At this moment...
At this moment (01.29.04):
After years of thinking that I lost them forever, the Monkey Men make their triumphant return.
Aren't these two the greatest? I don't remember how I ever found them, but over the course of maybe six months these two, who I dubbed the Monkey Men, went on countless Photoshop mis-adventures. I was going through an old work related cd, and there they were. So I thought I'd reintroduce them to the world. Seriously, I'd love to know the story about these guys.
So today the band came within inches of getting an opportunity to participate in a taping of Chic-A-Go-Go next month. However, there's a scheduling conflict, so hopefully we'll be able to particpate in the next taping come March. I was really looking forward to being interviewed by Ratso.
Last night I had these really odd and bizarre dreams. Twelve hours later I can only recall that they were bizarre. Shit, I should have written them down this morning.
Sometimes I'm none to bright. Today, case in point, I managed to go to work with my sweater on backwards. I'm sitting in a meeting, bored out of my mind, and I can't figure out why my sweater feels weird. Hopefully nobody else noticed. I also managed to leave all my money and credit cards at home, so lunch was half a bar of dark chocolate with pieces of ginger in it.
Song: New Resolution (TPS Mix) (Azure Ray—Azure Ray get the 80's treatment by Jimmy Tamborello. It has this beat, similar to that horrible, okay, it's not that bad, song Boys of Summer, but sped up just a bit. Tamborello escalates the urgency of the original. Checking the Azure Ray website I see that they will be playing The Abbey two days after my birthday, which would be March 9th, my birthday being the 7th.)
At this moment (01.28.04):
Song: Cosmic Country Noir (Stereolab—Oh how I love Stereolab. As I drove to work I kept thinking about how people question whether or not Stereolab are influential. I argue yes. It's just that they can't be touched.)
At this moment (01.27.04):
Listening to My Bloody Valentine's Glider E.P. The new Air album is a disappointment. So sad. The only song that's great is Alone in Kyoto, and that can be found on the Lost In Translation album, which is a great soundtrack. The new Stereolab is fantastic. And I'll be exploring the Cure b-sides boxset. I previewed the first disc, and so far me likes.
I ended up going for a run after work. I'm not sure how far I ran, but at least three, close to four, but not quite. With all the recent snow I haven't been doing my usual route. I've been improvising and knid of guessing my mileage.
Mmmmmmmmm... Snow. Had not I had Marvin Gaye's What's Going On in the car disc changer this morning I would have gone crazy. But I made it to work. I miss taking the train, but some things must be sacrificed. No artist or musician should ever have enough hubris to cover any songs off of that album. Every song is untouchable.
Out today is the new Stereolab album, as well a a Cure box set and a new long player from Air. I intend to pick up the new Stereolab, but I'm not too sure about the new Air album. I was hoping that it might be on iTunes so I could at least preview it. But it's not. And I love the Cure, so I'm tempted.
Yesterday I picked up a new cell phone that I can use anywhere in the world, but I bet the roaming charges are pretty steep. It'll come in handy when I jump over to Dublin. The phone also has a camera on it, so I can take photos. I think it's a strange idea, having a camera on a phone. I mean, it's pretty unnecessary. We're blessed with these things that occupy our skulls and this is how we use them. Oh evolution of the opposable thumb. I can't wait for the day of the dolphin.
Bad news. The Zerostars show for Saturday has just been cancelled. Jason sliced the tip off of his thumb (on the hand that he holds a pick with.) All that matters is Jason is okay, and it will heal, and we will be ROCKING again in a few weeks at the Beat Kitchen.
Album: What's Going On? (Marvin Gaye—Anybody who isn't moved by the gorgeousness of this album, well, they just don't have a heart. Simply one of the greatest pieces of art, ever.)
At this moment (01.25.04):
Jason and Mark, from Zerostars, and I spent the afternoon tracking drums for the upcoming Zerostars demo. We managed to record seven songs in a little over an hour and a half. Our friend, and our old guitarist from The Holiday Costume/old drummer for Bermans and Arrival, Dan stopped over to see how things were progressing. It was great to see Dan as he's pretty busy with Kill Hannah (I encourage anybody who visits this stupid site to support Kill Hannah.). Mark played well and pretty much did everything in one take. We kept the recording process simple with two overhead mics and one for the kick. I initially planned on using my Powerbook, but we decided to use the 16 track machine. I got to play the part of engineer, which means I hit record on the 16-track machine. Hopefully I'll start putting down bass tracks soon, but probably not until after our show on Saturday as we have practice on Tuesday and Thursday and I have some other web design business besides my own little site that will hopefully be occupying a bit of my free time. It'll be a good show. I managed to book us a show at the Beat Kitchen for the last Saturday in February, but I can't recall the exact date.
