Saturday, April 30, 2005

Quick PS

Wanted to let everyone know that I've completed my playlist and music library site. Now you can check out what I spun once you wake up the next morning (or afternoon as the case may be)...

In the heat of this gold chain game

Bianca, Derek, Nelly and I attended a show at Mercury Lounge last night. Adult. was the headliner, with Gold Chains & Sue Cie opening. There was also some other band called The Genders, but they got viciously skipped. Heard some of the stuff they were playing from the bar and decided against soiling my ears with whatever it was they thought they were doing.

We were, however, right up front for Gold Chains & Sue Cie. While quarters were very tight, we did manage to get our groove on. Funky mix of hiphop, raw electronic, house and techno. Pretty tasty stuff. I don't think that the folks who were there to see Adult. quite got it, but more on that later. Suffice to say, though, that my head was bobbin' and my feets was stompin'. I just wish I'd had more room to really throw down. Chains and Sue were a lot of fun. Lots of between song irreverence and a wonderful "nudge nudge wink wink" attitude. Very refreshing. I was a fan before just based on one song that Bianca put on a mix for me. Now I'm fully coverted (i.e. money will be spent on CDs by these folks). Interesting contrast compared to the previous evening's show, but I thrive on musical diversity.

And I think that's the reason I didn't enjoy Adult. even half as much.

Adult. is an electro band from Detroit (yes, the period is part of their name; just to be annoying to punctuation freaks such as myself, I suspect). Now a trio, the group consists of a bassist, lead guitarist, and female leader singer. All of them play keyboards at various intervals as well. Lots of analog synths and old school drum machines. Sounds intriguing, no? Actually, it wasn't. I enjoyed the first 10 minutes of the set, but their stuff is incredibly homogenous. Start with a weird, tweeked synth line, then bring in the drum pattern (almost invariably four on the floor with annoyingly tinny hi hats), and then have the lead singer start. And the lead has obviously been listening to a lot of Siouxsie and Xmal Deutschland.

Lots of "look at me, I'm a tough bitch" going on here. There was a sense of humor as well, but not a warm one in the least. Very much the "We're alternative and if you don't get it, you suck. Stand there while we're wry." There were more than a few fans in the audience who obviously had the same attitude. I was mellowing out to the synth lines and several folks behind me were bouncing about. I was told to "move my body" and overheard "He doesn't get it". I ignored them for the most part, but I was definitely tempted to quip, "What? And flop around like a rhythmless fuck such as yourself? I'm not dancing because I'm bored."

But I was a good boy.

Suffice to say that after the happy humor and upbeatness of Gold Chains & Sue Cie, Adult. was a total downer. I think I might have enjoyd them more if I'd seen them at an all electro show. The feelings and attitudes of the evening would have been more consistent, methinks. As it is, they left a bad taste in my mouth.

So, to sum up: Gold Chains & Sue Cie plus Adult. equals bad booking.

Oh yeah, and the Yankees continue to suck.

Nonstop party rocking to:

Various - DJ Abstract's Twilight Mix 3
(chillin' on the downtempo tip)

Various - Bludgeoned Vols 1&2
(imagine falling off a twenty story building onto concrete; this is what the landing sounds like)

John Coltrane - Lush Life
(probably my favorite jazz album)

Xmal Deutschland - Tocsin
(kind of a "hair of the dog" type thing)

Friday, April 29, 2005

I'm goth, byatch! PS

Apparently Bianca has sold her soul to the great Satan that is MTV.

Just kidding.

Everybody should check out this commericial from EmptyV. B is the chick in corset, which should be easy to figure out since she's the only one in the shoot. You can't see her face (which is too bad), but check out the goth finery! Aw yeah!

She's just so punk rock.

And gettin' paid (I hope).

Make a joyful noise

Had the good fortune to accompany Rebecca and Susan to an excellent rock show last night. Yup, I said it; a rock show. Don't get me wrong, I like rock and roll, but mostly I find straight up rock shows kinda... boring? Anyway, last night's festivities were quite the exception. I'm going to violate the laws of time by listing the bands in my order of preference, starting at the end of the show, jumping back to the beginning, and ending up in the middle (saving the best for last). Ready? Hang on ‘cause here we go.

The headliners of the night were the Raveonettes. I'd caught them (again with Rebecca and Susan) when they played Little Steven's Garage Rock festival last summer. Due to an incoming storm, they’d only gotten to play one song, but it was great and piqued my interest. So I was pleased to get a chance to see them again. And they did not disappoint. They're stuff is based pretty much in surf and noise, a la The Jesus and Mary Chain. Add a little Duane Eddy twang and you're getting the idea. The band was very tight and the wall of sound they generated was quite impressive. They apparently worked with Ronnie Spector on their latest album and whilst the main Ronette unfortunately did not make an appearance, she was featured on one tune (the best of the set, IMO) via the magic of DAT. The Raves are good and had me spacing to the feedback. In all, an entertaining set.

The openers were a band called The Organ. Apparently these ladies have been around since 2001, so I was surprised I'd never heard of them, given their style of music. Take equal parts The Cure and The Smiths, add a dash of Pixies, turn the blender up to 11 and viola, The Organ. Oh yeah, and please garnish with some Joy Division. It's all about the guitar tunings with this band. The similarity to Robert Smith's signature sound was incredible. Rebecca and I spent the entire set turning to each other now and then and saying, "I hear so and so". Lots of influences apparent here, but still an enthralling set; so much so that I bought their CD.

And at long last we come to my favorite band of the evening. Coming on after The Organ were The Dirt Bombs. Wow. These guys tore the roof of the place. Mixing ska, punk, and straight up crazy, this is one of the most intense bands I've EVER seen, and that covers a hell of a lot of ground. They started to play and simply did not stop except for a brief bit where the lead singer wiped himself down with a towel. These guys were like the MC5 and Bad Brains all wrapped into one and fucked up on crack. Simply amazing. Blistering songs and onstage craziness. At one point the lead guy played his guitar with his teeth and the last song ended with one of the drummers standing on his head on the bass drum. That’s right, I said ONE of the drummers. This band has TWO drummers, TWO bassists, and a lead guitarist. The sound was simply huge, but not lumbering in the least (no metal here). The entire place was jumping up and down and then roaring in the brief seconds between tunes. If you EVER have a chance to catch the mighty Dirt Bombs live, sell your mom if you have to to get a ticket. Reminded me of when I used to catch local punk shows at abandoned warehouses in Philly back in the late 80s. Awesome.

