Sunday, April 30, 2006

beta plates

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

beta blue

Baby blue was the color that he wore...

Another Seijun Suzuki movie, another night of flummoxed eyes. Rewatching recently Branded to Kill and Youth of the Beast, with Tokyo Drifter last night, I finally remembered why I had to own these movies. Audaciousness aside, Suzuki (who despite being considered a B-movie director is by all intents and purposes an auteur of Japanese cinema) makes almost no sense, careening about underneath your confounded gaze like some sort of Yakuza pinball machine. Never being able to keep the characters straight, I always figured that it was just a side-effect of my continued inability to keep Japanese authors distinct (who wrote Thousand Cranes again? And wait, is Chuang-Tzu Chinese?), but even the studio execs were lost and implored that Suzuki play it straight for Tokyo Drifter.

Branded to Kill gets liner notes from John Zorn and Tokyo Drifter has a brandished pullquote about it being a "free-jazz gangster film" (fwiw, I'm not the biggest fan of Japanese free jazz, "Jojo" Takayanagi aside). Yes it is frenzied, fiery, abstract to the point of befuddlement, but there is method to the madness here, an obsession with edits, angles, how characters complement their surroundings, and in a rare dose of the kaledioscope for Drifter, priddddy colors.

Racking my brain trying to think of a musical analogy for Suzuki, someone suggests Naked City, but who sound-clashed, brain-slashed, and jumped with daredevil cuts first? The hues are so vertiginous, jaw-plopping, that music no longer holds as metaphor, so I scramble to blubber about how Tokyo Drifter ranks up there with Dario Argento's Suspiria, or reaching further back, Busby Berkeley, though Susuzki's foreground of violence (not that he doesn't have odd musical interludes, like when his baby-blu gangster strolls and whistles the theme song in a Winter Wonderland) is far more drunken and cool. (QT had a hand in production of the DVD as well). Aside from hiring production designers rainbow-obsessed and high on Gladden paint, the three directors also revel in illogical plots that border on being concussion-fuzzy and irrevent in the resulting confusion that follows in the wake of their delirious visions. At any given point in Drifter (the DVD suggests such poignant chapters as "Tetsu's powder blue coat of honor" or "Saloon Western (Candy-colored set)") you may well ask aloud, "I have no idea what's going on" before settling back into the lavish, hallucinatory color wash once again.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

beta plays golf in phoenix

Circa sixth grade, I was sub-suburbed out in AZ, wedged betwixt the Sun City Gals and Ahwatukee kicking it in those inverted trapezoid parks they have out there in the desert. When I wasn't drawing cartoons about our school mascot, the Scorpion, I supplemented my schoolyard bidness of flipping Blow Pops for a quarter a pop by walking to the canals that cut through the desert landscape. Like some cement circulatory system, these steeply-sloped waterways intersticed roads, groves, parks, and of course, the ever-fertile golf courses that grew everywhere out here. Nourishing a pricey oasis, the canals doubled as watertrap on any Phoenician course.

Such immense troughs made me imagine I was in a scene right out of The Martian Chronicles, the channels feeling ancient through the arid wasteland. I would walk these ducts with my step-father, his knees popping with each step (due to a stint as a college QB) as we crunched down these gravel roads buffeting each slope of the canal. Using a tiny wire scoop affixed to the end of a retractable pole, I trolled the sludgy bottom of these wide Vs, scooping out drowned golf balls that could be ball-washed and re-sold for a dollar a pop, allowing me to spring for TurboGrafx video games and comic books. Turning candy-shelled bubblegum into shiny quarters or rubbing the slime off the dimples of long-submerged golf balls and turning it into cash, it was small change, but a way to eke out a tad more allowance as a 'tween than a lemonade stand.