Two and a half weeks until I leave for Ireland. Right now I have a room booked in Dublin, but I'm also thinking about going to either Galway or Cork via train. I've been to Cork, so I'll probably end up going to Galway. Beautiful country.
At this moment (01.24.04):
One rather strong teapot of Harney & Sons cinnamon tea, two Van Morrison albums (Veedon of Fleece & Astral Weeks), four and a half miles, and 175 pages spent lost in La Mancha later... That's been my Saturday. And a good one it's been as my dog Caffery is resting between my feet as I type these thoughts.
As I started my run Don Quixote was on my mind. For some odd reason I kept trying to think of a title for a literary essay that I'd like to write on Cervantes' brilliant and hilarious masterpiece. The first title was "Hope Against Hope, or Why We Need Cervantes More Than Ever," or something similar—my thoughts tend to drift randomly as I run, so I often forget things. What simply amazes me is that 500 years later, give or take a few, the story of Don Quixote still rings true, if not more true now than when it was originally written. Why, because of the sense of optimism. Granted, I'm only 175 pages into the novel (it's close to 1000 pages) but still... I've laughed harder while reading this book than I have in the brief moments of television I've caught in the past few days.
Tomorrow the band begins recording the demo of our demo. We track drums.
Tonight I brought dinner of to my grandmother's house and spent some time with her. She's 89 and I always tell her she's going to make it to 100. She laughs and says, "Only if you take care of me." I stop off and picked up some fish and chips. She's great. Tonight I asked her about her father. I love talking with her about family history. She told me that my great grandfather used to be a conductor on the Chicago Trollys, and that he also worked as a policeman for the Chicago Park District. Turns out everybody in the neighborhood would bring their tickets to him and he'd have them taken care of. He died of cancer when he was 30. My grandma also told me that during prohibition she and my great aunt would go over to the pharmacy with a note written on a piece of paper. The pharmacist, in return for the note, would give my grandmother bootleged booze to bring back home. Family is important. I've always felt blessed to know both sets of my grandparents.
Song: Ask (The Smiths — "Shyness is nice, but shyness can stop you, from doing all the things in life you'd like to.")
At this moment (01.21.04):
The wind is beginning to pick up. Already 8:53pm. Where did my night go? Oh, mixing down songs from rehearsal. But there are technical problems. I managed to figure out a work around, but things still aren't right. So tangent. The wind is howling and I can feel it getting colder. I was talking with this Chinese girl that just started working at the same place as me and I asked her if she enjoys living in Chicago. She told me yes, but that it's very cold. I told her this has been a mild winter and she replied back, "That's what everybody keeps telling me." It was pretty cold when I was in China, and that was about this time a few years back, maybe 2001. There's a draft by my window, although not as noticeable as the one in my old apartment. I wanted to get out for a run after work, but I was exhausted. Up a bit too late last night, but I couldn't sleep. That's a mess of words.
Hopefully I'll have three new reviews up soon. I've slacked, but I have a few things that are almost ready. One of which will be a review of the new Mekons album Punk Rock. I'll also be doing a review of the Camera Obscura album and the Pacific VU album, and if I'm really feeling up to it I'll do a review of the new Belle and Sebastian DVD that I plan on watching in a bit. The Pavement DVD is quite good, but I only watched the documentary, and a couple of the videos. I need a post-it next to my bed that says listen to more Pavement.
Song: No Guarantee (Ivy — You'd think The Smiths wrote this song. I once had this best friend, and this is her anthem, or at least I assume this is her anthem. Really this entire album is her anthem. Another band that deserves the world.)
At this moment (01.19.04):
Just booked a room in Dublin. No hostels for me. You can check it out here. I'm super excited. Everything is within walking distance. I'll just need to purchase a god, ummm, I mean good, umbrella.