Mick of the Dirt Bombs does his Ray Charles impression

The aftereffects of last night’s show:

Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures
(this band is why I don’t like New Order; all hail Ian Curtis, fallen king)

The Jesus and Mary Chain - 10 Smash Hits
(as the jacket says, “7 years on the leading edge”; the Beach Boys if they were pissed and had bigger amps)

The Organ - Grab That Gun
(tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 1989)

The Cure - Carnage Visors/Curiosity Anomalies
(rare live tracks 1977-1984 and the soundtrack to an animated film; best version of “In Your House” ever)

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Be water, my friends...

Forgot to mention that I caught Kung Fu Hustle last weekend. Wow! So much fun. The best thing about it is that it's a comedy. While I loved Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero (and I'll be watching House Of Flying Daggers on DVD soon), these films lacked the sense of humor that makes a lot of classic martial arts films so good. And while some have complained that some of the fight animation is stiff and looks phony, I think it actually added to the movie's sense of fun, as if it were saying, "These guys are so talented that it can't look real." I'd recommend that everybody go and catch this flick. I was giggling my ass off the entire time. Fun fun fun.

The Stephen Chow School of Facial Remodeling

Today's audio katas:

Benny Goodman - The Yale Recordings, Volume 5
(2 discs of bouncin' Benny, the first recorded in 1959, the second in 1963; singin' with a swing)

Doubting Thomas - The Infidel
(two Skinny Puppies bring the fear)

Onyx - Bacdafucup
("The mad author of anguish, my language polluted, Onyx is heavyweight and still undisputed")

Main - Deliquescence
(Hampson and crew throw down the minimalism; recorded live in 1997)

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

A sticky wicket

From the AP wire:
  Maggie Gyllenhaal has waded into sensitive political waters by raising questions about September 11 and American foreign policy.
  The 27-year-old actress, who stars in a new film about the 2001 terror attacks on the World Trade Center, said in an interview last week that the United States "is responsible in some way" for the attacks.
  A fan Web site devoted to Gyllenhaal was overwhelmed with criticism, forcing the site's editor to remove the ability to post messages "because it's gotten too outta hand."

Ms. Gyllenhaal raises a good point. I'm a New Yorker and I lost a friend on 9/11, so her comments should probably make me angry, but I have to agree with her. I think the American government's approach to foreign policy had a good deal to do with us being targeted. Certainly the fact that America is wealthy, liberal and immoral (at least in the eyes of extremists) also contributed to the attack, but I think there is a widespread perception of this country as a juggernaut poised to roll over the sovereign rights of countries in the name of global democracy.

The causes of 9/11 are infinitely complex. The basic insanity of bin Laden, al-Zarqawi, and their ilk is undeniable, but simply attributing the attack to religious fanaticism is myopic. The United States of America is the most powerful nation in the world. They say that with great power comes great responsibility, but Kipling said it better: "Power without responsibility... the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages" and fact is, we pursue our ideals across the world often without considering the consequences.

The present situation in Iraq illustrates this perfectly. We came in with guns blazing, with no plan on how to extricate ourselves and no concept of what the results of our invasion would be. Some would say our mission was accomplished with the removal of Saddam Hussein, but we've simply replaced a dictatorship with political instability (you'd think we would have learned from Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge). The body count continues to climb, both civilian and military. By some estimates, the total count is close to 30,000 and even after democratic elections, there is still no Iraqi government.

This entire topic has more layers than an onion and there is no clear cut answer to any of it, but I agree with Ms. Gyllenhall and believe things would be safer for us if we used the velvet glove more often than the iron fist.

Because I live in America, I am free to listen to the following:

PM Dawn - The Bliss Album…?
(beautiful hippy hiphop)

Tino - Tino’s Breaks Volume 5, Dub
("I come from space, through a hole in the sky."; thanks, Jack)

Cranes - Wings Of Joy
(Alison Shaw is the little engine that crushes)

Underworld - A Hundred Days Off
(Darren is gone, but Rick and Karl soldier on; not their best, but Underworld is like pizza)

Various - Misc DB 1&2
(I burn my 12 inches to CD, son, 'cause not all venues got turntables no more)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Down with the big bad PS

Quick pic from last Saturday's Contempt. Me looking smug on the left, Kate controllin' the middle, and wicked Rick throwing da horns.

Cheers to Marta, the powah behind the camerah.

Backing the wrong horse

So the White House has decided to up the ante with their backing of Tom DeLay. Can't say I'm the least bit surprised.

"The Hammer" has been a valuable asset to Dumbya's conservative agenda, a right-wing pit bull of sorts. He wants to prosecute judges who don't interpret the Constitution in the absolute strictest of fashions, calling them "activists" because they don't believe that the nature of government and society can change over the course of 200+ years. We can thank the Terri Schiavo mess for that little gem.

DeLay also believes that "tyrants and rogue regimes must be confronted before they harm American interests". Put differently, "attack them before they attack us". This is Wolfowitz doctrine, chapter and verse; American global aggression justified under the guise of self-protection.

Man, does this guy know how to tow the party line.
Oh, he's also anti-choice and anti-gay, but that's par for the course.

And he's from Texas; always a plus in the eyes of Big George.

I hope and pray (in my own fashion, of course) that this blows up in the White House's face. Backing such a stalwart conservative and then having it revealed that he is, in fact, a corrupt son of a bitch will perhaps shed some much needed light on the hypocrisy of holier-than-thou Republicans in general. Then again, anyone who is still pro-DeLay at this point must be so completely mired in right-wing ideology that nothing will convince them he's a bad guy, short of him declaring himself the Anti-Christ while horns sprout from his forehead.

