Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Land of sick fucks

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been blessed with a relatively violence-free existence. I go about my day mindful of my surroundings, of course, but I am, for the most part, blissfully buffered from most of the harshness of life. That’s why stuff like this really whigs me out. Two kids beating somebody to death for kicks.

That’s just fucked up.

How does this kind of heartlessness evolve? Is it innate? Were these two bastards just screwed in the head to begin with or did they somehow grow into this? I’d be interested to learn what their lives are like. Perhaps the answer to their actions lies there. Child abuse, neglect, and all those other goodies can often twist people into horrible ghouls like these punks.

Then again, I know plenty of people (my sister and me included) who suffered as kids, yet came out the other side of childhood fairly well adjusted. Certainly I’ve had murderous thoughts. Who hasn’t? Yet I’ve obviously never acted upon them and they’ve always been specifically directed. What these kids did, however, was purely anonymous violence, inflicted on someone they didn’t even know. It was a murder of convenience, which makes it all the more terrible.

Now the spectacle will begin. Should these kids be charged as adults (I’d say yes)? Florida is a death penalty state (almost 375 executions under their belt), so the 18 year old is definitely eligible, as the Sunshine State executes folks as young as 17. Perhaps the 14 year old will get lucky and not get bumped anyway.

Cases like this make me really examine my anti-death penalty stance. Sometimes it’s hard to separate the ideas of justice and fairness from thoughts of revenge and punishment. Part of me would like to see these heartless punks die, but who knows what else could be done for them? Thank goodness the decision doesn’t lie in my hands. Perhaps that’s cowardly, but it is still a relief.

Cranking the creaking gramophone in my head:

Nick Cramer - Anti-Gravity
(from the depths of space it came, spreading mellow throughout the stars; um… yeah)

Chris Brombach - MP3 Compilation
(blues inflected downtempo; where did this guy disappear to?)

Bjork - Telegram
(mighty fine remixes of mighty fine songs from a mighty fine Icelander)

John Coulter - MP3 Compilation
(will beat down any MC for food)

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Good thanks to all

Thanks to everyone who stopped by and said howdy at Contempt last night. I've posted the playlist over at my DJ Abstract page. Simply click the "Tunes" link and select "Contempt 05/28/2005" from the playlist dropdown. Everything ya need is right there.

Had quite a good time. Rick and I traded off sets each hour, so I got to play a fair amount of music. Downstairs was OK. DJ Subvert's partner, Cypher, wasn't too good, but then again, I've never been a fan. Didn't get in as much dancing as I would have liked, but still got to hang out with some neat folk. I've had worse times.

Looks like I'll be doing Contempt pretty much every month, as folks seem to like the stuff I spin (plus I bring the equipment; always a nice in there). So come join me. Hell, I might even take requests.

Could you please play:

DJ Krush - Ki-Oku
(triphop jazz from da Krush)

DHS - Attention Earth People
(Ben Stokes brings the outer cosmic funk)

Cranes - Future Songs
(redesigned and reimplimented with new technological attachments)

Cocteau Twins - Garlands
(ethereal heroes do their best Joy Division impression)

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Back on track

So the glorious Yanks make it 5 in a row, delivering a wonderfully stinging blow to the heart of Red Sux Nation. This makes me happy and chuckley in a completely snide way.

Came down to Philadelphia yesterday for Skip's surgery. It appears it was very successful. The doc was in and out in about 2 hours, completely removing Skip's left lung. The tumor was apparently about the size of a grapefruit and had wrapped itself around the pulminary artery. It was so big that it had gotten necrotic inside and had worn away the artery itself, causing Skip to cough up blood. Yummy. Hence the complete removal of the lung...

I am dying to get back to New York at this point. My train leaves in about an hour and I am chopping at the bit to return to civilization. I've got laundry and shopping to do, as well as prepping for Contempt. Mike is once again bailing as he and Emily are moving into their new house this weekend. Congrats, you married folk.

The Bombers rally to:

Immortal - Sons Of Northern Darkness
(follow the easy, step by step instructions to completely eliminate warmth and sunshine)

DJ? Acucrack - Mako Vs Geist
(don't really mind that this hasn't left my bag since Thursday)

Cranes - Submarine EP
(again, a constant resident for a couple of days now)

DJ Throttler - MP3 Compilation 1
(time for one of those block razing beats)

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Feedin' the punk funk junkie

To brutally paraphrase Bram Stoker, “the tunes are the life”.

Music is my all-consuming passion. Not a day goes by that I am not investigating some new artist, album, style, etc. If only I could find a way to make money with my music knowledge props…

Anyway, much of my music collection consists of tracks downloaded off the internet. Note that the VAST majority of this stuff is completely legal: snagged off artists sites, free demos, etc. Of course, this is why almost nobody has ever heard of a lot of the stuff I play when I’m DJing. Happy happy joy joy.