There isn't too much I recollect about such days in Arizona, save that it probably shaved off any Texan accent I might've otherwise acquired. I'm barely cognizant of myself at that time, haplessly unaware of the world or much of anything. The only music I liked then was the Led Zeppelin boxset (who I had never heard previously) and The Uplift Mofo Party Plan, which soundtracked the downing of Pepsi as my best friend and I played hoops every afternoon after school, huffing and puffing about all the girls in our class that we were "totally boning." Mostly my after-school days were spent bicycling in the desert sun with three squeeze bottles of water as I made my way along the canals and scorching hot sidewalks until I reached the comic book store near the ASU campus.

Somewhere along that route, I came across a newsprint thing called the Phoenix New Times. The comics in this one were weird, far from my tastes at the time (snark all you want about my favorites, Power Pack). Zippy the Pinhead, Bizarro, This Modern World, I laughed at these oddities. I also recall a mean-spirited slam of that impervious teen sensation, New Kids on the Block, only because there was a reference to what surely must be an imaginary band, the Butthole Surfers. Sitting in my physics class, I barely could suppress a chortle at what sort of deviant writer could make up both a band name like that and a "record" called Cream Corn From the Socket of Davis. What body part could that even be?, my pre-teen mind pondered, oblivious in Sex Ed.

When I moved back to Texas, I forgot all about Arizona golf pros, golf courses, golf balls, and finally realized that yes Butthole Surfers did exist, and Cream Corn From the Socket of Davis was tenable indeed, if as inscrutable as Psychic, Powerless,...Another Man's Sac. In Texas, I grew obsessed both with writing and with listening to as much music as possible at this time (meaning lots of Butthole Surfers). Seeing my best friend's father's record collection (he's the culprit mentioned here) wowed me, and I only hoped to learn so much about music as him. Even when I finally graduated and decided to move to New York City, it was with the ambitions of creating music in NYC. I envisioned such projects as "The Suckestra," in which esteemed all-star musicians (I always pictured Thurston Moore, Derek Bailey, Susie Ibarra for some reason) would perform with their floor-cleaning apparatuses, be it broom or shop-vac, in addition to continuing my old band. I would toil in obscurity at some office and ply my trade at night, writing poems and stories never to see daylight while making the improv scene with a prepared guitar jammed full of umbrella tines and struck with massage mallets.

It didn't quite work out that way, and for some reason I found myself working at a computer place with lots of downtime, barely clearing the exorbinant rent. I filled it up writing about music for weird websites, like in Norway and Houston before one day getting in over at the indie salt mines. Realizing I would never support myself writing poetry, I would instead enter that lucrative world of music writing.

Having just been fired for the second time from said salt mines (after arguing for better writer treatment, payment, and not having my words changed in the middle of the fuckin' night without my permission) and having just picked a fight on ILM with Chuck Eddy about whether or not Metallica was indie (knowing fuck-all about either Metallica or indie), I decided I would just hand him something. It never ran, but I had his ear and persisted. Having scratched my head at more than a couple of reviews (like this Don-doodled doozy) I experienced that heady sensation myself of being able to find my jumbled words on any corner of the city.

Always a part of my Tuesday night ritual, ducking out to the street corner to pick up the new Voice and peruse it, reading names like Schaunberg, Ridgeway, Hentoff, Hoberman, etc., I cannot put into words my exhilaration at finding my byline among them (in the teeniest of font sizes, but still). I was part of the tradition. I mean, Bangs wrote there, Meltzer, Tousches, people I had read way back in high school when trying to figure out what fucked-up music I should be blasting out in the school parking lot. Psychotic Reactions and Meltzer's Gulcher were huge, the latter so that I started doing my own ramblings on such quotidian idiotic shit like glow in the dark stickers; growing a moustache (not that I could grow one myself for another five years); Trout Mask Replica as first hip-hop record (in the days of Heavy D and Arrested Development); why "R.E.M. Kicks the Beatles' Ass"; cock-rock sitcoms, as well as a sitcom starring Kim and Thurston. Only in retrospect did I see my own obsessions with music crit all the while, and only as happenstance did I realize I myself had come to fruition. Now I was on the same page as folks I had long read, first in Texas and some eight years on in the city: Chuck Eddy, Robert Christgau, Frank Kogan, Greg Tate, Michaelangelo Matos, Douglas Wolk, Sasha Frere-Jones, Simon Reynolds, Jon Caramanica...

