Thursday, March 31, 2005

Perhaps you should see this

Read this. If the Pope can do it, perhaps Terri's wishes weren't so unholy, eh?

Here we go

Wolfowitz is now president of the World Bank. Thank goodness I don't live in a non-democratic country in search of aid.

(he says, looking over his shoulder for incoming flames)

What was missed

The following comment was posted:

No one talks about "it". It has been a shame and a huge lost opportunity for the past 15 years not to reach out to the real demon in Terri's case --BULIMIA! What a horrendous missed opportunity to address the serious illnesses and deaths of girls and women by eating disorders.

How terribly sad and ironic that a treatable illness to starve oneself, should find the same person denied a feeding tube and starved? Why isn't ANYONE addressing Terri's ten years of BULIMIA? Why isn't her death being used to save others with eating disorders?

My sister's, very 'slim', and very beautiful, 34 year old best friend died of heart failure from bulimia three years ago. No one would listen to my sister's pleas to get her help.

This is about far more than right to die issues. It is also about treating mental illness in one more of its disguises.It is a shame to lose this chance to address eating disorders as a cause of death.

Hear, hear, Barb! Couldn't agree with you more. An ex of mine was lucky enough to survive bulimia, but moved on to compulsive exercise. She still refuses to get help, unfortunately. It's a crime that the fact that Terri's condition was caused by an eating disorder has been largely overlooked. It might bring some much deserved focus onto this issue.

You've got blog on your shirt

Wow! Seems someone has started a blog about my blog. Or at least about me. I feel strangely complimented. I've posted a response there to Marvin's comment on my last Schiavo posting, so check it out.

Does this mean I have a stalker?

It's finally over

Terri Schiavo has died.

Hopefully this will put an end to this particular chapter of the "right to life" debate. I sincerely doubt it, though. I suspect she will posthumously become the poster child for the cause, her husband will continue to be demonized by these people, and her parents will be portrayed as long suffering (which they are, but not for the reasons they should be) and devout.

It's my hope that everyone involved in this unfortunate situation will come to terms with both Terri's death and the actions of those on both sides of the debate. It would be too bad if this entire saga only resulted in more misunderstanding, mistrust, and anger.

Bigotry and Art

Plucked from an email about bigotry, music, and mixed race folk:

(regarding racial purity)

What an incredibly stupid concept.

As if ANYONE was truly racially pure any more. I suppose if you take the broadest definition and cut along color lines (white, brown, yellow), you'd increase the number of successful candidates, but hell, I'm lily-white, but Scotch-Irish, English, German, and Pict. For fuck's sake, I'm a white boy melting pot, but would that make me Aryan? Dumb dumb dumb.

As for listening to / supporting music and art with heavy racist/bigoted overtones... This is a bit more tricky.

I LOVE black metal and I LOVE hardcore rap, but there's no denying that these seemingly extreme opposites have hate in common. One says kill the Jews and the mud people, the other says kill cops and white people (oh, and the Jews too; always popular, that). However, appreciation of the art itself does not necessarily indicate support for the message it contains. I certainly don't live the "black metal" lifestyle and I am seriously low on bling and gats, so gangsta is similarly out. Unfortunately, most people cannot separate the message from the medium.

If anything, I use creations like these to bring these issues into sharp relief. The current state of racism and bigotry in America is that it is no longer socially acceptable (at least in the mainstream, though this holds truer for race than it does sexual orientation). The end result of this is that these opinions have gone underground. There are fewer and fewer examples of openly bigoted people (David Duke, the Pope, and the Prez come to mind), so in a way, it's almost helpful for these idiots to come right out and say what they think. Easier to logically counter an argument when you can attack and contradict specific statements and beliefs.

In the end, my opinions are not weak enough to be swayed by some Hitler or Farrakhan wannabe. In my opinion, the higher they stand on their soapboxes, the easier they are to knock down. In the meantime, though, I'll bang or bob my head to them and while I'm having a good time, any of their brainwashed fans can try to debate me.


Various - DJ C's Rubber Teeth
(junglism, dub, hiphop and reggae mashup)

Various - DJ C's Asthma Camp
(more slammin' beats from DJ C)

Various - DJ C's Junglist Bashment
(because too much is never enough)

Various - DJ C's Mid90s Style Chillout
(The Orb, Aphex Twin, and gorgeous nobtwiddlers)

Various - DJ C's Mix For Sharon
(sensing a pattern here?)

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

In praise of acid

Oh, how I miss the heady days of the mid 1990s. The glory days of Clinton; you could still find a decent rave; the tech bubble had yet to burst and I was making more money that Cressus.

And there was ACID.

No, I don't mean the drug. I mean the music (although one could put two and two together and suss out the reason the music was named thusly). Squelchy, heavy beated, joyously mindless dance music that was simply irresistible. You could not NOT dance to this stuff. Hell, even CRD victims (Caucasian Rhythm Disorder) could not help but flop around aimlessly to acid.

I bring this up because Derek sent me an email about a tune he couldn't track down. At first, I thought it might be "Fetish" by Baby Ford, but prolly not. Hopefully D will hum the track in question to me next time I see him. But I still want everybody to hear "Fetish" because it's an amazing tune. Pretty acid. Not as acid-y as Hardfloor (they are so great!) but still tasty in the extreme.