Of course now it's much later in the day, as is always the case. Listening to Bowie's Hunky Dory. I'm kicking myself for not going to see him play last week. I remember watching this hilarious religious show about the evils of rock music. In it they quoted lyrics from "Quicksand" by Bowie as images of Bowie superimposed with images of the Devil flashed upon the screen. It really was quite funny.
Here's my attempt at a poster for the upcoming Zerostars show. I think it turned out kind of okay.
I found a bunch of old handbills that I made for old Holiday Costume shows. I wish I hadn't deleted all the old band sites I developed. Oh well, some things are best left in the trash.
Song: Spanish Song Bird (Keren Ann — Because I'm always saying good bye... I really wish her album would see a domestic release. But it won't, and that's such a shame. However, even as an import it's pretty inexpensive and available at Other Music or Dusty Groove)
It was pretty cold out, but I still managed to get four miles in. I've run in colder weather, but it was still a bit cold. The sun was deceptive. I was thinking it was at least 28 or so degrees so I initially didn't layer correctly, and I wasn't planning on the face mask. But before I went out I checked the weather and it was only 14 degrees with a 0 degree wind chill. So I adjusted. On Damen and Augusta in Chicago there's a little corner store called The United Fruit stand. All last year I'd stop in there after my runs to pick a sports drink. Once, on a particularly frigid day I stopped in there after a run dressed like the before photo of me. The woman behind the counter was a bit frightened, but her husband recognized me as a regular and smiled. I miss the United Fruit Stand.
Last night I dreamt that I was carjacked. I guess you'd call that a nightmare. Lately my dreams have been out of control. And then I think of the classic Smiths song Last Night I Dreamt Somebody Loved Me.
I finished On Moral Fiction. For the most part Gardner's thesis holds up, or at least I agree with the majority of it. Art shouldn't debase life. My only real problem is when he talks about his dislike for electronic music. I have this strange feeling he's referring to those awful 70's moog albums that I don't mind. But he really doesn't like electronic music, which is a shame. However, I like this rant, "We need to stop excusing mediocre and downright pernicious art, stop "taking it for what it's worth" as we take our fast foods, our overpriced cars that are no good, the overpriced houses we spend all our lives fixing, our television programs, our schools thrown up like barricades in the way of young minds, our brainless fat religions, our poisonous air, our incredible cult of sports, and our ritual of fornicating with all pretty of even horse-faced strangers. We would not put up with a debauched king, but in a democracy all of us are kings, and we praise debauchery as pluralism." Nothing like a good rant every so often.
Song: The Lonely (British Sea Power—"I'll drink all day and play by night upon my casio electric piano." Such a powerful song. Every time I listen to this album I am blown away by it's emotional existential angst and intensity. I think they're coming to The Empty Bottle. A number of really great bands are coming to The Empty Bottle.)
At this moment (01.17.04):
Just finished reading Franzen's How To Be Alone. In his essay "Books in Bed" Franzen writes, "All people should be elitists—and keep it to themselves." I admire Franzen because he understands the need for dialogue to exist between the "faithful writer and the trusting reader." There's a pact between author and reader that exists nowhere else in art, a pact that doesn't exist between the television and the viewer. I admire Franzen becuase he cares deeply about the current state of literature and fiction.
I'm still reading and discovering Rilke. However, I started reading John Gardner's classic On Moral Fiction. Gardner argues from a traditional perspective that "true art is moral; it seeks to improve life, not debase it." I tend to agree.
This morning I recorded a quick acoustic version of Mad World by Tears For Fears. Maybe I'll post it, maybe I won't. I'm also working on some other music, but it's still pretty early.
Well, this is pretty amazing. After a number of months somebody finally submitted a response to "Is this you?" Thanks to whoever you are for submitting. And since you mentioned OutKast here's a brilliant cover of Andre's Hey Yeah.
Song: Don't Forget Me Forever (Whistler — Nico meets Nick Drake. This is such a sad and mournful song with some pretty violins. The guitar player used to be in EMF. Whistler sound nothing like EMF.)