In much the same way as my step-father had a decade previous, Chuck helped me earn a living by giving me a chance to perform that most curious alchemical work: sounds into words, plastic jewel cases into paper checks, dirt into pearls --or to detractors-- bullshit into shineola. So whether I thought about Klaus Schulze's kim chee, erecting neo-psych cathedrals, the sound of Shangri-La-La Land, suffering sunstroke in a surfer community, making bad James Brown jokes or good jokes about the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling and Princess Leia, I suddenly had a platform to elucidate such harebrained connectors between disparate items. Growing emboldened, confident, I branched out even further, writing in places I have never even seen (hello MPLS!). Other gigs felt more like work though, fitting into an alt-weekly style, but nothing was as much of a thrill as opening up the newest issue of the Voice and finding myself there among other luminaries once again. It was not just an honor, it was fun as fuck.

Having not heard from Chuck in a week or so (any writer will tell you that NO ONE is more responsive to emails than Chuck) I had a dream Tuesday morning that involved us talking on the phone about all the pieces he couldn't run at the Voice due to space limitations. When I woke up, I had an email from him and we bandied back and forth a few ideas for the future. Come mid-afternoon, the news hit me. Having watched every single one of my editors step down since January, be it in Miami, Seattle, Minneapolis, Nashville, and watching SPIN get gutted like Bambi with a few quick and nasty strokes, I knew it was only a matter of time before something happened to Chuck, and yet even as I consoled Nibs that it was ultimately for the best when he was shitcanned, I was disarmed that this horrible day had finally come for Chuck. My welling up of tears was tempered only by my subsequent nausea and disgust. Granted, my own emergence at the Voice came well after the halcyon days, a half-century since Mailer, post-Murdoch, even after that drastic cutting of space and Draconian word counts, and with the shadow of the New Times umbrella blocking out the Vitamin D, the luster was dulled, dimmed, but it still absurdly enough shone for me regardless.

Foolish gold is all I feel now, undecided if I will ever get to finish up my assignments at "Village Voice Media" and if I will even try to forge ever onwards into the drought of the music crit landscape that has plenty of skeletons already caught in its sands. It's tough to come to terms with the nagging fact that fifteen years later, some 2500 miles away, I am once again simply polishing some goddamned golf balls for middle-aged businessmen in Phoenix. Maybe I should switch to lemonade.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

heep see

Virgin Insanity : Illusions of the Maintenance Man
Espers : II

Privately pressed Texas stoners should be a no-brainer, yet this thing thuds on the other meaning of the phrase, meaning it gets me over loner-stoner like a bale of Mexi-dirt. Had I been an initial explorer, it's easy to see how falling down such a jackalope hole in a record bin could be so coveted: kooky teens from suburban Dallas in a haze of wacky weed strumming as they attain the Godz within. As something tenable in the twenty-first though, the daylight dispels such doodled illusions.

Espers may dig such a platter. For their own Amon Drool sequeling, arcane vinyl fetishizing, and the sort of librarian listing of all the vintage gear they accrued (along with arsenic old-lace dresses), it might make for knee-jerk dismissal. Especially as we deal with the shriveled pedal fall-out from the year that freak-folk broke (1966 dude). Yet moonbaths in the milky Nightwood extract is redemptive for them and Greg Weeks and his Big Love-like Djunas are even prescient enough to hitch themselves to the year that Black Metal broke. Though they are far more crepuscular and subtle, aligning themselves to the rust that never sleeps but thrives on such a surface.

