Wednesday, August 31, 2005

i'm blind (but i ain't that blind yet)


i saw the white stripes at the congress theater tonight. the first hour of the show was jack and meg playing the album get behind me satan in its entirety, in order. strange. he didn't play all of "take, take, take" though - it was more like "take ta-" and then he wandered away from the piano. the second half of the show was straight-up rock, with mostly songs from white blood cells and elephant. my friend mc was pretty happy to hear "death letter." not to complain, but i didn't totally feel it this time. there were a few songs i would have liked to hear, we were on probably the fourth tier of the balconies, the group of fratastic/coked-up guys in front of us needed lobotomies (how many times can you give a high-five in one evening?), i am going blind (see below), and this is the fifth time i've seen them. it's hard to start loving a band when they're playing to 200 people (tops) and you get to say hello to them on the street in front of the club and they watch their own opening bands from the crowd and then, four years later, you're paying $50 to be in a concert hall (no booze, no smokes, velvet-covered chairs) and not totally digging it because now they're Rock Stars when before they were just a band you really liked. not that i bemoan the success of bands that deserve to be well-loved, but it makes going to see them not as fun as it used to be.

jack has become more friendly towards the crowd - he even asked "how are you doing?" after about 45 minutes. his stage persona has evolved into a cross between robert plant, an ancient former sharecropper, and vincent price. plus he has a freddie mercury thing going on but dialed down a lot (i think it's the pants and the piano). meg sang her creepy song "passive manipulation" while playing big kettle drums and sat on the floor, watching, as jack played piano and sang "i'm lonely (but i aint that lonely yet)."

i don't know if i couldn't see very well because we were so far away or if it's because i went to the eye doctor today to complain about my contacts and they found a tear on my retina. they thoroughly freaked me out - i have to go see an eye surgeon tuesday morning. motherFUCK this past week, for reals. if they have to laser me, i hope i get an eyepatch to wear (temporarily).

here is a photo of my eye dilated. i look like i'm tripping.

i'm thinking of retiring


so i read a review of the aristocrats on the washington post's website and then i blogged about it, linking the article, and now the same article has a link to my blog in a box that says "read what bloggers are saying about this article," and now i'm linking to it again, which is surely entirely way too metaphysically cyberweb-perfect, and now i can just stop writing entirely.

had i known that this was going to happen, i would have maybe put some effort into that post.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

innocence and despair: a story about tedward



today's first shuffle song on ipod: "To Know Him Is To Love Him" - The Langley Schools Music Project, from Innocence & Despair

i first heard about this album in an "outsider music" article published in 2001 in the new york times magazine - the shaggs, daniel johnston, etc. the short version of this album's story is that a hippie teacher in rural canada in the 70s brought a 4-track into the school gym, taught his students (elementary age) how to play instruments, and had them sing their favorite pop songs. the sessions were pressed into records for the kids to have as keepsakes and everyone forgot about it until recently, when they released it as a re-packaged oddity album. i know it sounds precious and lame, but there is something really funny - and spooky - about 20 children singing "a space oddity" and "sweet caroline" while banging away on drums and playing recorders and missing their cues. the album is called innocence and despair because, the cd booklet drones on about, the children selected these songs that are both sweet and oddly sad - the beach boys' "god only knows" changes meaning when it's a bunch of kids who are so earnest and off-key. oh, and the cymbals on "i get around" are fucking funny.

i bought this cd at a smartypants bookstore in dc called politics and prose. there was a guy named cleve that worked there that i was totally in lerve with (from afar, which is only appropriate when you have a crush on the bookstore guy). politics and prose always had amazing author readings - i saw irvine welsh with like 20 other people (he could have read the phonebook and i would have listened with rapt attention, his accent was so awesome), i got to talk to margaret atwood and robin morgan and david rees. one of the best events was when caroline kennedy's book (some cash-in collection of her mother's favorite poems) came out and so she, her crazed aunt eunice shriver (maria's mom) and her uncle ted read some old poems that they love: ted did longfellow's "paul revere's ride" in his booming bostonian voice. this sighting in and of itself was purely dc and one of the reasons i thoroughly enjoyed living there - the easy access to such randomness. but that's not my best ted kennedy moment. that goes something like this:

my bff ag is a lesbo but she chooses a new fiscal year boyfriend every summer. in 2004 it was ted kennedy (or tedward, as we call him) and she was coming to visit me before i moved to chicago. we had all sorts of jokes about how we were going to stalk him and he was going to drive us around (and into the potomac). the second day she was in town we did some touristy shit on the hill and we found his office in the longworth building and walked by slowly, admiring the warhol (of himself - i'm sorry, but that's so badass) on the wall. we went out in front of the longworth and smoked some cigs and heard dogs barking and we were like "it would be awesome if tedward came out front and bummed a smoke" and "it would be awesome if those were tedward's dogs. i'd be all like, 'c'mere, sparkles!'" so we decided to cut through a park next to the longworth and, yes, there was tedward, in his white-mop-headed glory, two adorable dogs running around. he was in better shape than he had been in a while, but he was still kinda busted, and dude was using a tennis racket to scoop dog shit into a plastic bag. we totally bothered him, pet his dogs, said "senator kennedy" before every sentence ("senator kennedy, it's so nice to meet you," "senator kennedy, i like your dogs"). he seemed a little embarrassed to be caught picking up dog shit (with a tennis racket) - he was like "yes, yes, just walkin my dogs. doin my duty" (subtext: please go away).

