Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Oh happy day

At long last, Kikapu has released the first Breaks The Blank Day EP. I realize that anyone who has been reading this blog for awhile may have already downloaded this, but it does my heart good to know that my tunes are getting a tad more exposure. Hopefully people will like the stuff enough to check out more of it and perhaps from there my other projects (Abstract Audio Systems, Bonechurch, and Puzleboy). One never knows.

Gateway to a world of music.

In other news, I am wounded. Boopo was sitting in my front window last night, enjoying the sultry evening breezes when suddenly, I heard a colossal barking. Boopo began to howl and beat at the window. Some stupid dog owner was walking her beast OFF THE LEASH on my block and the idiot creature saw fit to go after my cat. Fortunately, it was unable to get in and Boopo couldn't get out. I, however, leapt to my feet and banged on the window to get the dog to scram. I missed the frame and hit the pane, breaking it, much to the surprise of the dog's owner, who had finally come over to restraint her bastardly canine. I have a slight cut on my hand, but otherwise I'm OK. So is the Boop. Thank goodness for the latter, otherwise there'da been blood in the streets, baby.

If you have a dog, keep it on a fucking leash. Or do the intelligent thing and get a cat.

Smacking my bitch up with:

Breaks The Blank Day - Breaks The Blank Day
(chapter one in the continuing saga)

Godflesh - Songs Of Love And Hate
(bring the head crush)

Various - Doctor Demento Discs 1&2
(just recently transferred from cassette; oh the shitty sound quality)

Dido - No Angel
(a gift from a pretty lady ;-)

Various - Jesus Christ Superstar
(the original Broadway cast; proof that Jesus was actually in Deep Purple)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Crack a Bru

Danny was kind enough to bring to my attention a fantastic concert opportunity: Dave Brubeck at Carnegie Hall. My dear friend was also kind enough to snag some great tickets and off we went last night.

So good.

Brubeck is now 85 years old and totters a bit when he walks, but his touch on the piano is as masterful as ever. He played several of his classics, including the ubiquitous "Take 5". He played two sets, the first with an extremely talent trio of fellow musicians (bass, drums, and alto sax) and the second with a full 12 piece band (billed as "the New York premier of the Dave Brubeck Big Band").

So good.

Both bands were incredibly tight and the sax man was absolutely brilliant. Towering high notes and bottomless bass note, flying up and down the scale at lightning speed. This was especially surprising because he certainly didn't look the part, as the gent was easily 240lbs and greyhaired, looking as if he would have a massive MI right there on stage. Still, he pulled it off with effortless aplomb.

The drummer was only allowed to show off once, but it was a spectacular solo that lasted about 5 minutes. And it wasn't just banging away. Lots of sublte brush work and odd synchopations.

Adding to the festivities was the special MC (for lack of a better expression): Bill Cosby. Cosby came out at the start of the concert and did about 10 minutes of very funny stuff before introducing the Man of the Hour (Mr. Brubeck). The Cos also did a long bit between sets and had the crowd in stitches on more than one occasion.

All in all, a wonderful night out. Seems I'm getting a lot of those lately.

Lucky me.

Gets ya beats here:

The Streets - MP3 Compilation
(grubby stories with crazy flow)

The Strokes - Is This It
(retro ho's)

Duke Ellington - The Great London Concerts
(the Duke and the boys display their considerable chops)

Various - Diggin Down Volume 01
(hiphop for weirdos... like me)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The agony and the ecstasy

Oh man, am I sore this morning. Had a very intense workout with my trainer on Monday night, followed by an amazing evening of swing dancing last night with Susan. I ache all over, especially my shoulder blades. Still, it's a pleasant, "been really active" kind of ache, so I'm not so much complaining as much as I am celebrating. It's been nice to get back to New York after having spent a miserable weekend in Philadelphia attending funeral services for my great grandmother and stepfather (Saturday and Sunday respectively).

I've really come to realize how much my world focuses on being here in New York. Admittedly, most people would consider the city in which they reside their primary focus, but to me it really is the center of the universe. Sure, I like to go on trips and such, but it's always so great to come home and be surrounded by all the people and places I hold dear.

Despite all that's happened lately, I find myself happier than I've been in a long time. This comes from several profound personal revelations that I've had over the last few months coupled with a newly found sense of contentment with my current situation. It's always an amazing thing to be completely comfortable with where you are. Experience has taught me that feelings like this tend to be fleeting, so I'm going to enjoy it fully, while it lasts. After that, I'll just hang on until it comes around again.

'Cause it always does.

Ruder than you:

Various - Crackmix III (Submix)
(DJ? Acucrack pulls out all the stops and packs da floor)

Miles Davis - The Complete Concert: 1964
(smoke and mirrors of the soul)

Abstract Audio Systems - Aedon
(bliss out, baby)

Various - RAH! The Mixtape
(Akira The Don gets props for protest)

The Dustmite - Assassin Of Memories
(dark hop lives on in the black hearts of men)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Old and crotchety

I was fortunate enough last night to take in a great show at BB King's featuring the Revolting Cocks and Ministry.