Today's leftist, hippy shit listening list:

Cocteau Twins - Cocteau Twins
(ethereal goodies from the fine folks at 4AD)

Enduser - Run War
(ragga breakcore madness)

Puzleboy - Still Young And Upwardly Mobile
(little bit of this, little bit of that; you know how I do)

Kraftwerk - Radio-Activity
(these guys could see into the future; released in 1975 and sounding like last week)

Radiohead - Amnesiac
("Store away from sunlight; preferably in a dark drawer with your secrets"; oh, very yes)

Monday, April 25, 2005

Worn out PS

Ever have a day so chock full of uselessness that you feel your brain melting inside your head? Meeting after meeting after meeting today, discussing the same thing over and over and over. Why is it that so many people spend so much time talking about things instead of actually doing them? Suffice to say that today's trials have robbed me of the desire to write anything of any depth. So far I've been successful in keeping it from robbing me of the will to live as well, but my resolve is crumbling. One more meeting and then I'm home free.

Sitting on my desk unlistened to as I waste time in stuffy conference rooms:

Pet Shop Boys - Discography
("I've got the brains. You've got the looks. Let's make lots of money."; indeed)

Redman - Whut? Thee Album
(the world's first full length introduction to the Funk Doc)

Timeblind - MP3 Compilations 1&2
(chunky electro dub, baby)

EOSS - MP3 Compilations 1-3
(random assortments of truly tasty computa musick)

This is so brutal

I plan on writing something today at some point, but for now, I'd just like to thank the Brainwashed Brain for bringing this site to my attention. I've only taken a look at a couple of the secrets there and this stuff is great. Dark as hell, but awesome. Some current favorites:

"I faked sorrow at my dad's funeral, when I, in fact, was selfishly happy I didn't have to wipe his butt anymore."

"The only thing that kept me alive before was that I'd never fallen in love. Now that I have, I wish I'd killed myself a long time ago."

"I often wish someone or something would kill me... so I could get out of this wheelchair."

Happy happy
Joy joy

Longer bit later, along with today's audio menu?

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Where's the line?

My gig at Contempt went very well. Several people came up to me wanting to know what it was I was playing. That's always a pleasure. Got to spin a solid two and a half hour set, which was great, for it is much easier to built an interesting flow over the course of a couple of hours than it is to dazzle and amazing in only an hour.

Bianca and Derek showed up near the end of my set, which was cool because it meant I had somebody to hang with afterward. I finished up around 3am and then we closed the place.

Contempt is always fun. It's a gothic-industrial night, but for the most part the people aren't the usual pretentious "alt-er than thou" folk you tend to find at such places. However, not a lot of great dating material for someone with more varied interests such as myself.

And therein lies the topic of today's little brain dump.

It is always a struggle to resist the temptation to simply grab what is available. Unless I'm terribly mistaken, I believe there is a woman or two in that circle who are interested in me. And don't get me wrong; these are nice people. However, I can't see myself dating someone who is that involved in ANY scene; that is to say, involved to the extent of excluding (and frowning upon) everything else. Folks who are 100% ANYTHING tend to get on my nerves. Exclusivists are for the birds. (Rhymin’ and stealin’)

Anyway, it is difficult not to go ahead and get involved anyway. I've been single for a long time now and would love to have myself some female companionship. That's a not-so-veiled reference to sex, as well as the whole holding-hands-enjoying-life-together thing. But it's the second part of that sentence that has me troubled. The holding-hands-enjoying-life-together bit implies a compatibility that I am almost sure I don't have with these women. And that's why I don't pursue them. There are a myriad of other reasons involved as well, I'm sure (fear of rejection, one burnt-twice shy stuff) but for the most part it's because I feel like things would never go anywhere.

And I'm interest in things going somewhere with someone. Applicants can apply via my email address :-)

So I continue to pass up opportunities that present themselves. For the most part I feel good about this because I decided after my last relationship that I would not settle again. I realized that I needed to be pickier. Someone liking me romantically (or otherwise) does not imply that I have to like them romantically (or otherwise). My best and longest relationships have been with people that I have found fascinating from the start, intellectually and physically. The stuff I've encountered lately has simply been physical and therefore probably not ideally pursued. But the lust beckons and I am often sorely tempted…

OK. Brain dump complete. We now return you to your regularly scheduled web surfing.

Dropping my rhymes on the one (fuck the two three) to:

Various - DJ Abstract's Nineties Junkie Mix 6
(hand-crafted for maximum rave-ability)

breaks the blank day - breaks the blank day
(basking in my own glory, baby; ambient glitch and blue moods)

Napalm Death - Scum
(the original incarnation with JKFlesh; the "28 songs in 33 minutes" grindcore classic)

John Coulter - MP3 Compilation 1
(this talented MC lets you download shit for free; I wonder why nobody signs this guy)

Friday, April 22, 2005

Rollcall of scumbags

"The world is wearied of statesmen whom democracy has degraded into politicians."

Benjamin Disraeli wrote this in Lothair, published in 1870. Perhaps nothing has maintained itself so well over time as the innate dishonesty and criminal nature of politicians. I realize that it takes a particularly ambitious and focused person to rise through the ranks of politics in this country. It's just too bad that the vast majority of their idealism (if they had any to begin with) gets worn away by the journey.

Politics is about compromise. Unfortunately, far too many politicians confuse compromise with corruption.

It's no secret that I'm no fan of the Republican party. Our president is a joke and his cabinet is populated with morally repressed (and, in my opinion, morally reprehensible) right wingers who've taken it into their heads that we need to spread American doctrine (and dogma) worldwide. Call it a neo-manifest destiny.

Meanwhile, the ranking members of their party continue to dodge ethics violations, all the while touting their high moral standing and inspired vision of a more perfect America. The hypocrisy makes me ill. However, the Democrats are no better. The above article cites three important Democratic party members who are themselves skating on thin ice. We're tumbling dangerously into "pot calling the kettle black" territory when the Dems call out the Reps these days.