The Knife : Silent Shout
Fiery Furnaces : Bitter Tea
Weird boy-girl (Hansel und Gretel) dynamic dualities at play, though only one breadcrumb trail to Neverland is stomachable. Biblical bodily-harm band names, and oxymoronic album titles aside, the masking and layers that Olof Dreijer and Karin Dreijer Andersson project never feel clever and cloying, unlike the Friedbergers. Aside from myself, I can't think of anyone who would benefit more from an editor (or in this case, a producer) than Fiery Furnaces. Their dog-paddling through proper names, cut-ups, and quirkiness (not to mention lame presets) is maddening, nearly causing last night's Movie Night to divide against itself. Maybe it is a psylocybin-steeped brew (which I'd usually never turn down), but much like such trips, shit turns boring the back half, when you stop wanting profundity and just want simple pleasures. Even Fluxblog frets whether or not you're gonna fuck up "Police Sweater Blood Vow" in the studio.

The Knife have some cheesy presets, too, like to dash their pop much like the Fiery Furnaces do. It takes nearly three minutes just to get to the ludicrous drum fill and chorus of "Like A Pen." They claim to be from Sweden, which is more cred-worthy than admitting the truth of their Siberian origins and how they have weird Deliverance-type inbreeding out there. The blurring of identity and gender sounds crucial to the Knife's survival, their duality distorted by digital processing and meat-locker isolation chambers, the horrors of daily life on a spiritual tundra such that it can feel like 500 degrees. Jiff Skippy hears Scott inside 'em, which I hope implies he hears Brecht and the fact that Silent Shout is also Munch-rock.

Belle & Sebastian : The Life Pursuit
Sparks : Hello Young Lovers
If you'd told me that post-April Fool's Day I would have barely spun the new Theo Dini but gotten downright dizzy on the unspeakably irritating Belle & Sebastian, I would've made your breath smell like boot polish. But I'll be damned if a twee-pop record isn't stoving in my head even as I type this. And how to explain my lifelong disregard of Ric Ocasek's hiccup vocal delivery somehow getting co-opted by Stuart Murdoch to my boxer-knotting delight on "The Blues are Still Blue"?

Yes, Viagra has restored their vim and vigor and taken them back to their days of being underwear models. Lascivious, silver-tongued devils though they may be once more, dicking around and whatnot, now it's their hearing that becomes the stumbling block. Punchlines, rather than prattled off with such effortless glee by the Evelyn Waughs of Glam, are now repeating payoff lines for five minutes or more. Not that there are no new twists; "Perfume" sounds downright sincere, until you realize the boys have never been once been so sappy. Then the laundry list of lays and the ladies' corresponding scents scans instead as a sly "settling down" pick-up line. And so they continue to dick around.

heep ep

Joe Tex : Buying a Book
Bobby Charles : Bobby Charles

Disparaging as it is to flip through used records in New York (not to mention keeping in mind waxy accumulation in the earhole and the hell that is moving boxes of records), it was finally worth my while as two things I had been pining for suddenly appeared in the wood crates. It's no secret that I am taken with Joe Tex (for those who don't know, the phrase "heep see" is from Joe's joint "Heep See Few Know," flipping Scripture in the days before he really got all 5%) but finding his crisp yet wistful classic Buying a Book was just short of impossible this far north of the Mason-Dixon line. His world of sock hops, prom dresses, hand-me-down shoes, dabs of mustard greens, grandma's can of snuff, it sounds impossibly passed, like when a Carl Perkins teen ditty talks about polishing up a horse for Saturday night's picture show. Bus depot hieroglyphics, barber shop-talk, So-n-so's misfortune, everybody'n everybody's bidness...the more things change the more...
Joe Tex - Anything You Wanna Know

Mike McG gave me that slice of Bobby Charles's watermelon first, to slurp and quench to seek out the Band in all its sepia doubt beat, its mudfoot strut, from Jesse Winchester to Jackie Lomax. Now I can hear how it snuggles into crackles like a cardigan in a spring wind. Ever wish Randy Newman just grew up redbone? Sang in swamp shacks instead of at Disneyland? As prime Band-non-Band, this Bearsville record serves as the Chelsea Girl for VU-non-VU. 'Cept Bobby don't have to make explicit that life is a carnival, just squint (maybe it's a wink) about the carnie aspects, you know how people are. Easy Lee as Lee Dorsey, Bobby Charles leans back while dudes like Danko, Dr. John, and Levon Helm loop-de-loop.
Bobby Charles - Small Town Talk

Friday, April 14, 2006

beta flashback

A conversation about the Beatles that took place at a Jim's Diner a good twelve years ago, up at Moistworks.