At this moment (01.16.04):
Looking back at 01.14.04 and it's pretty hilarious. I mean, here I am writing about spirituality, if only for a brief moment, yet I pick Anthrax by Gang of Four. Talk about contradiction, or should it be juxtaposition? Lovely image, spirituality, anthrax and love. I'd make Emerson proud. Now that's hubris.
Song: Tonight (Stars — We need more bands to write these kinds of songs. I love Nightsongs, the album that this track is on. "I've tried telephones and old typewriters / words of love along the wires / but nothing is working tonight." Simply fucking brilliant. It's the kind of song that would make Burt Bacharch proud, and the kind of song that Elvis Costello needs to be writing.)
At this moment (01.14.04):
I keep typing 03 instead of 04. I'll be going to Dublin, Ireland in Feb. I'm looking forward to a change. I need to get away from the states. I want to go and wander the city, drink, and feel alive.
Lately I've been going through this spiritual phase. Every so often it happens, as in I start thinking about God. It happens when I read Hesse, or Kerouac. I don't typically use this space to discuss my faith, but... Maybe it's because of Rilke, although I started thinking about it prior to reading Rilke. Maybe it's because of the Sufjan Stevens album. Maybe it's because at the back of my mind I'm always thinking about Coupland's Life After God. It's strange how I think Hemingway is my favorite writer, when really it's Coupland, followed closely by Thoreau, then Hemingway, Salinger, Fitzgerald, and probably even Austen. Yet rankings and lists are lame and pretty useless, as is much of what I write. I should be listening to Dylan Thomas. Or Kerouac — I hear him in the background saying, "Hard hearted old farmer." Talk about tangent. Funny sometimes how that works. Thinking back to discussions of Kerouac, and stealing Brautigan, and passing around Loading Mercury With A Pitchfork, and being thrilled with the newness of his poetry, although it wasn't new, only to us. So now I've managed to slip into the collective us when that us hasn't existed in a long time, like years, or maybe even a decade, if it ever existed at all, which I'm starting to doubt. Doubt, a five letter word that is as equally cursed as it is blessed. A lot like the six letter word should, but with less negative impact.
Song: Anthrax (Gang of Four — "And I feel like a beetle on its back /
And there's no way for me to get up / Love'll get you like a case of anthrax /
And that's something I don't want to catch." Brilliant stuff.)
At this moment (01.12.04):
Okay, I'll admit it, this is why I run. More later...
After work I did a quick three mile run. On Saturday I ran too, four miles. Tonight the run felt good, not forced, and I enjoyed my solitude.
I've been reading Rilke's Letters To A Young Poet. I'd like to blame someone, anyone, for not introducing Rilke to me earlier in my life. Rilke is the kind of poet and writer thant needs to be studied in all freshman composition courses.
My dreams from last night were bizarre. In one I was in France the day their president was assassinated. I was forced to sing childrens songs, but in French. In another I went to pick up my bass guitar, but the neck was covered in all sorts of bugs, spiders, and rodents. Really screwed up. That's all I remember.
The United States as a whole resembles an addicted individual, with the corporate id going about its dirty business while the conflicted political ego frets and dithers.
Normally I consider myself apolitical, and while the economy is getting a bit better, I'm left with a sour taste in my mouth over this whole Iraq thing.
From Rilke's truly stunning poem Requiem For a Friend:
I have my dead, and I have let them go,
and was amazed to see them so contented,
so soon at home in being dead, so cheerful,
so unlike their reputation. Only you
return; brush past me, loiter, try to knock,
against something, so that the sound reveals
your presence. Oh, don't take from me what I
am slowly learning. I'm sure you have gone astray
if you are moved to homesickness for everything
in this dimension. We transform these Things;
they aren't real, they are only the reflections
upon the polished surface of our being.
Since I wasn't a comparative lit. major I never had a lot of exposure to Rilke. So I must explore on my own. I admire him for his naked spirituality, and for not being metaphysical about it like Donne. And to think all these years I've resisted poetry. Or maybe Rilke speaks to me as no other poet has spoken to me. In For The Sake Of A Single Poem Rilke writes:
...Ah, poems amount to so little when you write them too early in your life. You ought to wait and gather sense and sweetness for a whole lifetime, and a long one if possible, and then, at the very end, you might perhaps be able to write ten good lines... For poems are not, as people think, simply emotions (one has emotions early enough) — they are experiences.
