poll put it very well: "Why should we kill a productive member of society? There are too few of them as it is." Many questioned the sincerity of Williams' reform. But would his sincerity have even been relevant if his sentence had been commuted to life in prison? He would still be alive to write more books and preach his anti-gang message (sincere or not), yet would still be safely in prison (to quell the fears of those who would assume he would return to his criminal ways).

This was revenge.

I saw many "Read the Bible: An eye for an eye" posters amongst the pro-death penalty protesters. What about "Thou shalt not kill"? There’s no caveat that says, "except for somebody that killed somebody".

By killing Tookie Williams, we denied the man a chance at reform and redemption (and, in fact, negated a true example of reform). Even if the changes he manifested were false (which I don’t believe they were), he will now never have the chance to truly change.

Hear this:

Blue Sky Research - MP3 Compilation
(glitchy ambiences)

DJ Throttler - MP3 Compilation 1
(aggro as fuck)

A Perfect Circle - Thirteenth Step
(the amazing Maynard continues)

Hardfloor - Respect
(bubble bubble blurb blurb)

DJ Krush & Toshinori Kondo - Ki-Oku
(down with the sound underground)

Monday, December 12, 2005


A brief list of things I don't understand:

1) Dudes who hide in a stall when they pee instead of using the urinal
3) Anyone who watches NASCAR
4) The Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular
5) Women's fascination with shoes
6) Women
7) Jerry Lewis
8) Anyone who watches Jerry Lewis (including all of France)
9) People who don't listen to music
10) People who listen to modern country music (not Pasty, Johnny, etc.)
11) People who think they can use heroin and not fuck their lives up
12) People who bring kids under the age of 5 to movies
13) People who bring kids under the age of 2 anywhere
14) R&B (not rhythm and blues in the classic sense; more like Repetitive & Boring)
15) People's continued fascination with Princess Diana
16) People's need for organized religion
17) People who think Lance Armstrong is not an athlete ("He just rides a bike")
18) Reality TV
19) NASCAR (I find it so mind boggling, I had to mention it twice)
20) People who don't move into the train all the way

5 things I completely understand:

Helmet - Strap It On
(and smack somebody with it)

David Bowie - Earthling
(dnb from DB)

Various - Rekall's Override Mix
(lickle bit o' breaks, lickle bit o' beat)

Goldfrapp - Black Cherry
(I should have gone to her concert instead of working)

L.U.Cipha - Witchez Bible
(so toxic)

Monday, December 05, 2005

Screaming for vengeance

My gig at Lucky 13 was a success. I spun from about 10pm until about 4:30am. If you want to check out the playlist, wander over to my website and select "Lucky 13 12/03/2005" from the Playlist dropdown. Many, many tracks.

I have to say that while it was a lot of fun, it was exhausting. Coming up with a flow when you're spinning tracks that are sometimes only a minute long can be quite the challenge. Add to that the number of people who came up and made requests and you've got an endurance test. Nothing like trying to respond to a request while trying to select the next track in 30 seconds.

It was especially tricky because of the diversity of the crowd. A lot of people hear "punk/metal" and just assume it's just that. You play punk and you play metal. However, this doesn't take into account the myriad of styles within those two umbrella terms. Lucky 13 plays home to punkers, metal heads, emo kids, thrashers, and any number of other subgenre music lovers. Hence the difficulty in bringing something for everybody. "Do you have (insert obscure Finnish metal band here)?", "Have you got (never heard of punk rock band from Ohio)?", etc.

In all, I think people were happy and were pretty understanding when it came to me not having what they wanted. I suggested to Melody that next time I spin, we make it a "BYOCD" (bring your own CD) event, similar to Contempt. This would allow me a little more range and keep the folks a bit happier. I've also got an evil plan which would involve me bringing a laptop and burning a copy of the CD before playing it (heh heh heh). We'll see.

So, all in all, a lot of fun, even if I did piss off the occasional 300 pound fan of Tad.

Giving the ears a rest with:

Tom Waits - Bad News Out Of A Pretty Mouth
(two discs of my Waits faves)

Bluescreen - Undercurrents
(thump thump thump squeal)

Goldfrapp - Felt Mountain
(lounge from outer space; seeing her tonight!)

Enduser - Calling The Vultures
(OK, can't always give the ears a rest)

Various - Bludgeoned
(OK, REALLY CAN'T give the ears a rest)

Friday, December 02, 2005

One thousand points of blight

January 17th, 1977: Gary Gilmore is killed by a firing squad in Utah.

December 2, 2006: Kenneth Lee Boyd dies from a lethal injection in North Carolina.

And between those two dates?

We executed 998 other people.

Yup. This country has now successfully killed 1000 people, all with official sanction. Let's hear it for our society’s firm belief in human rights, justice, and the possibility of redemption for everybody.

Death chamber blues:

Slayer - Reign In Blood
(happy music for happy people)

System Of A Down - Toxicity
(so good I wish I'd bought it four years ago; simply amazing)

Consolidated - The Myth Of Rock
(because industrial music is fascism)

Beef Terminal - The Grey Knowledge
(feel a million rainy days in 65 minutes)

Various - DJ Abstract 10: E To X Mix
(cause sometimes ya just gotta get stupid)

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Lame ass PS

I gotta say that Risk by Megadeth just SUCKS. Sounds like Poison or Jon Bon Blow-Me. Mad soft. WTF? :-(

Like, oh my Gawd!

"Hey, Benji! I heard you like, went shopping yesterday!"

"Yeah, I totally got my spend on."

"Like, what did you get?!?!"

"A bunch of really cool CDs.
L.D. 50 by Mudvayne,
Life Is Peachy by Korn,
Soundgarden's Superunknown,
Toxicity by System Of A Down,
Risk by Megadeth,
The Clash's London Calling,
Down With The Scene by Kid606,
Master Of Reality by... Sabbath!,
Screaming For Vengeance by Judas fucking Priest!"

"... Kid606? What the fuck is THAT shit?"