Bobbin' ma head to dis:

Baby Ford - Fetish
("You're the queen in my dreams")

KMFDM - Godlike
(like Slayer, only slow and German)

Austere - Fade
(amazing ambient from Oregon)

A Great White Bird - Collection 1
(this is the kind of stuff that inspires me to create music)

Alec Empire - The Destroyer
(head honcho of DHR fucks you three times and punches you in the mouth)

Old journal entry rewrite

We lie with night's crushed velvet blossom spread above, dew drop stars illuminating us. Gazing heavenward, arm beneath you. Small and joined, having stumbled in the dark too long. We listen. We learn. We hope.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


I don't understand this. A man's death sentence was thrown out because the jurors had apparently consulted a bible during deliberations.

That's just ridiculous.

Don't get me wrong. I have serious issues with the death penalty. I'd recommend that everyone read "Who Owns Death" by Robert J. Lifton and Greg Mitchell, "Debating the Death Penalty" by Hugo Adam Bedau, as well as other related works. This is far from a black and white issue. I'd consider myself against the death penalty, but it is a tricky question.

My point is, however, that reading the bible just seems like a foolish reason to cast aside a ruling. I don't see why consulting a non-legal text should be grounds for changing anything. Most people who actually believe in the content of the bible are probably already familiar with the salient points, as well as some of the BIG QUOTES:

"An eye for an eye" (Exodus 21:24)
"He who kills a man shall be put to death" (Lev. 24:17)

(BTW, always found it amusing that Matthew pretty much comes out and says this is bullshit; see Matthew 5:38-39. Thanks, Matt.)

(But remember, the bible contains no contradictions...)



I just don't see the logic in overturning this ruling simply because the jurors read something. Makes no sense. I wonder if the ruling would have stood had they consulted the koran or the torah? Interesting question, no?

My favorite part of the CNN article is, of course, the quote from the ever reliable Focus on the Family folks.

"Today's ruling further confirms that the judicial branch of our government is nearly bereft of any moral foundation."

You're right. Nothing indicates a true lack of moral foundation like a reluctance to put a person to death.

Oh, by the way, aren't you "pro-life"?


Soundtrack to today's short film in my head:

Horchata - Basidia
(glitchy downtempo wraps around your brain and squeezes)

Shizuo - Shizuo Vs. Shizor
(digital hardcore, baby; we are harder than you)

Pop Will Eat Itself - Go Box Frenzy
(the Poppies are crap; sample it, loop it, fuck it, eat it)

Meat Beat Manifesto - Original Fire
(rarities and off mixes; in the beginning, there was Jack; and Jack had a groove)

Beef Terminal - Crosscheck And Departure
(when I grow up, I want to be just like MD Matheson)

Monday, March 28, 2005

And the dumb just get dumber

From CNN:

The Holy Communion that Terri Schiavo received Sunday afternoon was administered by Monsignor Thaddeus Malanowski, aided by the chaplain of the hospice where Schiavo lay.

"I gave her
the drop of precious blood on the tongue, so we know she received Christ," Malanowski said. He said he was unable to give Schiavo the traditional host wafer "because her tongue is dry and parched."

Ummm.... First of all, IT'S WINE, you dumbass. Does anyone actually BELIEVE in transubstantiation? Second of all, the reason you couldn't give her the traditional host wafer is not "because her tongue is dry and parched". It's because she's been BRAINDEAD since 1990 and is therefore unable to swallow.

Guess he didn't get the memo. Grrrrr.

Hopefully this will all be over soon, although I'm sure Terri Schiavo's parents will try some stupidity after she does die. Probably try and have her husband brought up on charges of negligent homicide. No criminal court will pay attention to them, so then we can look forward to the civil suit.

"Ignorance and fear - those are the twin bases of every religion." - de Sade

Feeding the hungry ears

Quite a musical weekend. Bianca spun at the Apocalypse Lounge and did a mad juicy set. I was pretty wiped out, but still managed to shake the moneymaker more than I expected. She was laying down an eclectic mix of stuff and the number of AW YEAHS that were heard from our crowd was impressive. Bits o' techno, bits o' goth, bits o' industrial. She even played House Of God by DHS. Noice. I wonder who gave her that... ;)

Since I didn't get home until 5am on Saturday, I took a pass on Contempt. Too bad. My friend Mike was spinning in the "lounge" (although it's hardly that any more) and I haven't seen him since January. He lives out in the wilds of Jersey City and is married, so has little time for the old crowd. I suppose friendships grow and change, ebb and flow. He's my bud and always will be, but it ain't like it used to be.

Sunday, however, I was in for a double treat. Former Dogs Blood Rising head honcho Angelique spun a set at Demerara opening for Derek's band Dream Into Dust.

Angelique played a track off of our upcoming release and it sounded great. Also played a lot of dark folk and droney stuff. Really enjoyed it. Interesting without being intrusive. The depths of her musical taste continue to impress me. It's rare that folks can find stuff that's obscure enough that I haven't heard of it, yet good enough that I like it. In my opinion, some stuff stays obscure for a reason; most often because it sucks. Luckily, Angel's ear is excellent and always manages to find to good stuff.

Dream Into Dust took the stage shortly before 10 and played a fantastic set, including several tracks off The Lathe Of Heaven, one of the two CDs I have by them.