So I’ve never signed up for Napster, Kazaa, and the like. I’ve been content to cruise around the obscure edges of the net, picking up weird shit. However, I recently stumbled across Emusic. After tooling around for a while, I ACTUALLY SIGNED UP. Can you believe it?

With Emusic, you can download up to 40 tracks a month for $9.99. And it’s all legal. The artists get paid when I snag stuff. And who can sneeze at $0.40 (or less) a track? They’ve got other packages, including a 90 for $19.99 option, but I’m gonna stick with 40 for $9.99 for now. However, I don’t know if I can stay content with that amount of content (chuckle).

The selection on Emusic is excellent. I’ve already downloaded the new Meat Beat Manifesto album, as well as more DJ? Acucrack (aw yeah!), Cranes, Flunk, and Tom Waits stuff. The site has also got some great metal shit I’m going to grab. My "Save For Later" list is already up to about 15 albums.


My secret stash today, thanks to my Emusic pusher, includes:

Meat Beat Manifesto - At The Center
(JD does afro-cuban outer space funk)

DJ? Acucrack - Mako Vs. Geist
(use da bass to break 'em off sumpin')

Crane - Submarine EP
(trip out to the middle of nowhere with Alison and Co)

Tom Waits - The Early Years Volume 1
(Springsteen is indebted up to his ass to this man)

Bill Laswell - Outer Dark
(two epic, middle eastern ambient tracks from the duke of down)

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

New view review PS

Well, I've popped another review up over at an abstract view. This time it's tasty alt-ambient from The Mystifying Oracle...

Watching the defectives

I'm sure it will come as no surprise to anyone who's even glanced at my blog that I'm not a fan of Tom DeLay. He is to me the essence of the holier-than-thou, right wing hypocrite. Of course, he's just added fuel to the fire with his latest comment about stem cell research.

"An embryo is a person."


The House has just passed a bill that will increase the scope of stem cell research by enabling scientists to use embryos donated by couples during fertility treatments and subsequently not used. These embryos (or "people" as DeLame would have you believe) are usually thrown out if they're not used.

Wouldn't it make sense to use the stem cells from these embryos to help research cures for actual people? It flies in the face of reason that those suffering from horrible diseases like cancer, MS, Parkinsons, etc. are somehow less important than an undeveloped embryo. Once again, conservative, pigheaded moralism ignores the practical nature of the world. They prattle on about using adult stem cells (which are nowhere near as useful as embryonic stem cells) and continued research on existing lines, which at this point are corrupted and useless.

Dumbya has threatened to veto the bill, but it appears he may not have the support in Congress to do so. Let's hope that remains true. I'm of the opinion that research into eliminating life threatening diseases should take priority over "people" who will most likely end up in a trash can anyway.

Brutal but honest.

Mr. DeLame would not enjoy:

Front 242 - Front By Front
(vintage synth industrial; great despite the presence of "Headhunter")

DJ Olive - Bodega
(downtempo that still pumps the funk)

3rd Bass - Derelicts Of Dialect
(beat downs, 40 dogs and the Brooklyn queens)

Aphex Twin - Come To Daddy
("Stop making that big face!")

Scorn - Logghi Barogghi
(skeletal structures wrapped 'round bottomless bass)

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Enjoyed it I did

So I've taken in Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith. And much to my joy, it did not suck. In fact, I loved it. Visually stunning (of course), action packed, and fairly well paced. Admittedly, there were some "parts du not-so-good", but I've come to expect that from Lucas and friends. You see, George's talents lie in the depiction of things on the grand scale: sweeping story arcs, planet sized plot turns, etc. When it gets down to the nitty-gritty details of things, at least in terms of story, he’s… a bit of a Paduan?

The problem is that Lucas lacks the subtlety to adequately craft minute shifts in plot. For example, the scene in which Sith Lord Siddious reveals himself to Anakin is very heavy handed. Anakin’s final decision to turn to the Dark Side is likewise incredibly ham-fisted. And the love between the future Mr. and Mrs. Vader is drawn only in the broadest strokes of teenage, idyllic passion.

In short, dialogue, soul searching, and emotional interaction between characters have always been George’s weak points. He is at his best when portraying epic battles, black and white situations, and high drama. It’s unfortunate that he didn’t get someone like Soderbergh or Jarmusch to handle the more delicate aspects of the story. I think both Steve and Jim could have done a beautiful job at fleshing out the love between Anakin and Padme (no pun intended). Both could also have better portrayed the gradual transformation of young Skywalker from annoying little Jedi schmuck into everybody’s favorite Sith Lord, Darth Vader.

As it was, what should have been subtle instead got dumped in my lap.