I find all of this intensely frustrating. Would that the politicians in this country would focus more on the well being of their fellow citizens and less on that of special interest groups and their own pockets. PACs should be banned. Stringent campaign finance reform needs to be enacted. Tom DeLay needs to tarred and feathered.

OK. Went a little overboard on that last one.

I realize that America is a HUGE place and is therefore extremely difficult to govern. We're not a small European country where most people think the same and a person could walk from one end of the country to the other in a couple of days. Our size and our diversity makes for interesting politics, yes. However, that very size and diversity also makes for boundless opportunities for people to be dishonest in politics. Would that it weren't so.

OK. Done for now. Just kind of riffing off the top of my head anyway. Sometimes it helps to simply rant.

Today's tasty audio shortstack:

Dither - Neve
(the glitch platter du jour; lots of good synth washes in this, too)

Pitchshifter - Desensitized
(PSI in their pre-dnb days; think Godflesh's Slavestate, crunchy industrial)

Miles Davis - Steamin' With The Miles David Quintet
(Miles, Trane, Red, Paul Chambers, and Philly Joe; can you beat it? no, you can't)

Howlin' Wolf - His Best
(270 pounds of bellowing bass, channeling them Delta blues)

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Treat your ears to dinner at my place

I'm just tickled to announce that my latest CD, the self-titled freshman release from my breaks the blank day project, is now availabe through Worthy Records. You can snag a copy for a paltry $5 CANADIAN (that's about $4 US), so don't be cheap. Go buy one. Right now. BTW, big thanks to Anne Sulikowski (Worthy's Commandatore) for her continued support and interest. This is the first CD of mine to be distributed by anyone besides Machine Tribe Recordings (my own little label), so I'm awfully excited.

In other news, I'll be spinning the upstairs lounge at this Saturday's Contempt. Expect lots of downtempo, glitch, and other mellowness. I'll be required to toss in some more mainstream stuff now and again to keep the walk-ins off the street happy, but for the most part I'll be doing my own thing. Contempt can be found at Remote (327 Bowery, between 2nd and 3rd) and runs from 10:30pm to 4:00am. It's $5 to get in if you print out a flyer. Tell 'em DJ Abstract sent ya.

Several people have also expressed interest in getting playlists from my sets (as I keep them religiousy), so I've started working on page were folks can get a look at both my playlists and my CD library in general. Won't that just be the bomb?

Take brain, immerse. Rinse. Repeat:

David Kristian - Beneath The Valley Of The Modulars
(sounds like Autechre's kissing cousin)

Autechre - Amber
(glitch and broken beat travels in packs today)

Deru - Pushing Air
(again, headnodding seems to be today's priority)

Tom Waits - Alice
(the gravel-voiced one continues to astound and amaze)

Peter Gabriel - Shaking The Tree
(some of PG's best, including a heartrending acoustic version of "Here Comes The Flood")

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

And the winner is...

No surprise here.

Your new champion of ecclesiastical repression and pseudo-moral absolutism? Benedict XVI!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Benedict XVI nee Joseph Ratzinger. Joe has spent the last 20 years cracking down on liberal theology and religious pluralism. As one of Pope John Paul II's main advisors, he's been key in maintaining the church's archaic opposition to homosexuality, women's ordination, and other "left leaning" ideas.

While he was a bit of a dissident in his younger years, Ratzinger's prolonged exposure to the mind numbing doctrines of the Roman Catholic church have yanked him far to the right and completely out of the realm of common sense and modern thinking.

In short, John Paul II did a really good job at stacking the deck against any possibility that the church might make some steps forward a la Vatican II. So look for continued stubbornness from the RCC as they maintain their refusal to evolve.

And brush up on your Latin because that may be making a comeback, too.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

"Just raise your hands 'cause I'm dope!
Yet another conservative pope!
Jump! Jump!"

Bangin' at the hectic heathen dance party:

Jack Dangers - Variacones Espectrales
(Meat Beat master steps away for a little glitchfunk fun)

Soul Coughing - Irresistible Bliss
(moving upside and letting the man go through)

Clockdva - Man-Amplified
(icy cold sterile-tech from the makers of Buried Dreams)

V. Sheze vs. C. Krumov - ZD-0-0-0-B1-X1
(darkhop from the wilds of somewheres; don't even remember where the hell I got this, but it's devilish)

Various - The White Cliffs Of Dover
(turn on a radio in 1943 and you'd hear all this stuff)

Monday, April 18, 2005

Strangely appropriate PS

This seems apt, especially for Cheney, who I find the slimiest of the bunch. I think Bush needs to have some sort of vegetable named after him. Maybe some new type of zucchini or eggplant. "Bushium Brainus Examplus", perhaps. Rolls off the tongue nicely, don't ya think?

Raise your hand if you can't speak in complete sentences.

Know what? I take back what I said about Cheney being the slimiest. I'd forgotten all about Tom DeLay.

Crazy people

This is why anti-choicers scare me. Yes, I know every group has its fringies, but it seems to me that overly passionate pro-choice people aren't killing anybody. Find me an article. Really. What would a crazy pro-choice person do? Blow up a fundamentalist church? Tempting, but no.

A quick glances at some snippets from Rudolph's statement illustrates how far around the bend this guy has strayed. He is incensed by abortion because he says it's murder, yet he blew people up. Strike anybody as hypocritical? He's also anti-gay and decided it would be good to blow up a night club. And the Olympics.

What an upstanding citizen. I'm glad he's here to protect the moral fiber of the United States of America.

Maybe Dumbya could give him a cabinet post?

OK, that last comment wasn't fair, but I don't give a shit. I'm angered that radical right dickheads continue to use violence and repression in an attempt to pull this country back into the dark ages. We've only been around for about 230 years and we're already fucking up. Granted, things aren't always rosy in Europe or other parts of the world where countries measure their age in millennia, but we are members of the First World and should act like it.