DID's sound is quite unique. Acoustic with electronic, quiet one moment, noisy the next, but never overwhelming. Derek's vocals remind me a lot of Depeche Mode's Martin Gore. Delicate and lofty, but with an underlying power and conviction that is undeniable. Additionally, his falsetto occasionally brings to mind Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys, but don't let these allusion to synthpop bands confuse you. There's more Bauhaus and Tones On Tail going on here, for while Derek's voice emotes, Bryin Dall creates some of the most dynamic and disturbing guitar sounds I've heard. He uses various objects (for example, a machete) to manipulate his instrument in all kinds of odd ways. I've no idea what kind of guitar it is (Derek told me once, but I've since forgotten), but it's very Frankensteinian. Lots of buttons and switches. Add to this all the effects pedals, etc. and you've got yourself a one man band. Add to THAT Derek's lyrics and vocal chops, plus his acoustic guitar, and you're talking wall of sound. Easy to get lost in and you'll like what you find in there.

Don't know the keyboardist or bass player they performed with, but these guys knew their stuff as well. The bass was fat and round and timed perfectly so as not to distract from what was going on around it. Synths were nicely placed in the mix and again, didn't overwhelm or draw attention away from Derek and Bryin's stylings. In all, a great show. They were the openers, so the set was short. I look forward to seeing them again.

Was home by 11:30 (?!?!?!), so I am actually functional today. Joy.

Serenading the cerebrum:

Dream Into Dust - The Lathe Of Heaven
(as mentioned above; BTW, Derek does all the art work and it's wicked)

Muggs - Dust
(just picked this up; Cypress Hill's resident DJ tries his hand at triphop; so far, not too bad; "Far Away", however, is incredible)

Scorn - List Of Takers
(recorded live for a Birmingham radio show; beats and growling bass from MJ Harris)

Tom Waits - Blue Valentine
("Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis"; need I say more?)

Various - Tip Records - TIP CD1
(techno trance from England circa 1995; acid drenched thump beats like a rave in a can)

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Happy PS

That German site I was bitching about has removed my CD. Thank goodness. It's always nice to have exposure, but not in their dishonest kind of way.

Is it just me?

I realize I've been spending a lot of time ranting about the Schiavo case, but this has really gotten under my skin. I'm just amazed by the inherent contradiction in the people that are so gungho for sticking that damn tube back in this poor woman. Most of these "supporters" are religiously motivated. Don't they realize that if not for human interference, Terri Schiavo would have died years ago. So much for the power of God. In a way, you could say that by supporting the artificial extension of this life, they are contravening God's wishes. After all, if these folks believe that God makes things happen for a reason, then surely they can see the logic in the fact that it might be God's will that she be dead. I simply find it infuriating that this extremely personal and tragic situation is being co-opted by people for all the wrong reasons.

As I ease off my high horse, I'd like to mention I've taken a couple of nifty shots with my camera phone. Quality is not so great, but I think the pics look kind of cool.

Taken in the lobby at BAM

The exciting mens' room at work

Emergency exit stairs


Today's audio supplements:

Tweaker - The Attraction To All Things Uncertain
(post NIN Chris Vrenna lays down the beauty with the likes of David Sylvian and others)

Depeche Mode - Violator
(their masterpiece; icy and warm at the same time)

Fusebox - MP3 Compilations 1 & 2
(speedy jungle and dnb bashin')

Building Castles Out Of Matchsticks - It's Raining In My Bedroom
(amazing DIY electronics from Worthy)

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Dumbass PS

This is why Bush was re-elected.

Living in New York City, I forget just how stupid a large percentage of the rest of the country is. Don't get me wrong. There are plenty of stupid people here in NYC and in the Northeast as a whole. Hell, a lot of the people I work with voted for Dumbya (then again, many of them are rich, so QED). California also has it's share of idiots. However, neither coast can hold a candle to the positively athletic stupidity of the South. So this is true.

I'm pissed

A little history.

Oregon's ambient masterminds Austere and I did a CD called evergone. They sent me samples and I subsequently arranged and manipulated these soundbits into tunes. I'm really proud of this album and everyone involved was pleased with the results.

So, I sell copies through my site and Austere sells copies through CDBaby. This German site apparently was put together by some chumps who simply plastered a new front end onto CDBaby and upped the prices. We sell our CDs for $10 US. This new site sells them for 11.99 Euro, or about $15 US.

I've sent them a note (as have the gents from Austere), but so far there's been no response. I've no idea what to do next. It's not like I can call Interpol and complain.

So, short of boycotting everything German (which would be stupid), don't by stuff from these fucks. In fact, go to their website and complain. Also tell everyone you know and have them complain, too. Maybe we can crush the site with bad traffic.

Wouldn't that be nice.

Relaxing me so I don't buy a gun and a ticket to Berlin:

The Moral Universe Within - The Moral Universe Within
(ambient noise from the good folks at Worthy Records)

Hex - The Gates Of Hell
(badass white dude from York, PA (!?!?!?) kickin' it about the joys of weed, murder and Satan; some funny shit)

Big Black - Rich Man's Eight Track Tape
(Steve Albini charged Nirvana millions to produce In Utero, then produced a Chicago garage band's CD for a case of beer; the guy just rules)

Dead Can Dance - A Passage In Time
(many of their best cuts on one CD; so sweet)

Ol' Dirty Bastard - Nigga Please
(R.I.P. Russell Jones)

Various - Louisiana Swamp Blues
(Guitar Slim, Clifton Chenier, AND Boo Zoo Chavis? Sign me up)

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Schiavo PS

I should be allowed to shoot these people (or at least force feed them).