This shortcoming, however, did not sour the movie for me at all. As I said above, Lucas’s strengths lie in the grandiose. Episode III has grandiose in spades. The opening sequence alone is some of the most dizzying cinematography I’ve seen. It takes your breath away. And the final showdown between Obi Wan and his former apprentice? Simply fantastic.

And when the mask finally descends upon Anakin’s charred face: shivers up and down my spine. I’d waited 28 years to see that and was not disappointed.

This path leads to the Dark Side:

Halo - Subliminal Transmissions
(lumbering, titanic blocks of sound)

Bonechurch - Within Empty Spaces
("The eternal silence of these infinite spaces fills me with dread" – Pascal)

His Name Is Alive - Home Is In Your Head
(quirky, melancholy beauty from 4AD)

M.J. Harris / Martyn Bates - Murder Ballads (The Complete Collection)
(a bleak, haunting take on the classic English form)

Lee Perry - I Am The Upsetter
(4 discs of luscious dubby goodness from Madman Scratchy and friends)

Monday, May 23, 2005

Straight to hell

For the most part, I walk really fast. I guess I'm just the type of person who likes to get where they're going. After all, while "slow" does mean "unhurried", it is also a synonym for "retarded", as in "Don't mind George; he's just a little slow." So suffice it to say that I'm one of those annoying people who are always speeding by you on the escalator. By the way, please stand to the right. There are folks with places to go coming up fast on your left.

This blow by technique applies especially to people handing out leaflets, flyers, copies of AM New York, and other miscellaneous crud; I usually fly right by them. There's one particular gentleman who lurks outside of the Pavonia/Newport PATH station a couple mornings a week that I particularly enjoy ignoring. He is usually spouting about Jesus Christ and our impending damnation when the blur that is me rockets past him. However, I was running very early this morning and had therefore decided to travel at slightly less than the speed of sound. As I decelerated out of the station, there he was: one of Jersey City’s resident Jesus freaks.

I simply couldn’t resist.

"Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior?" he bellowed in my face as I strolled by. BTW, don’t you think these folks need some new material? Anyway, I turned and said, "No, but God and I are fine. Thank you for asking."

He was not amused.

But I sure was. The guy locked step with me and proceeded to quote the bible at me for about a block. I retorted with some of my beliefs and continued to be unflappable. It was kinda fun. We kept debating and then he gave me one last good stare down and told me I was going to burn in hell. Then he just gave up and walked away.

Now, I have no problem with people that practice religion. My good friend Jason had a revelatory experience in his teens and is now a devout Christian. However, he’s never tried to shove his beliefs down my throat (which I appreciate) and I believe that his faith has made him a better person and his life more full of joy than if he hadn’t found God.

My sister is another excellent example. Her religion has brought to her a sense of belonging and structure that she has always craved. If she hadn’t found her faith, her life would be much more difficult. In fact, it’s through my encounters with her experience that I’ve come to temper my attitudes. I used to be vehemently opposed to organized religion and considered anyone who practiced to be a fool and a sheep. My sister’s experience, however, has helped me to re-examine that attitude and I’ve come to realize how foolish it is. And I thank her for that.

My point, however, is that folks like the gentleman outside the station are another matter entirely. They just beg to be messed with.

If you want to discuss faith and religion with me, fine. But do it in a calm, rational manner. Don’t scream it in my face and damn me to hell. It’s not a very convincing argument and it’s just annoying.

And ultimately, how can anyone truly prove their argument when it comes to this stuff? The only way to really find out if there is a heaven and a hell is to die. And that throws a real wrench into your ability to debate, don’t you think?

Oh yeah, and for the record, Satanism is just as unconvincing.

However, Lucifer did call and made these requests:

The Future Sound Of London - Lifeforms
(what the inside of water sounds like)

Helmet - Strap It On
(Page and company rip out the raw)

Godflesh - Love And Hate In Dub
(putting the H-E-A-V-Y in heavy)

Pocka - Devoured By A Shark
(this man never runs out of ideas)

Coldplay - A Rush Of Blood To The Head
(again, great tunes, bad lyrics)

Saturday, May 21, 2005

New view review PS

I've added a new music review over at an abstract view. Check it out, mon!

Progress in the Lone Star State

Seems Texas is thinking about adopting a life without parole option in its courts. At present, jurors in our most bloodthirsty state (344 executions in the last 20 years; 8 in just the last 5 months) have only two sentencing options in murder cases: life with the eligibility for parole in 40 years or a death sentence. Seems more levelheaded pols have been trying to pass this measure for quite some time. However, given the long tradition of try 'em and fry 'em in the Lone Star State, it's been an uphill battle. Here's hoping that the legislators see the sense in this move and pass the bill. It would be a really important step in ending state sponsored murders in this country. Perhaps we could then join the rest of the civilized world who put an end to the death penalty ages ago.