One needs to look no further than Keats to see that Rilke is wrong with his first statement. However, Keats is probably an exception to the rule. Most, if not all awful poetry is based on emotions. There's nothing wrong with emotions, but emotions do not make for well written verse.
Week Two mix cd is complete (for AC). Here's the track listing:
1. Not Going Anywhere - Keren Ann
2. Closer - Matt Pond PA
3. Cities and Buses - Aberdeen
4. The Wild Ones - The London Suede
5. Go Away - Mark Eitzel
6. Take Care - Big Star
7. Becoming a Speck - Superchunk
8. Brave - The Innocence Mission
9. Winter Now - Broadcast
10. Calculation Theme - Metric
11. Happy New Year - Camera Obscura
12. Mad World - Gary Jules
13. All That's Left is to Say Goodbye - Astrud Gilberto
14. Anthems For a Seventeen Year Old Girl - Broken Social Scene
15. Blooms Eventually - Pulseprogramming
Just returned from The Lord of the Rings. It was okay, not as great as everybody made it out to be, and it should have ended with the "You bow to nobody" line — hopefully that doesn't spoil the ending for anybody. I've never read the Lord of the Rings. I've never really been a big fan of that genre. Laugh, but I'd rather read Jane Austen — I caught a brief glimpse of Pride and Prejudice on the television earlier today. Fantasy kind of bores me, which is strange as I tend to be prone to an overactive imagination, but not of the fantasy sort.
Song: Ian Curtis Wishlist (Xiu Xiu — God is this heavy, troubling, and disturbing. Xiu Xiu aren't the easiest band to listen to, and this song is proof. And parents worry about their kids listening to Judas Priest.)
At this moment (01.09.04):
As the dentist was administering the Novocain I wondered to myself what a quick shot of Novocain would do to my heart when it hurts. I don't mind Novocain. Not that my heart hurts a lot. The Novocain my dentist uses seems to be stronger than normal. Although I'm not sure what I mean by normal. Not that I watch sitcoms, but a sitcom about a dentist might not be too bad. Listening to Smokey & Miho. I just downloaded this album off of iTunes. It's good relaxing bosa nova for a Friday night as I work on some art stuff. Earlier I was listening to The Wrens' Meadowlands, which I didn't want to like as it's kind of emo, but too good to be emo. However, it was depressing the hell out of me, and I needed to listen to something happier.
I decided not to run tonight. Just wasn't in much of a running mood.
Spring would be nice. I made a snow scene too, but I'd prefer Spring, which is odd since I normally like the Winter snow and cold.
Song: Cities and Buses (Aberdeen — "...so I can be happy again." I had a completely different song selected, but... This is a really great album.)
Tangents. Earlier I was out getting lunch, and bored with the music selection in my car as I haven't switched out my cd changer in almost two weeks. I popped in an old Pet Shop Boys cassette that's been sitting in the empty space under the parking break release. I think it's a copy of Actually. Is that it? It's not my mine. An old friend left it behind one fate full night or day two or so years ago. They're such an odd and kind of corny band. There's nothing timeless about their music. Their brand of synth-pop sounds dated and plastic. Although, they have some pretty hilarious songs. I like What Have I Done to Deserve This? There's a song about shopping that's pretty funny too.
10PM, I'm hungry. I did a little over three miles. Tonight I ran circles. If I didn't run I wouldn't sleep.
Song: Happy (The Wrens — Well are you? I almost picked Go Away by Mark Eitzel.)
I told myself I wouldn't do this, at least not here, but I was reading some Rainer Maria Rilke, and I came across this poem:
Everything is far
and long gone by.
I think that the star
glittering above me
has been dead a million years.
I think there were tears
in the car I heard pass
and something terrible was said.
A clock has stopped striking in the house
across the road...
When did it start?...
I would like to step out of my heart
and go walk beneath the enormous sky.
I would like to pray.
And surely of all the stars that perished
one still exists.
I think I know
which one it is—
which one, at the end of its beam in the sky,
stands like a white city…
And I've been thinking a lot about Murakami's Sputnik Sweetheart...
And I've been thinking a lot about Craig Thompson's Blankets and Goodbye, Chuckie Rice...