It's been about 15 years since RevCo stuff has been played live and although only two of the band's original members performed (Luc Van Acker and, of course, Al Jourgensen), it was really sweet to hear some of the old tunes from these gents, some of the godfathers of industrial sleaze. The band was incredibly tight and very, very loud. There was no pit to speak of, however. Surprising, but not overly disappointing. I would more than make up for it (more on that later). RevCo ended off their set with an extended version of their take on Rod Stewart's "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?", which included a call for "all the hot New York girls" to come and join them on stage. The chicks were more than willing to oblige and suddenly the band was surrounded by about 20 marginally hot hotties (with some exceptional exceptions). Great way to go out. Uncle Al then made us wait for about half an hour before retaking the stage in his Ministry guise.

And it was worth the wait.

First let me talk about the current touring lineup of the band: the ever-present Al Jourgensen on vocals and guitar; Tommy Victor of Prong also on guitar; Paul Raven of Killing Joke, Godflesh, and a million other bands on bass; Joey Jordison of Slipknot on drums; and some bit players I was not familiar with.

Suffice to say that this lineup kicks serious butt.

Uncle Al will reach into the crowd and rip off your face.

They tore through a couple of tracks off their latest album, Rio Grande Blood, the pit bursting to life within the first few measures of the opening title track. The band also graced us with several older numbers as well, including "N.W.O." and "Thieves" (always a fave).

And the pit raged throughout. And here's where I begin my commentary.

In the prime of my moshing days, there was not a pit I couldn't clear. I've lived through GWAR, Godflesh, Rancid, Rammstein, and a million other pits and always managed to keep up and stay relatively injury free, the exception being a nose that's been broken twice; not that you'd notice.


Last night I just didn't seem to have it.

Granted there were several factor involved. First, the floor was wet, which is always scary, as it tends to cause slippage, which tends to cause you to end up on the floor, which tends to end up with you getting your head stepped on. Second, there were a fair number of younger guys who didn't know what the mosh is all about. One does not throw fists and kicks in the pit. It's not about that. Then again, I'm probably just an old school pussy. Third, and perhaps most sobering, is that I'm just not as resilient (or foolhardy, for that matter) as I used to be.

Yep. Age may be catching up with me. I'm not capable of the Herculean pit feats I pulled off when I was 24. Granted, while I'm a good deal bigger and stronger, the endurance and pure recklessness just aren't as prevalent as they were 12 years ago. Perhaps I am a fine wine, mellowing with age.

All this being said, I still had a great time. I didn't get hurt, save for some scratches, and I bonded with a couple of other maniacs, included one extremely cool dude who was just as old school as me (arms at your sides with elbows slightly up; bounce off your neighbors). We had a short, between-song conversation about how pits just aren't the same any more.

I was waiting for the guys from the Smithsonian to come and put up exhibit signs around us. "Presenting an anthropological study of mosh pit culture, featuring these two fossils found trapped in a rare combination of old beer, fake blood, and Joey Ramone's spit."

Anyway, the show was a blast and I had an amazing time. Just not as filled with as much youthful exuberance as usual.

The following items are featured on today's menu:

Gary Numan - 1978-1983
(two discs of prime new wave from a man who should have been a god in the US)

Tom Waits - Bad News Out Of A Pretty Mouth
(two discs from the master of off-kilter)

Panzerchrist - Soul Collector
(sprechen sie death metal?)

DJ Krush - Zen
(you've got a very soft vision of art)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Up and running

OK. It's been quite awhile since I've posted anything. There's been a lot going on. Started my new job last Monday and have been working hard ever since. There's tons of work to do here and I've been given a fair degree of autonomy. "Here's the process as it is. Take a look and improve what you think can be improved." Pretty cool, that.

I've also been seeing someone from eHarmony and have been having a great time with that. Still not 100% sure as to what is going to happen, where it's going to go, etc. but I've decided to just go with the flow and stop thinking too much. It may get me into trouble in the end, but I'll deal with that if it happens. For now, I'm happy with what's going on.

Anyway, not my usual stellar entry, but figured I'd put something up.

Audio brain cleansers:

Ministry - Rio Grande Blood
(tomorrow night at BB Kings, baby!)

Infected Mushroom - B.P.Empire
(trancer than you)

Skalpel - Skalpel
(Polski jazzski)

Swayzak - Loops From The Bergerie
(for every mellow fellow)

Various - Kikapu Sampler 15
(weird glitchy ambience from the edges of your head)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Onward, upward

Two days to go.

The folks I work with took me out for dinner and karaoke as a lovely farewell. Friday is my last day here in Jersey City and then I'll be moving on to a new assignment on Monday. I'll be downtown again (aw, yeah) and it seems like the new job will be pretty intense; lots of development to do and maybe some new technologies to learn. As geeky as it sounds, I'm especially excited about the latter.

In a strange way, I'm glad this is happening right now. I feel like starting something brand new (a clean slate approach, as it were) will be very helpful, given all that's been going on lately. A new beginning may put all of the lingering issues in perspective. Or perhaps it's just that it will be nice to have something that's not already fucked up. I can attack it on my own terms.

Very empowering, no?

Power on the hour from:

Monsiuer Leroc - Le Slow Motion Boogie Woogie
(acid jazz/funk inflected downtempo confections)

Puracane - In Limbo: The Lost Puracane Sessions
(a bunch from the vaults)

Various - Comfort Stand Sampler
(uberquirky DIY tunes from some talented bedroom musicians)

Skalpel - Konfusion w/ Konfusion - 1958 Breaks
(can't get enough of the two talented Poles)

Various - Digging Down 01: An Exploration Into Mush Records
(lickle bit o' hip, lickle bit o' hop, nonstop headnod rock)