For my last meal, I'd like to have:

Cannibal Corpse - Eaten Back To Life
(with tracks like "A Skull Full Of Maggots" it has to be good)

DJ Spooky - Drums Of Death
(that subliminal kid teams up with Dave from Slayer and pounds it down)

DJ Throttler - MP3 Compilation 1
(shaking the walls with the hover bass from hell)

Coldplay - Parachutes
(great tunes; too bad the lyrics suck)

Peggy Lee - Mink Jazz
(specially designed for late nights in cozy places)

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Brain enema

I awoke this morning feeling slightly out of sorts. I’d had a rough night of weird dreams and lots of waking up. No fun. My mind seems somewhat preoccupied, but I can’t tell for the life of me with what. Things outside of work are going great. Work sucks, but I’m getting paid. I’m still single and that isn’t great, but it’s not exactly arduous. In short, I’ve no idea why I’m feeling so odd. Luckily, experience has taught me that there’s a particular effective way to deal with a mood like this.


For those of you still uninitiated in the glorious world of gabber (also know as gabba), it’s a style of hardcore techno. Some would say the hardest form of hardcore techno. We’re talking speeds in excess of 200 BPM, vicious vocal samples, wickedly distorted beats, and simply head crushing bass.

In all, the cure for what ails ya.

From AMG:
Most popular in the Netherlands and Scotland, gabba is the hardest form of hardcore techno, frequently exceeding speeds of over 200 BPM. Popular DJs and producers like Paul Elstak and the Mover categorized gabba's early evolution from German trance and British rave. By the mid-'90s, the music had acquired some rather unsavory connotations with neo-fascism and the skinhead movement, though much of the scene was free from it. Surprisingly, gabba made a rather successful attempt at the Dutch pop charts, with Elstak producing several hits. Many producers and fans proclaimed him a sell-out, and soon there appeared a divide in the scene between the hardcore and the really hardcore.

Anyway, my earphones are rumblin’ right now and it is effectively scouring away my weird mood. Already I’m smiling and wanna pogo like a son of a bitch!

These ideas have been growing in my head for some time:

Disciples Of Annihilation - New York City Speedcore
(got noisy neighbors? flatten their house with this)

Fever - Too Bad But True
(twisted distorto-hop from two crazy German dudes; DHR, baby)

DJ? Acucrack - Sorted
(breakbeats and junglism in a convenient single serving pouch)

The Cure - Japanese Whispers
(jangley synthpop from the guys who brought you… Pornography?)

Louis Armstrong - Louis Armstrong And King Oliver
(vintage Satchmo, circa 1923-1924)

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Cipherin' knowledge PS

So I've finally broken down and created a blog devoted to music reviews. I figure I'm coming up on 2000 CDs in my collection, so I have a lot to talk about. I won't be adding reviews every day, but now and again I'll toss one off, methinks.

Nails in the coffin

The year, 1989.
The place, the Trocadero in beautiful Philadelphia.
The event, The Jesus and Mary Chain.
And opening for the brothers Reid?
Some band called Nine Inch Nails.

At the time, I'd been listening to a lot of punk (Minor Threat, the Exploited, the DKs, etc) and shoegazer (My Bloody Valentine, Catherine Wheel, Lush, etc), as well as some the more interesting classic rock stuff (Pink Floyd, the Doors, etc). I'd never even heard of "industrial" music.

I was (and still am) a huge fan of The Jesus and Mary Chain and was greatly looking forward to the show. I arrived early, figuring I'd check out this Nine Inch Nails band if just for a chuckle. Nails + Jesus! Get it? Haha. Anyway, I was expecting to be disappointed.

How wrong I was.

The band arrived on stage covered in flour and then launched into "Terrible Lie". I was floored. This was some of the most amazing stuff I'd ever heard. They proceeded to absolutely thrash for the next 45 minutes, Trent shredding his throat and the band wailing away. Incredible show. Among the best I'd ever seen.

When Nails was done, I just left. I knew that there was NO WAY that The J&MC could come close to what I'd just seen. I awoke the following morning and promptly went out and purchased the newly released Pretty Hate Machine and was pleased beyond words. Upon hearing that I'd gotten the CD, my boss at the time (WXPN's then music director, Mike Morrison) asked me if I'd ever listened to Front 242, Ministry, or Skinny Puppy. I said I had not and lo, the beginnings of my love affair with industrial.

The disease spread quickly and soon I was awash in Nine Inch Nails, Front Line Assembly, Nitzer Ebb, Front 242, Ministry, Skinny Puppy, Pigface, Revolting Cocks, and a world of WaxTrax inspired stuff. From there it was an easy step to Throbbing Gristle, Neubauten, and all the truly dark, glorious roots of industrial.