Similarly, recalling the first time I ever heard Tom Ze, back in high school.

No, I'm not going to my high school reunion or anything like that (that nostalgic ship already sailed), but I am pondering a book proposal dealing with such a time. It means revisiting a book like Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD so as to again be struck by information about Dr. Hubertus Strughold, a Nazi scientist who performed mescaline studies at Dachau (in addition to injecting inmates with gasoline, crushing them to death with pressure chambers, and other experiments involving poison, gas, and other chemicals). Tucked away in the US military under Project Paperclip, he relocated to the states where he became renowned as "the father of space medicine." Go figure that he lived in San Antonio, too.

It also means a stroll through the scorched parts of the mind, rescuing such artifacts, creating the artifice of teen thought, and wondering what the narrative thread through such a tangle could actually be, learning how to illuminate such burnt filament. In the words of thee mighty Trux, "It's an education every day."

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

v for venbeta

If Terry Gilliam threw in the towel at the sheer implausibility of translating Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon's visionary The Watchmen graphic novel into celluloid (Aronofsky couldn't handle it either (thank G-d), though now it's in pre-production elsewhere), then what chance did the clunky Wachovia bros really have with V for Vendetta? Since Moore always works in collaboration with his artists, you'd think that having the two-headed brother approach for such daunting projects would help, but the Hughes Brothers fared no better with From Hell. That just leaves the Farrelly Brothers to do Batman: The Killing Joke, or perhaps Swamp Thing ("Swamp gas" is ripe with possibilities).

Watchmen is dense and complex with loads of annotations but V for Vendetta has just as many cultural quotes coursing underneath its story of fascism/terrorism. Translation towards American cineplexes is already an uphill struggle: unpacking a British icon (Guy Fawkes), dealing with fascist states from a historical distance, wrapping it all up in Constructivist Russian street team posters, all done while tapdancing around Al Qaeda landmines that pushed this thing back from its original November release.

You have to give it to them Wachovian boys though; they surfed the black trenchcoat fallout of Columbine for The Matrix as well, so what's a little bit of tube terrorism but street marketing at the end of the day? Yet the movie has to play up its knives (and not its 'daggers of the mind' to quote Willie Shakes at random much like the movie does) while downplaying the more intellectual concepts of V. He at times comes across as an uber-nerd, with stacks of books and rare records. Of course, us rock critics snicker knowingly that Cat Power's "I Found a Reason" was never released as a seven-inch record.

Apparently, Alan Moore went Smithee on the final screenplay, perhaps because nuances get buffed clean with machine guns and CGI knife-whirling. Not that the little additions like crucifix emblems (hello Christian Fascism!), the government-inflicted virus outbreaks, or the pharmaceutical industry getting implicated as population control aren't clever additions to the paranoia pile-on. The terrorism card can get played for shock value (mostly from dismissive critics), but given that they already dosed the blue pill/ red pill bit for The Matrix, why not keep the role that LSD plays in the inspector discovering V's hideout or how mind expansion created V in the first place?

What the original book hints at yet never gets explicit about is the trajectory of making a V itself. It implies both descending line, apex (or nadir, as the case may be) and ascending line. It plays on Hindu deities: V as Shiva, born of fire, Evey as Brahma, birthed in water. It suggests that while V can only cause destruction, Evey's eventual understanding of her role as creator, nurturer, creative urge will resolve the napalm-sticky pro-terror bent of the original.