Turn on the sweat machine

In a somewhat effective bid to keep myself from turning into a flabby, middle-aged person, I've been taking spinning class (the bike kind, not the DJ kind) at my local New York Sports. These classes have been fun and challenging, but for the most part, the music the instructors play is LAME in the extreme. Difficult to go maniacal to classic rock and Enya. No offense to either. I just can't go balls out to "Orinoco Flow". Sorry.

Anyway, the one shining light in all this musical darkness is Jerry, the guy who teaches the class on Mondays at 6:30am. His music kicks butt. I also gave him one of my DJ demos (DJ Abstract's Hyperlight Mix 4) and he loved it. In fact, he's used it a couple of times in class, which is awesome. Always fun to go crazy to your own set of tunes.

Jerry keeps threatening to email me, but so far has not. I decided to forego the waiting and throw together a new mix.

It is a monster.

May I present DJ Abstract's Sweatbox Mix 5

01 DJ Bubba - The Unknown Future
02 Current Value - Into The Light
03 DJ Wildchild - Forbidden (Drumsound & Bassline Smith RMX)
04 Chris Hale - Beautiful Moon
05 Enduser - Jung N' Base
06 EOSS - Beat
07 DJ? Acucrack - Platinum
08 DJ Flack - The Story Of Oh (EOSS Remix)
09 Resfilter - Sketchy
10 Jimmy Behan - Deeper Than Heaven

(Hey, Derek. I totally stole the cover from you. I'm not selling the mix, but if Jerry gives me money, I'll give you half. Your photos rule.)

I designed the mix with spinning in mind, so the disc flows as follows: 10 to 15 minutes of high-paced breakbeat for sprinting and intensity followed by 5 to 8 minutes of slower, beat-heavy tunes for climbs and recovery. Repeat as needed for about 50 minutes.


Hopefully Jerry will enjoy it. I know it was fun to make. I was jumping around my bedroom like a mad fool whilst mix it. Just kickin'.

Today's headcrush party:

Various - DJ Abstract's Sweatbox Mix 5
(the aforementioned)

Underworld - Second Toughest In The Infants
(hear the boys do electronica symphonies)

Front Line Assembly - Live Wired
(Bill Leeb is taller than you. And meaner. Guitar industrial that goes for the throat)

Tom Waits - Franks Wild Years
(probably my favorite Waits album, although that is a TOUGH choice to make)

Tricky - Maxinquaye
(in a fight to the death with Dummy for greatest triphop album of all time)

Monday, March 21, 2005

Unplug me

So they finally went a did it. In a thinly veiled effort to bring the "right to life" debate to the fore of the American justice system, Dumbya signed over jurisdiction in the Terri Schiavo case to the feds. Not only did he do this, he framed it in incredibly slanted language: the bill "will allow federal courts to hear a claim by or on behalf of Terri Schiavo for violation of her rights." Nothing about the bill determining who is ultimately responsible for Schiavo (in my opinion, it should be her husband), but a blantant endorsement of her parents' position. Once again, Bush mixes his personal beliefs with his politics: "In cases like this one, where there are serious questions and substantial doubts, our society, our laws, and our courts should have a presumption in favor of life."

Let me say for the record, right now and for everyone to hear, if I am ever in Terri Schiavo's unfortunate position, unplug me. I have a living will (it's in my desk at home), but given current events, I'd like to make my wishes even more explicit.

The current political climate in the country continues to give me the willies. "Patriot" acts, interference in the judicial process, wars declared under false pretenses, ruinous ideas regarding Social Security, the list goes on and on. I only hope that the Democratic party manages to find someone electable for 2008. I'd agree that the differences between the Reppies and the Dems are getting less and less noticable, but liberals (i.e. the Dems) are still more on the side of the angels, IMHO.

Meanwhile, here's a turtle that apparently looks like Satan.
appears my server's down or sumpin'

"In the porches of my ears do pour these leperous distilments" (apologies to Will):

Wu-Tang Clan - Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
(rough, rugged and raw with RZA and crew)

Bauhaus - 1979-1983 Volumes 1 & 2
(still one of the creepiest bands on all time)

Lords Of Acid - Lust
(Darling, come here...)

Helmet - Meantime
(Page Hamilton uses your head for target practice)

James Brown - Funk Power (1970: A Brand New Thang)
(James and the JBs prove they're the undisputed, mighty fiends of funk)

Friday, March 18, 2005

We done, Whedon?

For years I fought it.

Years and years.

Then the infection flared and took over. It's all Rick's fault.

I love everything Joss Whedon. Buffy. Angel. Hell, even Firefly, though not as much. Firefly suffered because it never had a chance to fully develop. First seasons for most programs are fairly weak when compared to later episodes. Firefly was cancelled at the end of season one, so we never got to see Joss fully flesh out the rest of things as he did with Buffy and Angel. Looking forward to the full length feature, though.

Anyway, thanks to the godsend that is NetFlix, I have just finished watching the last season of Angel. Unfortunately, the ending had to be rushed because the show was also canceled. The last few episodes definitely show this. Things became apocalyptic (or more apocalyptic than usual, given the nature of the show) too fast and there was some resolve, but not enough. I was definitely left wanting.

Thanks, Fox.

The pacing for the final season of Buffy was, on the other hand, perfect. The slow boil approach, so that when the final episode arrived, everything was perfectly in place and it all made sense. Fantastic.

Anyway, all fawning aside, I thought I'd add some more fawning.