And I owe it all to Trent Reznor and a bag of Gold Medal cake flour.

OK. To snitch from Ron White, "I told you that story so I could tell you this story."

After the release of Pretty Hate Machine, I devotedly purchased every Nine Inch Nails release. Broken was amazing and remains my favorite (although in some ways, I prefer Fixed). The Downward Spiral was also very good, if somewhat bumpy in places. However, I soon found that the remix CDs Trent was releasing were more to my liking. But I still dutifully purchased The Fragile.

And it sucked.

I really, really tried to like this release. Really. I listened to both discs several times upon purchasing them and have since come back on occasion in hopes that my opinion has changed in some way.

I tried again today. It still sucks.

Granted, there is some good stuff here, but it is so mired in self-indulgent, masturbatory crud that it's just not worth the effort. I dig some of the instrumentals, but on the whole, this double CD is mediocre. I've heard it said that if Trent had culled this down to a single CD, it would be perfect. I would disagree. He could perhaps eek out an EP (if he was lucky).

Trent no longer rocks. Raise your hands if you're sure.

Anyway, from what I've heard of With Teeth, I won't be chomping at the bit (oh, the merry punster emerges again) to pick it up. I am also taking a pass on the live shows Trent and Co are doing here in NYC. In short, it appears my love affair with the Nails has come to a tragic end. Then again, my adoration of industrial music in general has become a mere wizened old man of its former self. I've gone on to find stuff that's so much more evil, interesting, and dark. I will always have a place in my heart for the glory days of eighties and early nineties industro, but the doorknob on that room is getting harder and harder to turn.

That being said, hope to see you all at Contempt on the 28th. I'll be spinning downtempo and experimental electronic in the lounge upstairs, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't going to be downstairs during my off time, shaking my groove thing to some old diggin' in the crates industrial chune.

Never let it be said I didn't have a bit of a hypocritical streak myself.

However, "I don't need no instructions to know how to rock!" with:

Nine Inch Nails - The Fragile
(a sprawling mess in which Trent somehow manages to sound like Barry Manilow with a bad attitude and a distortion pedal)

Massive Attack - No Protection
(cavernous, dubbed out rethinks, courtesy of Mad Professor)

Deru - Trying To Remember
(enjoy the softer side of glitch, my son; hear and be mellow)

Julee Cruise - Floating Into The Night
(50 minutes of smoky midnights and broken hearts)

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Gloat by association

An interesting evening last night.

Had dinner with Danny and then we met up with several folk for the "The Groceries", the awards ceremony for The Arlene’s Grocery Picture Show, the largest independent film festival in New York City. Andrew and Zach Zoppa had each submitted a film ("Broken" and "My Roommate, The Clown" respectively) and were each up for awards. The female lead in "Broken" (who’s name I have unfortunately forgotten) was also up for Best Actress. Needless to say, tension and expectation were high in the Zoppa camp.

It was a sweep.

"Broken" landed the award for Best Actress and tied "My Roommate, The Clown" for both Best Director and Best Overall Film. In all, the two films walked away with a whopping FIVE Groceries.

Zoppa Brothers Productions was representin'.

I was really proud to be there. Granted, I don't know the brothers really well, but they're nice guys. I DJed their birthday party a few months back and felt quite at home. As with all of Danny's friends, they're good folk.

And now they have lots of legumes.

I say this because "The Groceries" bestow awards composed of just that: groceries; canned goods glued to a wooden base. So the Zoppas now have, I believe, 2 cans of black beans, a can of pinto beans, and a can of some other veggie. Add to that the Best Actress can of sumpin’...

You could feed Moby for a month.

Much more practical than an Oscar, don't you think?

Future film soundtracks may contain one or more of the following:

DJ Krush - Message At The Depth
(skittering, dark downtempo with a dash of hiphop, Nippon-style!)

Garlic.wav - The Garlic Grower Manual For Beginners Volume 1
(more downtempo with tasty glitch touches)

Cyndi Lauper - She's So Unusual
(deep, dark, depressing synthpop; ok, maybe not, but don't dis)

Morgenstern - Cold
(icy, surgical noise; the ultimate q-tip)

Various - Submerged's Wild Mood Swings Mix
(a mix of vicious drum and bass designed to sonically rearrange your internal organs)

Monday, May 16, 2005

Helping themselves PS

Way to go, Kuwait. Seems the government there has finally women the right to vote. A glimmer of hope in the Middle East? Let's hope so. I'm not sure how the "observe Islamic laws" caveat will affect this, but we'll see. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Putting our foot in it

Seems US interrogators have allegedly desecrated copies of the koran. Well done, fellas. Seems to me the last thing we need to do is piss off the Arab world a little bit more. Muslim clerics are apparently calling for yet another jihad if the US military doesn’t turn over the supposed offenders for Islamic justice. The fact that desecration of the koran is punishable by death under Islamic law may give our Prez a bit of pause. It’s one thing to kill our own citizens in the name of justice and kill our enemies in the name of war, but another completely to allow our citizens to be killed in the name of SOMEONE ELSE’S law.