And I keep listening to Oh God, Where Are You Now? (In Pickeral Lake? Pigeon? Marquette? Mackinaw?) and I'm constantly taken back by its joy and spiritual honesty, and how it manages to make me smile when I feel lost. This is a rare wonder of a song, as is this entire album. Not since I heard Pink Moon has an album made me feel this way. There's more compassion and honesty in this album than in all of the 2003 releases combined. This album is needed now more than ever.
From earlier in the day...
From last night's rehearsal (notice nothing is plugged in):
The photo of Mark is the best. John, the owner of Cool Metro Rehearsal Studio was laughing so hard when he saw that photo of Mark. Mark's expression is just too funny.
We have a show on January 31, 2004 at Bar Vertigo in Chicago. It'll be a great show as we're debuting a few really excellent songs, some of the best stuff we've ever written.
Then, hopefully it's off to the studio to put some of those songs to tape.
This is from one of the most bizarre websites that I've ever encountered. A lot of fun:
Possibly more later. We'll see if time allows...
Song: Vito's Ordination Song (Sufjan Stevens - This song kills me. I can't praise Greetings From Michigan enough. There's not one bad track on the entire album. Sufjan manages to capture the sound of joy rarely heard in music these days. Truly, some of the most honest, intense, selfless and compassionate music to be released in a long long time. Spectacular. You can listen to the demo version here.)
At this moment (01.05.04):
Listening to Wilco's Being There and thinking about the fraction of history that I inhabit. And thinking about memory, but not memories from a nostalgic point of view. Sometimes I think nostalgia is trickery, a false idealization of times past. Strange how we're never comfortable in the present, in the now, how we don't miss things until they're gone. Maybe we need to miss things while we have them closest to us, like hopeless romantics always hoping against hope that their love won't ever disappear damn well knowing it's more fleeting than ever. Then I think of Plato's cave and the shadows projected on the wall. Have we become creatures that allow the shadows, or in this case nostalgia, to be our reality? Yet maybe the now, this moment is too frightening. Normally you wouldn't associate nostalgia with fear, but maybe they're entangled. With nostalgia you know the outcome. Maybe Nietzsche was wrong. Maybe nostalgia is the opium of the masses. Nostalgia is a modern dilemma. I know, some would argue that it's not a dilemma. Am I making it out to be worse than it really is? Rhetorical bullshit.
Okay, enough of that as there are more important things to write and think about like... Time to go have a few drinks with my friends. Maybe once I have some liquor in me and I return I'll reevaluate my feelings about nostalgia and the past.
Song: On T.V. (Slumber Party - This band is sexy as hell. Best fucking band out of Detroit, maybe the midwest.)
At this moment (01.04.04):
Earlier I went out and played in the snow. Ran three miles. It was nice. The only thing that was difficult was the wind and blowing snow. About a mile and a half in I took off my glasses as they were covered in snow and ice. Yet that didn't help as the snow kept blowing into my eyes. Occasionally I'd close my eyes and run blind. Now I'm sleepy.
Been reading Jonathan Franzen's collection of essays titled How to be Alone. Funny how people jump to read Michael Moore, but not Franzen, who's a better writer, as well as social critic. In his essay "Why Bother?" Franzen examines the declining influence of the American novel on American culture, or more importantly the decline of the novel of "manners" within American society and how this disrupts community. At one point Franzen has a conversation with linguistic anthropologist Shirley Brice Heath about her efforts in "studying the audience for serious fiction in America." Heath discusses two types of dedicated readers, one of which she's termed the "social isolate." I fall into that category. Heath describes the "social isolate" as:
"The child who from an early age felt very different from everyone around him... What happens is you take that sense of being different into an imaginary world. But the world, then, is a world you can't share with the people around you - because it's imaginary. And so the important dialogue in your life is with the authors of the books you read. Though they aren't present, they become your community."
I've always read to know that I'm not crazy. I think that frightens people.
Another point that Franzen makes answers my question as to why bookstores like Barnes & Noble or Borders are always packed with customers. That's an awful lot of books and an awful lot of authors. Franzen writes, "Publishing is now a subsidiary of Hollywood, and the blockbuster novel is a mass-marketable commodity, a portable substitute for TV." Maybe that's why Franzen distanced himself from being affiliated with Ophra's book club when The Corrections came out a few years back. How to be Alone is a good read.