Joss needs to do more stuff. I miss his brand of television. I don't watch TV very much (in fact, with the advent of NetFlix, not at all), so I'm really picky about what I watch. 24, The West Wing (the best show on television, bar none) and CSI are great, but there's something about Joss sense of reality that pleases me immensely.

So, Joss. Get on the stick and give us some new stuff. Who's with me?

"Me and Aaron Sorkin can go headup any time!"
my server must be down or sumpin'

Today's headspace pilots:

Nina Simone - Collection 1
(some of her best stuff, courtesy of Danny)

Frank Sinatra with the Red Norvo Quintet - Live In Australia, 1959
(the Chairman kicks in Aussie style, including a devastating rendition of "Angel Eyes")

Ministry - Psalm 69
(it's a way to succeed and a way to suck eggs; Al hates you more than you know)

A Beautiful Machine - A Beautiful Machine
(shoegazing a la MBV)

Bassomatic - Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Bass
(William Orbit brings the funk, pre-Madonna)

Peter Gabriel - Passion
(further proof that Phil Collins is incredibly lame)

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Our impending doom (not so close)

Well, looks like my computer here at work is do for yet another stint in the shop. Lot of stuff not working. So, while I wait for the men in the white coats to arrive and whisk my little lappy away, I've been cruising CNN and came across this. Sounds like I definitely need to acquire a copy of Harold Schechter's "Savage Pastimes: A Cultural History of Violent Entertainment."

Seems to me we spend entirely too much time whinging on about how moral corrupt our society is becoming and how we must "protect our children" (a catch phrase that drives me up the fucking wall) from the evils of sex, rock and roll, homosexuality, and all that other wickedness which pervade our disintegrating Eden.

Wake up and smell the bullshit, people.

From CNN: "Humans are innately violent, Schechter argues, though we have evolved elaborate social structures to keep us from acting on our darker urges."

Ain't it the truth. We can express in music, film and print media all the rage and hate and lust and greed we want without actually following through on it. There are, of course, exceptions. Some examples in the Norwegian black metal scene comes to mind, where the evils portrayed in the art are mirrored by the artist's actions in real life. Likewise, certain instances in gangsta rap are true to life.

Also, I suspect the general lameness that is country-western music paints a fairly accurate picture of life in dumb-fuck land.

Sorry, that was Northeastern Intellectual Elitist of me.

So we focus so much on keeping the airwaves free of filth like Howard Stern (not a fan, but what happened to him was ridiculous). Meanwhile, we wage war across the globe, continue to oppress our citizens here at home (not exactly warlord-dictator style, but our freedoms are shrinking), and are basically pricks to the rest of the world.

But thank God the FCC keeps us safe from Janet Jackson’s tits.

Phil and the boys know (R.I.P. Dime)
my server appears to be down or sumpin'

Keeping me from killing you (thanks, Maynard):

Johan Sharp / Bill Laswell - Visitation
(epic, sweeping bleep dub from Spacetime Continuum and the god of bass)

Godflesh - Songs Of Love And Hate
(JKFlesh crushes you like a bug and you like it)

Deep Forest - Deep Forest
(listen while the pygmies do Enigma)

The Clash - Combat Rock
(Let me tell you 'bout your blood bamboo kid.
It ain't Coca-Cola. It's rice)

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Incensed PS

Seems our Fearless Leader thinks Paul Wolfowitz will make a good president for the World Bank. Now there's a good move for international relations. Take the guy who is one of the driving forces behind the current "America Right Or Wrong" attitude towards foreign policy and put him in charge of doling out money to developing nations.

"Not democratic? Not a pro-American sycophant? No money for you!"

This is the guy who almost singlehandedly resurrected the "manifest destiny"-esque approach to world politics, continues to push for the use of military power to "promote democracy" throughout the world and counsels direct interference in the internal politics of other countries. This is one of the bastards that co-opted September 11th to push through his neo-con agenda.

"The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
-Reich Marshall Hermann Goering at the Nuremberg War Trials

Sound familiar?

I recommend that everybody check out Hijacking Catastrophe: 9/11, Fear & the Selling of American Empire for more information about this son of a bitch Wolfowitz and the rest of his right-wing nutjob buddies.

Struts his hour upon the stage

First off, I'd like to say hats off to Marti. She did an hour set last night for Cabaret At The Cave in Astoria and she did a fantastic job; great song selection, excellent execution, the whole nine yards. The crowd was really into it and she had us all in the palm of her hand.

After Marti set, there was an open mic. I did two Sinatra tunes ("The Lady Is A Tramp" and "My Way") and I've gotta say that singing with just a piano is VERY different than singing with, say, karaoke backup. No bass or percussion to follow. It was tough. I think I pulled it off OK, but could have sounded better. Also could have meshed with the piano player more. I tend to sing slightly behind the beat (a la Billie Holiday), so he kept trying to adjust his pacing to my style. The results were not as pleasant as they could be.

However, Marti's performance and the overall atmosphere of the evening has inspired me to try a bit of performing again. I'm going to get the number of Marti's accompanist and see if we can't throw together a lil something something. I haven't performed since I was about 10, so it's been awhile (something to the tune of 25 years), but I really want to do it again. There's a freedom and power I feel when I'm singing and that part of me is a natural exhibitionist.

Anyway, don't hold your breath looking for me in the pages of Variety, but stay tuned for news of shows in local dives perhaps?