Ah, the hypocrisy.

Even if the desecration occurred, though, I still have to shake my head in disbelief; yet another instance of people getting riled up over a BOOK. Muslims get crazy over the koran the same way Christians get crazy over the bible and Jews get crazy over the torah. All this religious fervor for what is, in the end, the work of man. God doesn’t live in those pages. To quote KRS-ONE, "Stop reading from a dead book for a live God."

Sure, these books contain the tenets of these peoples’ faiths, but surely that doesn’t imbue those pages with some spiritual value. These volumes are simply road maps. It is the journey that counts. Lose a map (or have it flushed down the john)? Buy another one.

Then again, I'm just a heathen.

Reading from the following chapters and verses today:

The Clash - Combat Rock
(catch that even atom tan)

Kool Keith - Black Elvis/Lost In Space
(there’s a reason the man used to live in Bellevue, nawmean?)

Madvillain - Madvillainy
(Madlib and MF Doom fuckin’ ya head up)

Various - Dirty Loop Volumes 1-3
(alt-hiphop from the crumbly edges of culture)

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Big ups PS

Congrats to Bianca and Jason for their graduations last week. Welcome to the working world, you unlucky bastards. ;)

Seriously, though. Congratulations to you both.

And everyone should come to Byte tonight to see some of Bianca's art.

The weaker sex?

According to a 1010 WINS report I heard this morning, crime is down across the city of New York. However, there is one exception. Apparently there has been an alarming increase in crimes involving teenage girls. Not as victims, but as perps.

These young women are becoming increasingly involved in street gangs and are carrying knives, guns, and other weaponry. In other words, these girls are armed to the teeth. And why do they think they can get away with it? Because they believe that they're “less likely to get searched than boys”.

And, for the most part, they're right.

Many is the time I've been patted up and down whilst going into a club while my female friends simply stroll through the door, purse and all. Once, I was forced to walk several blocks to a local bowling alley to store my backpack when I attempted to take it into Yankee stadium. Meanwhile, when I returned, the woman in front of me was carrying a bag you could hide a baby bull elephant in. She got absolutely no flack for it and waddled through the turnstile without a blip.

I was rather put out, but to no avail.

I suppose this subtle brand of sexism is not surprising. Men do commit most violent crimes. We tend to be more aggressive, etc. However, could it be that this is changing? Given the gradual erasure of gender roles, could it be that women are getting just as volatile as men, especially given the additional leeway they seem to be afforded, i.e. "I can get away with this because I'm a girl"? I'm not sure this is becoming omnipresent, but it is certainly something to ponder. And I think it should also signal a shift in how security treats men and women.

The 1010 WINS report does go on to mention with some surprise that girls often join these street gangs for protection. Their surprise in turn surprised me, because this is often the same reason boys join gangs. Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander.

Sneaking the following razor sharp CDs into da club:

My Bloody Valentine - Loveless
(shoegazing as high art)

Ministry - Twitch
(Al and company break out of the euro mold with help from Adrian Sherwood)

Miles Davis - Kind Of Blue
(words are inadequate for this piece of perfection)

E-Sassin - The Best Of Sound Sphere Recordings
(molding the darkness into slick techstep)

Iron Halo Device - The Collapsing Void
(cut and paste industrial ambient crushfest)

Friday, May 13, 2005

Get well, Chappelle

Thanks to the devious and delightful machinations of Danny, I have over the last year or so become a devoted fan of Dave Chappelle. That being said I was saddened to hear that Dave has "checked himself into a mental health facility in South Africa." (CNN) There's been speculation that drugs are somehow related. I hope not, but it's hardly unusual to hear about a comic abusing controlled substances. It would be a shame if the world lost another mad genius a la Belushi.

In the meantime, here is something that might give you a giggle.

Sorry for the short entry, but I'm trying to catch up from the days I missed due to jury duty. The case was settled yesterday afternoon, so I'm done. And somebody GOT PAID! Not too much, I hope, because I wasn't completely buying her story.

The jugband performing at the cotillion in my head today includes:

Mick Harris - Hednod Sessions
(two days of two discs of Mick)

Thievery Corporation - The Mirror Conspiracy
(have a lickle samba, have a lickle downtempo, have a lotta mellow)

Pantera - Reinventing The Steel
(more focused than Far Beyond Driven, but nowhere near as good)

Keane - Hopes And Fears
(thanks to kind Carleen from spin class for turning me on to this; like Coldplay, but not)

Boogie Down Productions - Edutainment
(The Teacher brings the messages to ya; some don't like this one, but they're stupid)

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

I'm a peer!