"Of all religions, the Christian should of course inspire the most tolerance, but... Christians have been the most intolerant of all men." - Voltaire

Pouring fuel on the fire:

Nine Inch Nails - Broken
(Trent's pinnacle; all the rage and frustration focused into twenty taut minutes of fuck you)

DJ? Acucrack - Sorted
(bring the breakbeat, baby)

Various - Excursions In Ambience
(methinks Excursions In Trance might be a more apropos title, but it's still damned good)

Various - Phosphorescent
(more slammin' 90s rave from the good people at Tip Records)

Spit - You Would If You Loved Me
(gotta love a CD with titles like "Road Pizza", "My Big Dick", and "Tu Culo Es Mi Culo"... and don't forget "Bark Like A Dog")

Saturday, April 16, 2005

This is not working

Yanks just dropped another one. Is it me? Why is it that as soon as I start giving a damn (or at least want to jump at the chance to make fun of the Red Sux), we start fucking up?

Must be karma.

Caught snippets of the game and it seemed we were doing well. Then, out of nowhere, we get stuffed. This just sucks.

Well, that's besbol, I guess.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Das Werk

Kraftwerk is playing the Hammerstein Ballroom in June.

my server must be down or sumpin

I am a happy man.

I caught them the last time they played there. What an incredible event. The line was around the block and the energy was palpable. I did, however, get a kick out of the following.

A couple was walking down the sidewalk, doing their level best to avoid bumping into the seething masses lined up to see Florian and Ralf do their thing. The couple stops right next to me, eyeing the queue that stretches off into the distance. And the male of the duo is heard to say:

"Wow. That's a lot of people. Who's playing tonight?"

My response: "Oh, just some German band."

My fellow line mates were quite amused.

The concert itself was a multimedia event of epic proportions. Huge video screens stationed behind a delicate bank of electronic equipment. And the space fit the band perfectly. Hammerstein, for those of you who never been, is huge. The ceilings are at least 50 feet high. Add to that some thunderous bass and throbbing robot pop and you've got the Kraftwerk show. There was a lot of soul in the air. I realize this sounds strange, given the sterile, mechanical nature of Kraftwerk's ouevre, but the sounds were simply uplifting. I was trying to explain this to Derek, but couldn't adequately describe the feeling.

All this vocab I have and it still escapes me.

Anyway, if the show in June ends up being half as good, I will be more than pleased. This is a band that is at the root of so much of the music that I love. Their influence cannot be overstated and it's a privilege to get to see them ply their craft.

BTW, the aforementioned Derek was kind enough to send me the following pic of me plying one of my trades at Niagara. Throwing down the hectic beats!

my server must be down or sumpin
And no, I did not have a toothache. Just small headphones.

Rockin' back inside my heart:

Rusuden - Formulae Remixes
(can't get the Enduser remix on this CD out of my brain)

Blackmouth - Blackmouth
(Jarboe and the guys from Trust Obey will scare the crap out of you)

Entombed - Wolverine Blues
("Pound for pound, I am the most viscious of all." And I'm Swedish.)

The Orb - U.F.Orb
(who would have thought it was possible to make a 40-minute ambient track that wasn't boring?)

Boymerang - Balance Of The Force
(who would have thought it was possible to make mellow techstep?)

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Sly PS

Saw this on the subway a few days ago and had to snap it.

my server must be down or sumpin

Whoever came up with this is a genius. Love it.
For those of you non-NYC-subway-riders, the sign usually says "Do Not Lean On Doors", with a pic of a stick figure leaning against a door. At first, this looked exactly the same.

I wonder what other cool shit I've overlooked just today?

Shelling Schilling

So we stuck it to the man with the bloody sock.

After holding the Yanks to two for six innings, Curt Schilling, 2004 Red Sux hero, collapsed. Juiceboy Jason and the ever reliable Bernie smacked him with a long ball a piece.

And all this in front of the Boston faithful.

That makes me smile.

my server must be down or sumpinmy server must be down or sumpin

Yes, I know this makes me sound like a petty, vindictive shit. But hey, I don't care, because the best part of my glee is that I'm not really serious. Half the fun of all of this is putting on the serious face while giggling your ass off on the inside.

Hell, I spend a good chunk of my life doing that about most things.

That's not to say that I don't have true convictions. On the contrary. If there is something I'm completely serious about (politics, music, your mother... ok, maybe not the last one), you'll know it. The twinkle in my eye will not be there. In fact, I may be rather grim.

But for the most part, there is too much serious shit going on in the world not to be serious-silly now and again. I did the angry-young-man thing when I was in my 20s. The main reason for this (and I suspect this holds true for most AYM, as well as AYW) is that I didn't really know what I believed in. Once I figured this out, it got a lot easier to be less serious. Sounds contradictory, no? Actually, it's not. I think that loudly proclaiming one's beliefs and being truly belligerent about them belies an underlying doubt in what one is ranting about. To quote the Bard, "Methinks the lady doth protest too much."

My point is, if you truly believe what you believe, there's no need to be overly vociferous about it. The nice thing about being right is that you will always be right. Eventually you'll be vindicated.

All this from the Yanks beating up on Schilling? Wow. What did I have for breakfast?

Gliding to the sights and sounds of:

Koordinate Of Wonders - Koordinate Of Wonders
(beautifully icy glitch laptop techno from Belarus)

The Higher Intelligence Agency - Colourform
(ambient electronic with them thar tribal beats)

Various Artists - Mob Hits
(Louis Prima! Jerry Vale! Dean Martin! Fuggedabowdit...)

Bliss Blood - Different Faces
(Pain Teens goddess does the 1920s jazz)

Dropframe - The Rule Of Capture
(this stuff is just weird; like Skinny Puppy, but with LSD instead of heroin)

DJ Krush - Strictly Turntablized
(turntablism by one of the guys who invented it)

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Post partum

Last night's gig was a resounding success (at least in my ears). I got to spin some SICK music and there were folks dancing a good amount of the time. It is also rumored that the host enjoyed my set and would like to have me back.

That's always good news.