Tickling the ivories in my head:

Various Artists - Texas Guitar Killers
(T-Bone Walker, Gatemouth Brown, Lightnin'; blues blues blues walkin' it home)

Various Artists - Bludgeoned, Volumes 1 & 2
(headcrushing mod metal mix thrown together by my partner in musical corruption, Gio)

Skalpel - Skalpel
(cut and paste down tempo using old Polish jazz records; toss in some live instruments and the results are angelic)

Cypress Hill - Cypress Hill
(that all time easy listening classic)

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

In praise of friends

So I'm rummaging around my CD collection this morning trying to figure out what I want to take to work with me (can't survive a day without tunes). Anyway, I stumble across a bunch of discs by my friend Mike’s Dubcrash project. Haven’t listen to these tracks in a long time, so I tossed them in my bag along with some other stuff.

I’d forgotten how good this music is!

Just finished Dark Down Deep and have started Lo Rez Past. The former is dark and moody. Very ethereal stuff, including a fantastic cover of “Shadows In The Rain” (my favorite Police song of all time). The latter is a lot more upbeat and dancey. Still dark as hell, but grooves a lot more.

I wish Mike would do more stuff like this. He’s very involved with his new band Smear Campaign, so I don’t think he’s doing too much stuff on his own. Smear Campaign is a REAL band, not just a one man project like his older stuff (not to mention mine), and they play out, so the time commitment is so much more. Still, I miss his old stuff. Electronic as fuck and don’t give a damn. Great lyrics (something I can’t do worth a damn) and funkyfunkyfunkydarkdarkdark.


Got some new samples from Angelique and hope to be throwing some tunes together based on them. I’m psyched about this project we’re doing. It’s been slow starting (we’re both really busy folk), but what we’ve got so far has been a lot of fun. Feels to me like it’s going to be a very diverse project, from dark ambient to rhythmic noise and lots of other nasty styles inbetwixt. We’ll see where it ends up.

Still need to think of a good name, though. Any suggestions?

Headnoddin’ to the following:

Dubcrash - Dark Down Deep
(beautiful and creepy all at once)

Dubcrash - Lo Rez Past
(DC lays down the dark, ambient funk; sound impossible? take a listen)

Beef Terminal - The Isolationist
(resplendent guitar ambient)

Prince - Purple Rain
(oh, shut up; it’s a classic; not as good as 1999 in my opinion, but still amazing)

Immortal - Sons Of Northern Darkness
(what day is complete without some Norwegian black metal?)

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Splintered in my head

Don't know what's going on, but woke up this morning feeling completely mental. I've been bouncing off the wall all day like I was hopped up on crystal or something (not that I'd actually know what's that like). Anyway, with this amount of boundless energy (which was not at all stiffled by an intense spin class this morning), several choices presented themselves.

a) Sit in front of the television and take in a movie. This might, however, result in self-immolation given how fucking hyper I am. So, option A is out.

b) More time at the gym. Problem is I did two spin classes yesterday (not to mention the one I did this morning), so I'm sore as well as hyper. Option B is therefore out.

c) Do something musical. Heheheheh. Option C it is.

So I threw together this INSANE mix, now entitled Headache Medicine. Completely all over the place. Very few people would like it (or get it).

I do.

I'm also going to toss a copy to Bianca because she's about as musically psychotic as I am and would appreciate this. For those of you who are interested, here's the tracklisting.

01 Sheep On Drugs - Motorbike
02 Revolting Cocks - Stainless Steel Providers
03 Cubanate - It
04 Nitzer Ebb - Control I'm Here
05 Front Line Assembly - Outcast
06 Enduser - Beatdown (Society Suckers Remix)
07 Ministry - Burning Inside
08 Dimmu Borgir - Allegiance
09 Shizuo - Emptiness
10 Hardfloor - Confuse
11 Enduser - East Side Breaks
12 Meat Beat Manifesto - Storm The Studio (DJ Swamp Mix)
13 DJ C - Billy Jungle
14 Smart E's - Apollo (Lunar Mix)
15 2 Live Crew - Hoochie Mama
16 Sheep On Drugs - Motorbike (Abstract's Fuckin Quik Mix)*

*I even did a REALLY quick remix of the Sheep On Drugs tune. Essential took the opening vocal sample and reversed it. Ain't I talented.

So no ear food listing today. These mix things tend to take all day.

Step 1: Do the mix while recording it in ProTools.
Step 2: Slice the individual tracks in ProTools.
Step 3: Dump the individual tracks from ProTools onto my hard drive.
Step 4: Convert the .wav files into .mp3 files.
Step 5: Burn the .mp3 files to CD.

Sounds like a lot of work, no?

Completely worth it.

Friday, March 11, 2005

And yet so far

Made another pilgrimage to Planet Rose last night and sang my lungs out. Danny accompanied me and we had a blast, being joined by Jason and two lovely ladies from Tennessee. The place was not overly packed, which is always nice because you can actually hear yourself sing. However, there was also a great deal of crowd participation, which was also a lot of fun.

Midway through the evening, there were several arrivals, including a lovely young woman. Said lady and I chatted a bit and even did a duet together. My mind was exploring the possibilities. However, upon closer proximity, I detected the slightest hint of my ancient enemy, tobacco. Sure enough, shortly after finishing her round at the mic, the woman puts on her coat and heads for the door, only to return a short time later, smelling even more of smoke. (For those of you not familiar with the Big Apple, smoking has been banned in bars and restaurants; hence the crowds of desperate puffers shivering outside your average NYC watering hole).