So after years of successfully dodging the system, I have finally gotten snagged and am part of a jury. It’s a medical malpractice suit and that’s all I’m allowed to say, under pain of death.

So far it hasn’t been too bad. My fellow jurors are all really nice people and we’re suffering through this together. We’re quite a Brooklyn collection, highlighting our borough’s racial, class, and career diversity. We’ve got a lawyer, a security guard, a musician, a housewife, etc., etc.; quite the slice of New York life.

I have to admit that I’m having a good time. The case is interesting and work has been slow lately, so it’s nice to have something to occupy my time. Plus the hours can’t be beat. We started at 9:30 this morning and were out by 3:15 this afternoon. Admittedly, this was the first day of testimony, so things will probably get longer. But it’s still beats the usual 8am to 6pm of my standard workday.

So that’s where I’ve been the last couple of days.

Now that I’m back home, I can listen to:

Enduser – Wreckin Shit EP
(break the core with the baddest dude in Cincinnati)

Altern8 – Infiltr-8 America
(some vintage techno with remixes by the one and only Joey Beltram)

Redman – Malpractice
(I have now completed my Funk Doc library)

Mick Harris – Hednod Sessions
(Scorn’s mastermind steps away and strips it down to the bleak beat)

Friday, May 06, 2005

Quit yer bitchin PS

OK. This really pisses me off. I am so sick and tired of people saying that women are somehow more devoted to their children than men are. All this guilt and angst about "oh, how do I balance my career and raising my children?". Know what? Welcome to what men have been struggling with since forever. WE have always been the one who is supposed to support the family while our wives raise the children, like it or not. And if we don't like it? Try getting 4 months of paternity leave.

Your boss would laugh in your face.

I know of only ONE family where the guy stays at home and "plays Mommy" (a term which is in itself incredibly annoying). Guess what? His kids are perfectly well adjusted AND their clothes match. Imagine that. Even given that, he almost always gets a funny look when people ask him what he does for a living and he says, "I'm a full time Dad."

The situation is this, ladies. Enjoy the fact that society affords you the choice of saying, "OK, I don't want to work any more. I'm going to stay at home, raise my kids, and spend my husband's money."

OK, that last comment was more than a little bitter. Sorry.

Anyway, what I am saying is that at least women have the choice to be full time Moms. So don't complain so much about balancing work and family. Men have had to do it since time began, so catch up. Be equal after all. This attitude that childrearing is more important to women is simply sexist, so don't think for a minute that our secret agonies are any less than your public ones. Men simply do what's expected of them more often than not and then we don't bitch about it.

Oh, and if you think that all this doesn't apply to your husband, you married the wrong guy.

Down in the cellar

Never thought I'd see it.

The Yanks are in last place.

We haven't had a record this bad since 1995. I've stopped watching full games. Instead, I've been tuning in now and again to see how badly we're doing. The problem here is, the worse we do, the worse we feel; vicious cycle-type stuff.

But I’ll hang in. Perhaps the Yanks will get their act together. In the meantime, the Sux continue to play almost like world champs. Hell, they’re only 2 ½ games back of the Orioles.

In other news, it appears the master recording of my breaks the blank day project got lost, so I have to send another to Anne at Worthy. So if you ordered a copy (which you all should, ya know), it could be a bit before it arrives. Meanwhile, I’ve been talking to Anne about working on their website so they can take orders right there. This through the mail thing is just ridiculous.

Also, I’ll be spinning at this month’s Contempt on the 28th. It’s the event’s 7th anniversary, so festivities should ensue.

Funeral dirge for the Bombers:

Reign - Embrace
(mighty metal from Tyne and Wear, UK; those Brits have really cool town names, no?)

Yaz - Upstairs At Eric’s
(Alison Moyet brings my love down, big time)

3rd Bass - The Cactus Album
(MC Serch, Prime Minister Pete Nice, and Daddy Rich doin’ three the hard way)

The Smiths - Louder Than Bombs
(Morrisey, a man with one name for whom a thousand adjectives would never suffice; Marr, just underappreciated)

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Impending doom

It appears that the MyDoom virus has managed to worm (pun!) its way into the email system here at work. I arrived this morning to find 50 messages in my inbox from a bunch of people I've never even heard of. And big surprise! Each one of them had an attachment.

Who falls for this stuff?