Had a little trouble gauging what the crowd wanted at first (which is not unusual for me or any other DJ that starts the night). Once I hit my stride, though, everything folded in nicely. And what did the crowd want? Seems that drum and bass (jungle, techstep, whatever you want to call it) still has a place in the hearts of some folk in our fair city.

I had two Puerto Rican b-boys come up and ask me what I was going to spin. My reply? "Trance, breakcore, drum and bass, jungle, some other stuff." Their riposte? "Jungle, dude. Play lots of jungle."

I live to serve.

Funny thing is, the duo did not dance at all, but sat in a nearby corner and headnodded like you would not believe, turning to me for an occasional chest thump and thumbs up.

Yep. I held it down. Boriqua representin'.

I'm somewhat surprised that some folks still use the term "jungle" when they actually mean "drum and bass". I'm not one for genre labels, but to me, the difference is distinct, as true "jungle" has kind of died out.

"Jungle" was the precursor to "drum and bass", placing more of an emphasis on the drum patterns than on sound. Most of the bass in "jungle" was derived from the drums sounds themselves, so the style tends to sound a little tinny (in my opinion). However, artists soon started to incorporate more dynamic bass sounds (drops, runs, rolling lines) and "jungle" evolved into "drum and bass", which then splintered into a billion different subgenres (darkside, techstep, etc).

Again, not big on genre labels, but I grew up as "jungle" was developing and then mutating into "drum and bass", so there will always be a difference for me. That being said, the folks last night loved the music, regardless of what they or I called it.

Big ups to Bianca for landing me the gig and thanks to everybody who came out to hear me wreck shit (in order of appearance): Jason, Dawn, Katherine, Danny, Nado, Zack and Andrew (would that be Zoppi?), and Derek. Hopefully we can all do this again some time.

Audio soup du jour:

Deru - Pushing Air
(not only did Derek show last night, he brought presents; gorgeous glitch, delicious downtempo)

A Great Bird - Collection 1
(a myriad of electronic styles, all of them priceless and beautifully crafted)

Various - Trance Europe Express 2
(two disc set of vintage trance and ambient house, circa 1994; 10 years and still ravin')

Various - Trance Europe Express 3
(why limit yourself to two discs of 90s trance when you can have two more? 1995 thumps a bit more than 1994, though)

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Chuckle PS

I will only buy one of these if it has KungFu Grip. Also might consider a purchase if the doll's head popped off when punched, a la Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots.

my server must be down or sumpin

Back into time

Had some free time on my hands yesterday for reasons that are better left unsaid. Did some reading (polished off my latest Tim Dorsey book, Triggerfish Twist) and then decided to whip together another spin mix for Jerry.

What began as a quest for throbbing bass and twisted beats strangely mutated. More trance and techno crept into my mind and wrapped itself around my soul. And lo, by the time the mix was finished, a strange phenomena had occurred. A quick glance at all of the albums I'd used to make the mix revealed they were all... from the early 1990s.

I was actually quite pleased.

I'll be the first to admit that I've been worshipping at the feet of breakcore, dark ambient, and many other latter-day electronic genres (as well as other countless music flavas). But it is good to know that the stuff I was careening around to at raves ten years ago still moves me.

Abandoned warehouses packed with ridiculously dressed people tripping their faces off (rule number one of warehouse raves: bring your own water). Never did the drugs myself, but did the music in a grand fashion. I remember driving up from Philly for a rave in the Bronx. We arrived at 8pm and danced until 7am the following morning.

And I mean danced without stopping.

Of course, I was about 23 at the time, so I could still do that crazy shit.

Anyway, I will be handing Jerry DJ Abstract's Nineties Junkie Mix 6 come Monday morning. I may also slip in some old skool during tonight's gig as a way to continue this guilty pleasure...

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Today's pump, pump, pump, pump it up:

Marilyn Manson - Antichrist Superstar
(Brian manages to finally make a coherent mission statement, which he promptly forgets)

Bonechurch - BlackStatic
(the first CD I ever released... sniff... that's my boy)

Lamb - What Sound
(the tasty Limited Edition with the extra stuff; trippy!)

Cabaret Voltaire - Colours
(Richard Kirk takes a page from Coil's LSD acid house playbook)

Various - DJ Abstract's Nineties Junkie Mix 6
("We are controlling transmission.")

Monday, April 11, 2005

Bezbol PS

Yanks are 3-3.
BSux are 2-4.
Is this gonna get grimy?

Light at the end

Spring has finally arrived.

Ever notice how hard it is to be in a good mood when the weather is lousy? I know everyone has contemplated this and no doubt commented on it at length, but I thought I'd just bring it up again.

I love spring.

May is my favorite month of the year (with bland November and icelocked Februrary filling out positions 11 and 12 respectively), so imagine my joy when April started looking like May. Ah, sunshine. Ah, warmth. Ah, sitting in the back yard with a book and a glass of wine. Indulge, indulge, indulge.

Also getting psyched about tomorrow's gig. Everyone in the world should attend. Feel free to invite yourself.

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Swimming around in my headpool:

abstract audio systems - SomeNothing
(the very first abstract audio systems release, so it holds a special place)

Ray Charles - The Birth Of Soul
(a three disc retrospective of the root of Charles' music)

Various - Chess Blues Box Set
(four disc box of some of the best blues ever put on wax)

Various - Demon Spirit Bitch From Hell
(crank up the BPMs, put your boots on, and prep to kick some butt)

Various - Eighties Stuff
(why is it every eighties compilation must include Kajagoogoo? I threw this CD together, so it doesn't)

Friday, April 08, 2005

Dealing with disappointment

It's no secret that I'm a fan of DJ? Acucrack. I think their album The Dope King simply slams. So, in my fervor, I picked up a bunch of their back catalog. Two of the discs arrived yesterday and I've been checking them out today.

Not so good.

Don't get me wrong. They don't suck. We're not entering Top-40-swill territory. They aren't, however, that unusual. Pretty straightforward stuff with no real character. There's one track that's caught my attention, but for the most part, it's beige wallpaper. Hopefully the other discs I ordered will be different.