Tomorrow it's back to the working week, so I made myself this new CD:
Hot Fun in the Summertime - Sly & The Family Stone (This song makes me long for the summer.)
Oscillations - Silver Apples (Stereolab owe their collective lives to this band.)
Drunk - Slumber Party (If the Velvet Underground were all females.)
Oh Dear, What Can the Matter Be - Terry Callier (Terry Callier has one of the smoothest voices in folk, at times he sounds like Nina Simone. Very strong.)
By the Sea - The Essex Green (Makes me want to be on the East coast. I love when this song goes all 70's breakdown with that flute and insane guitar solo.)
20,000 Deaths for Eidelyn Gonzales, 20,000 Deaths for Jamie Peterson - Xiu Xiu (Just odd ambient electro soundscapes with the ghost of Ian Curtis floating in the background.)
Handsome Drink - Aberdeen (Ahh, indie-twee-pop.)
I Believe in a Thing Called Love - The Darkness (Bloody fucking brilliant.)
Faron - Prefab Sprout (Just started listening to them.)
Can't Get You Out of My Head - Kylie Minogue (I'm such a sucker for this song.)
Crazy in Love - Beyonce (This song sits in my head for hours.)
Hard to Find - American Analog Set (Their best song.)
Milk Rock - Takako Minekawa (Japanese pop)
Anything Can Happen - Mary Lorson & Saint Low (See below.)
Song: Anything Can Happen (Mary Lorson & Saint Low - Mary used to front Madder Rose, a 90's altpop band. Many fond memories of listening to Madder Rose. This is a really wonderful piano-laced pop song. Tricks For Dawn is a wonderful album.)
At this moment (01.03.04):
Just returned from a four mile run. It's kind of cool outside. Waiting for the first real snowfall of the year, which means my first snow run. I always look forward to snow runs. I always look forward to the winter, and then a few months in I want the Spring to arrive.
Song: Becoming a Speck (Superchunk - I managed to leave off a number of songs from my year-end retrospective box set. This is one of the tracks. I made another CD which brings the set to nine. I ended up including songs that were released domestically for the first time, like a track by The Notwist. I also put a song on by Ride from their BBC sessions. Becoming a Speck was originally a b-side to something or other, but who's really paying attention. I'll get the tracklist up at some point.)
At this moment (01.02.04):
Sometimes I'm none too bright. Finally broke down and bought a printer. I bought a nice Canon that's small and very portable (for when I plan my escape). I got it hooked up with no problem, but when it comes to orienting the size of the paper and printing it, well, things just don't come out right. So I'll stop wasting ink and photo paper and figure it out later. At work people think I'm tech savvy. Sure, I know how to use a computer, and a digital camera, but most things technological escape my grasp. Really, most things escape my grasp. It's amazing that I can breathe on my own.
For various other reasons I feel kind of foolish too, but I won't go into them here.
Today, while out and about, I found this in a parking lot:
YOU A RE INCLINE D, AT TIME S, TO BE AGGRESSIVE ALMOST TO THE POINT OF ANTAG ONISM. YOU A RE DE FINITE LY THE ME NTAL TYPE, A ND IT SHOULD BE EA SY FOR YOU TO OVER* COME THIS TENDE NCY ONCE YOU ARE AWA RE OF IT. YOUR MIND MOVES RAPIDLY, AND YOUR WITTY SPE E CH SOMETIMES TURNS CYNICAL. RE ME MBER YOUR FAULT, A ND THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK.
That's just so odd. Maybe I'll send it over to Found Magazine.
Time to read some and then put out the light.
Song: Paratrooper (Portastatic - I'm sure I've already picked this song, but oh well. I listened to this song a bunch of times today.)
I keep contemplating booking a fight to London for the end of February. It would be nice as I could go for a brief change of scenery. I was rummaging in an old shoe box and I came across the above photo I took when I was last in London. I miss London...
Did a quick three mile run. Small drops of rain fell
Song(s): Blue Moon and Take Care (Big Star - These are two fucking fantastic songs. His Name Is Alive covered Blue Moon. That was the first time I ever heard it. It's a stellar version. Yo La Tengo covered Take Care on Summer Sun. I really love the strings on the original.)