The movie is content to ignore Evey as both mere street tart (she's cruising for extra cash the first time we meet her in the comic) as well as her evolution into V (guess you can't very well have your Natalie Portman starpower mugging behind a mask) while highlighting a lesbian undercurrent I scarcely picked up in the books. Maybe they don't make her into V to avoid some sorta weird Hillary in '08 subliminal hint, opting instead for the climactic "Everybody is V" demonstration (which my friend snarked was about immigrant rights). Ringing freedom in V masks may help merch sales come Halloween, but in the end such well-intended politics end up as ham-fisted and hammer-subtle as Fahrenheit 9/11. Thankfully this time there's no Matrix: Reloaded rave in a cave.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

beta buck and terrell owens

As if I somehow got through a childhood in Texas without copious doses of Dukes of Hazzard and Hee-Haw, with the 'boys playing right after Sunday services. This Buck trib is (boss) hog-tied to the passing of both Nikki Sudden and Jackie McLean.

Elsewhere, some doot-doot-doot on The Latin Satin, Kim "Olive Juice" Gordon's groop, and a hastily-writ grab at the ungraspable Golden Afrique and Lagos sets.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

beta shout at the devil

When dealing with the figure of Daniel Johnston (by which I mean in that form somewhere between fat man and indie-mythic cut-out), it strikes me so close to home that vision tends to slide into platitudes that the man himself trades in, between good and bad or Captain America and Satan, simple blacks and whites, absolutes of craziness and sanity. And my mind quickly obfuscates the man, to where I watched much of The Devil and Daniel Johnston questioning my own familiarity with the subject, almost shocked by pictures of his youthfulness, his unmedicated early vigor.

While I'd like to color myself as more an original seeker circa senior year, I'm fairly certain that my first knowledge with the man stems solely from Kurdt Kobain's "Hi, How Are You?" tee shirt, but even such photo ops merely cemented and made approachable the odd white tapes with xeroxed covers that were always on display in Austin, something at the periphery of my young teen consciousness, never quite in focus. (When talking to people from Houston, they experienced a similar sensation with all those Jandek records that used to just sit in the record bins for years, their blurry kodachrome mystery beckoning right under their nose.) If it's not the tapes of Daniel Johnston then it's a four-story spray-painted frog asking about your condition as you walked along a wall right off of the Drag on the way to class; his remains a presence in the city, but that of a god departed from the world.

Just cracking open the plastic case of Songs of Pain was like that of a cosmic egg (or a suddenly brainless boxer), the curtains of hiss parting for a grotesque display of elephant-man madness. We snickered and then were silenced by the tears of rage as Daniel wailed about sticking his head in a fire hydrant or else badgered the potheads who rolled up the sacred pages, subsequently burnt their lips, and also forgot to brush their teeth.

And Laurie, always Laurie, his Beatrice, dude would just not shut up about her. It was a listen as beguiling and gruesome as an emotional car wreck. With that audition and others (we each bought separate tapes, though it's doubtful we ever got all the way through one in a single sitting), Daniel rose into the upper echelons of our minds, raw and bared and (perhaps most key) as Texas as anybody. Maybe if Buddy Holly had written 1500 songs about prettyprettypretty Peggy Sue after spelunking through the lysergic muck of Roky's "Kingdom of Heaven" (Y'gnow, within?). If Paul had lost his shit in an East Texas sandbox. If Henry Darger had really been into Jack Kirby.

Going to the Clementine Gallery to check out his exhibit of drawings, there's a discernible peaking that occurs, as he is less "Dan Johnston" and more "Daniel Johnston," obsessing over Captain America and Casper, though I reckon it's really a recognizing and transposing (conscious or not) of comic books into mythology. Darger is a good touchstone for understanding Dan, with his eternal struggles of good versus evil fought by the eternally young and innocent. Not to mention the sexual tension tenting up in nearly every drawing. Daniel’s birds look like boners while his portraiture of women is by turns statuesque, powerful, yet naïve. Their breasts nippleless, they’re often headless, and the intersections of legs remain as mysterious and prepubescent as ever. He’s as unlaid and creepy as Darger with his girls’ small peckers.