Right about now:

DJ? Acucrack - The Mutants Are Coming... And I Believe They Are Of Sound
("Re-kicked And Re-Mastered" version of Mutants Of Sound, which hopefully will be better than this)

DJ? Acucrack - So To Speak
(an EP of stuff they did with Toni Halliday of Curve; some decent remixes here)

Frazier Chorus - Ray
(gloriously twisted synthpop from the ancient days of 1991)

The Nefilim - Zoon
(prog-death-metal goodness)

Neotropic - 15 Levels Of Magnification
(on the downtempo tip)

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Showdown in the Sunshine State

Jeb Bush is about sign off on a significant return to the Wild West. Yes, that's right. Now Floridians will have the right to "meet force with force" and defend themselves "without fear of prosecution". If someone pushes up on you and you feel threatened, you can shoot them in the face and not go to jail. This has been one of the NRA's pet projects for quite some time. Now the baby has its bottle. Unfortunately, the bottle is going to get filled with blood.

It is my sincere hope that all of the guntoting crazies manage to remove themselves from the gene pool without taking too many people with them.

"I'm sorry, people, but if I'm attacked I shouldn't have a duty to retreat," said the bill's sponsor, state Rep. Dennis Baxley. "That's a good way to get shot in the back."

Tell that to Nicole duFresne. I'm sure the NRA would spout something like, "if Ms. duFresne owned a weapon, she would have been able to defend herself!" Yes, and she still would have died, along with several others, no doubt. If duFresne had not resisted, she'd be out a couple of bucks and her credit cards. Inconvenient, yes, but much less inconvenient than being dead.

(For those of you who don't know about duFresne... She and some friends were accosted outside of a bar here in NYC back in January. Nicole refused to cooperate during the robbery, saying, "What are you going to do, shoot us?". Guess what? One of the assailants shot her.)

So it will soon be open season in Florida. Yet another step backward in this country's evolution. Let's hope the rest of the red states don't get wind of this. We'll be kneedeep in Bernard Getzes.

my server appears to be down or sumpin'

PS> The Red Sux beat us yesterday. Mariano blew the save with a 5 run ninth inning. This guy needs to get on the stick against Boston, although A-Rod apparently didn't help matters.

So, it's Yanks at 2-1 and the Sux at 1-2.

Today's beats of block rockin':

Damageplan - New Found Power
(R.I.P. Dime)

Bjork - Debut
(freed from the Sugarcubes, you can hear the beginnings of her solo greatness)

Front Line Assembly - Tactical Neural Implant
(FLA casts aside the industrial straight jacket and branches out into a new hardness)

Autechre - Tri Repetae++
(the godfathers of glitch bend and twist sound with unearthly results)

Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
("Did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts?")

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Close, but no...

Did someone just tell me the Red Sox are 0-2?

Keep trying, boys.

You may have Mariano's number, but Jeter has your's on speed dial. Walk off homerun in the bottom of the ninth. Sure, he's dumb as a stump and I continue to be dumbfounded as to why women think he's so hot (must be all the money), but cheers to Derek for this one.

My office chair has 24" rims and bumps:

Peggy Lee - Black Coffee And Other Delights
(two discs of strings, bongos, and that voice...)

Duke Ellington - Newport Jazz Festival 1956
(Paul Gonsalves, TWENTY-SEVEN choruses; that's right; TWENTY-SEVEN!)

Orbital - Orbital 2
(glorious, enrapturing trance in a plain brown wrapper)

Christoph De Babalon - If You're Into It, I'm Out Of It
(from black ambient to brain-jarring techstep; minimalist and evil; goody)

Body Count - Body Count
(Beatmaster V - worst drummer... ever; T still kicks butt, though, L&O SVU be damned)

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

In good company?

Amnesty International has released its annual report on executions last year. Where did we land in the rankings?

1) China (at least 3,400; perhaps as many as 10,000)
2) Iran (159)
3) Vietnam (64)
4) The United States Of America (59)*

*23 in Texas alone. Yeeehaaaa!

Yup. Top five for the good ol' US of A.

We're down from 65 since 2003. Good for us.

Of course, since 1977, 115 that were scheduled to be executed have been released on new evidence. Let's hope all the other people we killed were really guilty.

Oh, and let's not forget Charles Singleton and Kelsey Patterson, two of last year's execution crop. Singleton was forcibly medicated so that he could be judged competent enough for execution. Patterson was a paranoid schizophrenic.

I'm SO glad that we continue to hold our own with our neighbors in death, Iran and Vietnam. With luck, maybe we can catch up with China...

For more information on our continued efforts to remain part of this club of brutality, check Amnesty International's report.

Spreading the Virus

So it's official. I'll being spinning on April 12th at Choking Victim, a mixed music/art exhibit. Swing by Niagara (112 Ave A at 7th St in NYC) after 10PM and hear me do my thing. I'll be spinning trance, breakcore, and all kinds of fun stuff. The woman who's running the night told me to "play music that you enjoy". That covers a lot of ground, so I intend to pull out as many stops as possible.

Lots of good shows coming up, too. I've already gotten tickets to Autechre. They're playing Webster Hall in May. An odd choice of venue, but I suspect they can pull it off. At this point, I'm not sure there's anything they can't do.

Also going to catch Joseph Arthur later this month, as well as the Raveonettes. I first heard the latter at Little Steven's Garage Rock Festival last summer. They only got to play ONE SONG, but it was great and behold, an instant fan. I have say thanks to them for cutting their set short because that meant Iggy Pop got to play that much longer. Iggy Pop... AW YEAH!

Turning it up a notch:

Bitsplitter - Infinite Concrete Ricochet
(thunderous bass and shredded noise; an excellent earwax removal kit)

Frank Sinatra - Falling In Love With Frank Sinatra And Tommy Dorsey)
(The Chairman circa 1940; the man can croon)

Sedan - MP3 Compilation 1
(plucked from the oasis that is; soft, inviting glitch and washes; just loverly)

Lard - The Power Of Lard
("The next time we have sex, just pretend that I'm Ed Meese"; oh, the funnybone)

Gorillaz - Laika Come Home
(Spacemonkeyz have their way with those cartoon guys)

Jesus Christ Superstar Soundtrack
(the original Broadway recording; something luscious about the lead singer of Deep Purple playing Jesus...)