Damn it.

Here was a beautiful woman, my age, very nice and seemingly interested (she kissed me on the cheek when she and her friends left for the evening). Names were exchanged and hearty chuckles were had about this and that. In short, a great opportunity for me to ask for a number and perhaps land a date. However, I just couldn’t. I just can’t hack the smoker thing.

After all, who wants to kiss a butt can?

It was all very frustrating. I don’t absolutely despise being single, but it’s been two years now, and it grows tiresome. I’m fine company for myself and for the first time in my life I have more than my share of friends. But I’d love to have that kind of companionship one can only have from a lover. I'm not talking about sex (although that has something to do with it; who are we kidding here?), but that intimacy that comes from being that close with someone. I miss holding hands and walking down the street. I miss that little jump in the chest one gets upon seeing one’s S.O. Little stolen kisses in cabs and in the backs of restaurants.

The real romantical stuff.

Patience is a virtue, but I’ve been virtuous for quite a while now and would like to reap the rewards of being so decent (so says me). Perseverance. Perseverance.

Soothing the savage breast:

The Cure - Seventeen Seconds
(nothing picks you up like this gem from the Popes of Mope)

Meat Beat Manifesto - Storm The Studio R.M.X.S.
(Jack gets jacked, jerked, and reworked by everybody from Spooky to Merzbow; feel the burn)

Various Artists - Down And Out With The Blues
(a reminder that I really don’t have it that bad)

Ice - Under The Skin
(bottomless, dubbed-out, psycho-jazz heaviness from KMart and JKFlesh)

Sheep On Drugs - Motorbike/Mary Jane
(Me and Baby Jesus, take a trip... and ride)

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Recommended reading for the budding psychotic

Being an avid reader, I tend to burn through books pretty fast. This is normally a good thing, but it can be troublesome when one runs out of book midway through a trip. You're often left with the pitiful options available in airport bookstores or paltry train station newstands. However, there are occasions when forays into these bleak domains can yield amazing results. Case in point: the writings of Tim Dorsey.

I found myself trapped in the Atlanta by weather and flight delays. I'd just polished off Pandemic by Daniel Kalla (good book picked up on the way to Florida; didn't expect to eat it all in two days) and was now desperately sans-literature. So with hope in my heart I wandered into the Airport Bookstop (or somesuch) and started cruising the meager aisles.

Mostly crap. Lots of "Nationwide #1 Best Seller!" books that prove yet again "the dumbest buy the mostest" (cheers, Mr. Biafra). I was, however, struck by the neon yellow cover of a book pleasantly entitled Florida Roadkill. The tasty irony of having just arrived from the Sunshine State was not lost on me. Not in the least. Hence me picking up the book. And what goodies were in store...

There is something very wrong with Tim Dorsey. And I mean this in the most complementary fashion. Florida Roadkill incorporates all of the seat-of-the-pants madness that I love about Hunter Thompson (R.I.P) and none of the self-indulgence that I can't stand about Hunter Thompson. Add to this a dash of Will Self-ish irreverence and Burroughs-esque dry humor and you're beginning to get the picture. I plowed through this book in about 3 hours. So much fun. I won't go into extreme plot detail, but the story involves several malignant characters and lots of goofy (yet more than slightly twisted) situations. If I had the book with me, I'd include an example. I have, however, moved on to the next of Dorsey's books, Hammerhead Ranch Motel, which involves several of the characters from Florida Roadkill. That is to say those characters who survived the first book.

Tarantino should read this guy. Really.

So I would recommend to everyone who is slightly wrong in the head that they go out and grab some of Dorsey's work. Lots of belly laughs, even if they do sometimes involve death by forced inhalation of Fix-A-Flat...

Today's eardrum rumblers:

The Sisters Of Mercy - Some Girls Wander By Mistake
(the early years; Eldritch's voice still sounds like a coalmine whilst growling, "Life is short and love is always over in the morning.")

Matera - Same Here
(Mick Harris and Mauro Teho Teardo swaying from downtempo to techstep)

abstract audio systems - gossamer
(my sweet side rears its ugly head)

Nudge - Elaborate Devices For Filtering Crisis
(gourmet jazz/glitch/alt fusion)

Frank Sinatra - In The Wee Small Hours
(I get along without you very well; at least that's how I like to see it)

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Like a ton of bricks

Well, Florida was excellent. Warm and relaxing. All around a good time. Got delayed in the Atlanta airport on the way back, which was pretty awful but survivable.


I return to work with everything in a shambles. Why is it that whenever I go away (which is once in a blue moon), I return to chaos? And it's never something that I could have prevented. There's always some change outside of my control that throws the proverbial spanner in the works. Spent this morning cleaning up various messes and now things seem to be back on track.

Kind of.

However, there is a serious piece of bad news. I was pulled into another project about a month ago and their lead developer, my friend and colleague Vivek, had a death in the family while I was in Florida. Namely his father. What a year. Several people close to me have died and now the father of a friend of mine. 2005 is proving to be pretty brutal. Anyway, I may have to step up and fill in for Vivek while he is in India taking care of business. This could prove difficult, as my plate is suddenly very full.

When it rains, it pours.

I seem to be running around like a headless chicken, but I think I can get a handle on things. I hope Vivek is OK. Haven't heard from him (not surprising, given his current situation).