Who in their right mind would open a document from someone they don't know? That's just stupid. This isn't one of those viruses that jumps around regardless of what you do. Those sophisticated bugs are thankfully very rare. MyDoom only works IF YOU OPEN THE ATTACHMENT. It's not destructive, just annoying; sends out a lot of additional emails and can clog up smaller EM servers. How do you stop it? DON'T OPEN THE ATTACHMENT. Child's play here, folks. Yet some people are just curious cats 'cause it's still bouncing around.

I just don't see the point of viruses in the first place. It's not like they're even good at anything. It would be different if you created a true worm, something that would suck information from a system and send it back to you. Again, such bugs exist, but they tend to be used against specific targets for industrial espionage and such. These little viruses like MyDoom are just built to annoy and incovenience.

So all you virus programmers out there: use your powers for good! Create a useful program, like something that will convince people that AOL sucks. In the meanwhile, stop bugging me (another pun!).

Today's blog contains the following infected attachments:

Magnetic Media - In The Past
(tech? no!)

Magnetic Media - Bitchcraft
(doublin' up on the wicked chick badassedness)

Main - Hz
(venturing further into the spaces between the stars)

Nine Inch Nails - Pretty Hate Machine
(because Nine Inch Nails was Trent Reznor and With Teeth is gonna suck)

Count Basie - Swingsation
(eighteen choice tracks from 1937-1939; makes me jump at the woodside)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

More for the war whores

Seems the House and Senate have approved another $82 billion (yes, that's Billion, with a B) to fund our ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (remember Afghanistan?). That brings the current bill for the war on terror to more that $300 billion. In other words, we've spent more than the GDP of many countries on these wars.

In the meantime, it seems that a small majority of this country has caught up with those of us who were opposed to the war in the first place. That's right. 57% of the folks in this poll said that going to Iraq was not worth it. Then again, only 1006 people were surveyed. I don't know what the demographics were for the poll, so there's a chance these folks were all from the pockets of smart that you can find in the US if you look really hard.

Support for our actions abroad does seem to be dwindling as time drags on. No surprise there. Far too many people are all gung-ho when things begin. Then the bills, blood, and body bags start to show up. This tends to cool the jets just a bit. Perhaps if folks had more foresight and a better understanding of the nature of war, they'd be a bit more reluctant to go charging in. I suspect most people expected another Desert Storm: in and out and there you go. I myself was pleased and more than a bit surprised we didn't get mired down then, so I'm not at all surprised that we're up to our necks in it now. Problem is, I’ve got no solutions to the problem, so in the end, I’m just soapboxing, no?

Today's domestic earphone policy:

Various - DJ C's Mid 90's Style Chillout
(surfing the sine waves)

Lamb Of God - Ashes Of The Wake
(now I have something to die for)

Various - XL Recordings: The Fifth Chapter
(packin' the floor, 1995 style)

Various - Infinite Sector Collective Compilation Vol III
(DIY electronics from around the world)

Skinny Puppy - Rabies
(Kev, Ogre, and the Duck plus Alien J; all is love)

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Skip update

Just got off the phone with Mom. Skip's tumor is malignant and inoperable, as it appears to have metastasized into his liver. This is very serious. So it looks like chemotherapy and lots of other really nasty stuff. The prognosis is not good and that makes me sick.

Traveling this bumpy road

2005 continues to be a real peach of a year for me and mine. My mom's husband, Skip, has had a bad cough for about 3 months now, so bad that he was having difficulty sleeping, had lost interest in eating, etc. After prolonged cajoling, Mom finally convinced him to go see a good doctor (his doctor is a friend, but a hack). So, the new doc gives Skip the full work over and behold, they find a tumor on his lung. Skip was a devoted smoker for many years and only quit after having a heart attack several years ago, so this is not a complete surprise. They're going to do some sort of needle biopsy to find out whether or not the tumor is malignant and then figure out how to proceed from there. It is fortunate that Skip has great insurance because I suspect things are about to start getting expensive.

This is the latest in a series of deaths, near deaths, surgeries, pet deaths, and bizarre accidents that have plagued my family and friends for the last 5 months. I'm beginning to wonder if 2005 is some sort of karmic revenge year for evils I've committed in a prior life. Then again, that's kind of a selfish attitude, as if all of this was somehow tied to me. I'm not that cosmically important, methinks. Still, it is getting tiring going through all of this. Hopefully things will let up and me and mine will have a bit of a reprieve for a while. In the interim, please hold Skip in your thoughts. I know most of you don't know him, but he's good people.

Cuttin' and scratchin':

Various - DJ C's Junglist Bashment
(the joyous ragga jungle drum and bass upbeat get down)

Pocka - Devoured By A Shark
(more tasty free audio goodies from Archive.org)

Various - Down And Out With The Blues
(Tommy Johnson and Blind Willie Johnson know my pain)

The Acacia Strain - 3750
(throw your ears under a train)