Monday, April 04, 2005

Boston: World Chumps

OK. I'd like to state for the record that to this point I have not been a rabid baseball fan. I've enjoyed watching an occasional game, but have only been to the stadium once since moving to New York. When I say "the stadium", of course, I mean Yankee Stadium; after all, there is only one New York baseball team worth mentioning...

Truth be told, I like the Yankees mostly because it ticks people off.

However, given the Yanks MONUMENTAL choke in last year's ALCS, it is my plan to pay a bit more attention this year. Especially when we play Boston. While the Socks of Red do not inspire the kind of loathing I reserve for the Atlanta Braves ("America's team", my meaty white butt!), I'm still pretty miffed at Johnny Damon and crew. Yes, they beat us and beat us squarely, but, hey, loyalties are only loyalties when you hang on through trying times.

Just ask any Mets fan...

So imagine my joy when the Yanks spend opening day treating the Red Sux to a nice serving of STFU. The 2004 World Champions stepped into the House that Ruth Built and got thoroughly owned, 9-2. Sweet.

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Revenge is a dish, etc., etc.

Yes, it's only the first game and one game does not a season make, but it's a step in the right direction. Randy Johnson was impressive and Matsui did his thing, both offensively and defensively. This guy is my favorite player since Paul O'Neil left.

Both Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon got stuffed at 0-4. And, most deliciously, turncoat David Wells got bitchslapped. Serves him right for wearing the Bambino's number 3.

Keep it coming, Bombers.

Tunes you will never hear during the 7th inning stretch:

DJ? Acucrack - The Dope King
(the gents from Acumen Nation put on a happy face, then bash you with the BPMs)

Ice Cube - The Predator
(say Hi to the bad guy)

Filter - Title Of Record
(a driving, yet atmospheric record; "Take A Picture" and "Skinny" throw a one two punch)

Mad Professor - Black Liberation Dub
(dub from a true disciple of Tubby and Perry; on Ariwa, of course)

Lush - Gala
(shoegazer, indie-rock, and an points south)

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Breaking News: Pope Still Dead

OK. I'm a devotee of world and national news and it is presently almost impossible hear about anything except the death of Pope John Paul II. What about those of us who aren't Catholic and are unaffected by his passing?

There is no denying that this Pope will have considerable historical significance. His stance against communism is well documented and one could say he played a part in its downfall. He was also a vocal supporter of the poor (yet was opposed to them rising up against their oppressive governments, stating that Jesus was a spiritual leader, not a political one; I find this more than a tad hyprocritical).

I think the following email I plucked from CNN accurately summarizes my feelings:

"While the pope was a brave and notable man who stood up to Soviet communism, I shall mostly remember him as a rigid, conservative church leader who had the opportunity to modernize Catholicism and didn't."

I agree wholeheartedly.

Here is a man who issued the "Ordinatio Sacerdotalis: Apostolic Letter on Reserving Priestly Ordination to Men Alone" in 1994 as a "teaching of papal infallibility". This is the highest degree of issuance a Pope can render. It essentially states that this is information direct from God, not just the opinion of the current Pope or overriding feeling of the Catholic church in general. In this release, the Pope said that women cannot be ordained.

In his last book, "Memory and Identity : Conversations at the Dawn of a Millennium", the Pope speaks of homosexuality and the fight for same sex marriage as part of an "ideology of evil".

He also comes out once again against birth control, despite the incredible overpopulation and poverty of many developing Catholic nations (yes, overpopulation and poverty are directly connected).

In short, here was a man of peace that was unfortunately tied to too many archaic concepts about humankind to be truly effective on the world stage in a lasting fashion. I wonder what his legacy would be like were he more modern minded. I hope that the man chosen as John Paul II's successor will be more so. This is doubtful, though, given the current crop of cardinals available for ascension to the papacy.

Eligo in summum ponticem, anybody but these guys.

Further proof of my heathen ways:

Godflesh - Songs Of Love And Hate
(a little drum, a lot of bass, and now you have no face)

Esquivel - Space Age Bachelor Pad Music
(weird electronic easylistening from the 1950s)

Twine - Twine
(glitchy acoustic guitars and cut and paste vocals; soothingly bizarre)

Deru - Trying To Remember
(warm synth washes, odd rhythms, and introspective melodies)

Friday, April 01, 2005

Chatty Cathy union

Seems a lot of people have a lot to say about the Schiavo mess. There appear to be three schools of thought:

1) Michael Schiavo is the devil and will burn in hell, Terri was murdered, etc.
2) Terri's parents were selfish and should have let this end a long time ago.
3) Condolences to both sides and no assignment of blame.

I find myself swaying between options 2 and 3.

I've done enough research into Terri's condition (at least what was publicly available), as well as research into severe brain damage cases like Terri's, to know that she had no chance of recovery. I agree she would have died shortly after her collapse in 1990 were it not for modern medicine keeping her alive. So I find option 1 patently ridiculous, for I believe Terri passed away years ago. What was kept alive was just an empty shell with its motor still running (here come the flames).

I cannot say, however, that the Schindlers are bad people. They didn't want to lose their daughter. It's that simple. I'm not a parent, so I can't know what it must be like, but I can imagine how agonizing it was for them to decide EITHER WAY. They held onto an unreasonable hope that somehow their daughter would recover, but this was an unreasonable situation. It's hard to be rational when dealing with the health and well being of family members or loved ones.

Helping me from being depressed today:

Fugazi - Repeater + 3 Songs
(Ian MacKaye and crew playing the punk)

Curve - Chinese Burn
(tasty remixes)

Prince - Batman Motion Picture Soundtrack
(including "Scandalous", the most goofily romatic R&B song ever)

EOSS - Appliance Of Science 4/28/01
(moody, blippy, happy)

EOSS - Appliance Of Science 3/2/02
(more moody, blippy, happy)