And so it becomes less and less about Daniel's initial delirious outpouring of songs and more of the psychic fall-out resulting from it, that's what makes Daniel in this day and age. Blame the meds and their forgetfulness for not making him re-hash "Speeding Motorcycle" at every show, but he has scarcely advanced since that day he sped away from the circus. It's a fawning freak show, and God knows I bought my own ticket for it way back when at Liberty Lunch in the later part of the decade. Child wonderment of the man inspires such reverence in his fans (not to mention folks who made careers out of such “child” moves, from the Flaming Lips to Danielson). While his song craft remains stuck on 'Beatles,' there’s a definite maturing of his artwork though, as his art school leanings suddenly drop away, the magic marker box re-opens, and the childhood comics take over his mind, implanting figures like Jeremiah the Frog, Joe the Boxer, and Satan front and center in his destabilized lobes. There's a reason that such scribbled drawings pay the bills these days.

As with any good psychosis story, good ol' boy blotter plays a role in Daniel's demise (as much as say, Metallica). And like any fragile psyche in the Central Texas area circa the 80s, it occurs during a Butthole Surfers concert. In a movie rife with horrific, painful scenes of madness, disintegration, MTV worship (and Mountain Dew as demon-exorcising potion) is there any more physically painful scene in the film than of Gibby Haynes recounting the night's incidents and denying guilt while getting excruciating dental work done on his heinous snaggleteeth? Remember, Gibby was one of the last people Kurdt Kobain saw before his shotgun popsicle. And yet Daniel not only survives, but grows in influence, not to mention girth.

Rather than accept my dare to listen through to an entire cassette, how about this, peak-era Buttholes (between Locust Abortion Technician and Hairway to Steven) with the man-child chiming in (on Gibby-tronix, no less!), riffing on a Throbbing Gristle tune?

Butthole Surfers (with Daniel Johnston) - All Day

Monday, April 03, 2006


And then the Nothing went to take a tinkle.

Oldham Addendum: so going to the Old Joy afterparty got the elbows rubbed but good. Not only was Kim Gordon's armrest right next to mine in the mingling, but we hit the olive bowl pretty hard. Me, I only talked to her about the eggrolls that were served at the party, afraid to thank her for ruining my friggin' life (it's easier to tell her than Thurston (who I also neglected to inform of such a factoid back when I ate BBQ with him) or Kurdt Kobain (who really lost touch with his fanbase...)). I blame it on all the free bottles of Negra Modelo, as I wound up rather ripped.

Nothing to say to Todd Solondz but I do however corner Ira Kaplan in the bathroom queue, completely inhabiting my role as the guy that tells you about the one time he saw you guys play and how much you freakin' rawked. The only reason I would say such a thing to the guy though is I saw Yo La Tengo when they played at Tacoland in an insanely packed, reverent, and intimate gathering some ten years ago.

During the show itself, they just gushed over and over about how amazed they were to be playing there (Gwar musta told them about it or maybe it was the Dead Milkmen) and how amazing Big Drag (our hometown heroes/zeros) were. They went on to make explicit how genius they thought Big Drug was by completely ripping off their Beach Boy cover of "Little Honda" for I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One, replete with fuzzy one-note bend git solo.

Of course he remembered the show (all requests past the Dead C cover they opened with), although he remembers power outages, while I don't. Ira tells me that when he met Doug Sahm and Augie Meyer, he got to boast about playing there. Augie Meyers just laughed and laughed. And in a sweet party pee-line moment, he offers me his condolensces with the shooting death of Ram last year. It was swell that he knew about it and thought to say something sweet like that to some guy waiting to use the pisser.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


Yet another xian name permutation? Some sorta de-con disgruntlement at the Baby Shaq dismantling of my alma mater? Cheap beav joke?

Growing up Devo, as told over at Moistworks is just the icey-tip, but until the truth can be told about de-evolution (as well as the Cunt Whistles Behind the Music) a Devo disco track deftly mixing midgets and incest with a booji beat to hold you over:

Devo- Midget