Alas, it looks like it going to be rough for a while. Will grin and bear.

Earwax removal duty:

The Acacia Strain - 3750
(pardon me while I rip your face off)

Freescha - Kids Fill The Floor
(pretty, quirky, electroblip glitch doodles)

Freescha - What's Come Inside Of You
(as above, but more funky and lowdown)

Chenard Walcker - The Lotus Opus
(cut and paste madness)

Enduser - Run War
(more juicy thump 'n' breaks from the Queen City)

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Bound for the land of sun

So it's off to Florida tomorrow for a couple of days. It will be good to see Dad. This will be the first time I've seen him since his openheart about a month ago. Nice to get away from this damned New York weather, too. I've started to get that little scratch in the back of my throat that signals I'm getting sick. Hopefully I can dodge it. Amazing what a little warmth and sunshine will do.

I am so tired of winter. I realize that I live in New York City on purpose, so I should just shut up and suck it up. It's just so hard to stay positive when it's dark when you wake up and dark by the time you get home. Spring (my fave) and summer are so much easier to handle. Sunshine most of the time and warm breezes. Tasty.

Wow, do I sound like a pussy.

Sur les wheels de steel:

Enduser - From Zero
(breakcore headcrush party!)

Wynton Marsalis - The Midnight Blues
(had forgotten I had this; stumbled on it when listen to Massive Attack)

Johnny Cash - Johnny Cash At San Quentin
(continues to enthrall me)

Julee Cruise - Floating Into The Night
(David Lynch's lyrics set to Badalamenti's music; can you beat it?)

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

"Food stamps and free cheese

Can't beat a cure for a sick disease."
- Paris

Oh yes. What a terribly overlooked figure in hiphop.

I'm listening to The Devil Made Me Do It right now. I'd almost forgotten how good it is. And so 1990. Yes, 1990; back when hiphop had something to say. It's albums like this one that make you realize just how lame "bling rap" is. This is an MC whose lyrics and production simply crush most of the chumps in the rap game today. No time wasted on how much money he's got, how many bitches he's pulled, or what how many rivals he's shot. Pro black with brains.

Oh man. Just kicked into "Mellow Madness". The chorus is based on a Sade hook. So good.

Anyway, back to the lameness of current hiphop. I know that there is good stuff out there, but it seems like mainstream hiphop culture has just gone to shit. Apparently somebody in The Game's posse shot somebody in Fifty Cent's crew this morning. Dumb, dumb shit.

Biggie and 2Pac.

Hell, they even killed JMJ. WTF?

It's my hope that some form of conscious rap will come to the forefront of hiphop again. Where's PE? Where's BDP? Hell, I'd even settle for battle raps like Rakim and MC Shan again. Put down the gat and pick up the mic again.

From "Wretched": "Mindless music for the masses makes you think less of the one that hates ya."

2 eggs, a cup of flour and:

Paris - The Devil Made Me Do It
(an important piece of hiphop history)

The Acacia Strain - 3750
(roaring punk metal eating little emo-bitches for breakfast)

Prime Minister Pete Nice & Daddy Rich - Dust To Dust
(Pete Nice's one and only post-3rd Bass album; pity. I miss those guys too)

The Bug - Pressure
(stripped down, twisted, doublefucked dancehall from Kevin Martin)

Various Artists - Full Cold Moon Discs 1-3
(three disc tribute to Coil's Jhonn Balance - R.I.P.)

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Musical PS

Just finished a remix for the Lula Dutronic remix contest at Acid Planet. You can check out the original track here and my remix here.

You can also check out the other remix I submitted for the Tommy Lee contest. Came in second for this one, but got disqualified because I used loops that weren't part of the contest. Boo hoo.

Let me know what you think.


The Man In Black

Well, I finally picked up a copy of Johnny Cash At San Quentin. What a great record. Very similar in feel to ...At Folsom Prison, but more immediate and fiery. His rapport with his audience (and there is no denying that it is HIS audience) is spectacular. You can hear how he feeds off the aggression that must have been stewing in that mess hall. He does TWO renditions of "San Quentin" and the crowd goes completely nuts. When he breaks in to "Folsom Prison Blues", it's like an earthquake hits the place. Just amazing. I was also amused (and not at all surprised) to discover that this is where the famous shot of him giving the finger to the camera was taken.

Seems my server is down or sumpin'.

Yet with all the rowdiness and channeled aggression you can hear in the recording, Cash shines just as brightly when doing spirituals. His rendition of "(There'll Be) Peace In The Valley" is profoundly moving and while the lyrics to "He Turned The Water Into Wine" are very simplistic, they're delivered with such a deep conviction that you can't doubt Cash's faith for a second.

And it's this that is the quintessence of Cash. In fact, it's the reason why he's such an amazing artist. He's a man that experiences a full range of emotions, from rage to joy to humbling faith before his God. It's the conflict between these different aspects of the man that make him so fascinating and charismatic, for while he is larger than life in many ways, he remains a man and it's that which his audiences identifies with.

What's on today's charter:

Johnny Cash - At San Quentin
(see above!)

Bonechurch - Ghosts In Silt
(yet more self-love goin' on)

Dimmu Borgir - Enthrone Darkness Triumphant
(trying hard to get into this record; not as good as Death Cult Armageddon)

Sisters Of Mercy - First And Last And Always
(great record that unfortunately gets overshadowed by Floodland)