we later cyberstalked and read that they are portugese water dogs named splash and sunny (i had a near-psychic experience when i determined that his dog was named sparkles). last april, when in town for my job's lobbying day, i saw some 24-year-old kid in a nice suit walking the dogs in the longworth park and i walked up to him and said "are those senator kennedy's dogs?" and then pet them while calling them by name. he just looked at me like who the fuck are you? sucks to move to dc to work for the most famous democrat in town and you end up on dog shit detail.

r kelly married aaliyah when she was 15.


i don't know what the "right" answer in this case is - have him arrested and jailed for being totally creepy and wrong, or let him stay with his wife and baby, and charge her mother for consenting to her marriage. clearly the groom is mentally only 14 years old as well. this whole article is just totally BARF.

Rape Charge Follows Marriage to a 14-Year-Old

For now, Mr. Koso, out on $5,000 bond, sits in the basement of his parents' home, where the walls are papered with the pink-and-purple, heart-filled love notes that his wife, a ninth-grader, scribbled on notebook paper in class. A crib crammed next to the bed has Winnie the Pooh sheets to match the keychain dangling from her schoolgirl purse.

The couple named their 7-pound, 1-ounce baby girl, born Wednesday morning, Samara Ann Koso, after a character in the horror movie "The Ring."

Monday, August 29, 2005

roger ebert smack-down: the sequel


ag was telling me about a review she had read about a movie called chaos that basically said "i hate this movie and i never want to see it again." this is the same movie i had seen advertised on the marquee of a dumpy theater near my apartment (tb told me that the entire theater smells like piss) - that's a photo (that i did not take) of it to the left. just the name of the website - www.onlyamovie.com - is a big taunt, so we looked it up, saw the trailer (not very informative), saw some stills from the movie (wish i hadn't) and saw that the filmmakers had posted not only roger ebert's original review (zero stars) but a letter that they had written to ebert and his response to the letter. i'll be damned if he isn't delivering some of the best zero-star reviews ever written lately (and let's face it, glowing reviews are boring to read; slams are so much more creative and entertaining). not only did he hate chaos, he had utter fucking poetry to say about the role of art, and wondered about the movie "why do we need this shit?"

the producers of chaos claim (unconvincingly) that the movie is supposed to be a "warning" to parents, hitch hikers, and, well, i guess for anyone who leaves their house or trusts humanity. ebert says, "Animals do not know they are going to die, and require no way to deal with that implacable fact. Humans, who know we will die, have been given the consolations of art, myth, hope, science, religion, philosophy, and even denial, even movies, to help us reconcile with that final fact. What I object to most of all in Chaos is not the sadism, the brutality, the torture, the nihilism, but the absence of any alternative to them. If the world has indeed become as evil as you think, then we need the redemptive power of artists, poets, philosophers and theologians more than ever."

chaos has a 3 (out of 100) on metacritic. i usually end up seeing movies that are this hated, just so i can know how bad it is. i can't force myself to watch this.

addendum: thanks for the spelling correction, anonymous. next time leave your name so i know who's more ocd than myself.

ghetto fries: perfect with unicorndogs


i think i sorta ruined my friend hbs when he came to visit me this summer. one trip to the house of wing and now he's sending me emails like this.

he introduces me to salad fingers, i introduce him to the pizza puff. i don't know who wins.

i like bands' names when they are simple


today's first shuffle song on ipod: "Town Called Malice" - the Jam, from The Jam's Greatest Hits

mod. thoroughly british punk pop. they were born in feb 1977 - as was i. i'm totally apeshit for their song "beat surrender." i also love the lyrics to "the bitterest pill (i ever had to swallow)." that's all i really have to say about them.

one of god's tools.


he's so christian. like, he didn't mean to KILL chavez - maybe just, you know, kidnap him. ps: sorry i caused september 11th.

from the washington post:


Robertson, 75, at first responded by insisting that his remarks had been misinterpreted by the news media.

"Wait a minute, I didn't say 'assassination.' I said our Special Forces should 'take him out,' and 'take him out' can be a number of things, including kidnapping," he said on yesterday's edition of his flagship show on the Christian Broadcasting Network.

Yesterday evening, however, Robertson issued a written clarification acknowledging that he had used the word "assassination." He said he had ad-libbed his original comments Monday, which included the sentence "I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think we really ought to go ahead and do it."

Robertson's clarification went on to say: "Is it right to call for assassination? No, and I apologize for that statement. I spoke in frustration that we should accommodate the man who thinks the U.S. is out to kill him."

This is not the first time that Robertson has issued a convoluted apology. After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, he appeared to agree with the Rev. Jerry Falwell on a "700 Club" broadcast that the attacks were God's punishment for feminists, gays, lesbians and liberal groups. But Robertson later said he conducted the interview with Falwell over a studio monitor and had not fully understood what Falwell was saying.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

ky


today's first ipod shuffle song: "Not the Doctor" - Alanis Morissette, from Jagged Little Pill

i know that alanis is a dipshit but i just count this song (and, um, her albums) as a guilty pleasure. i heard this song at 8:45 am est this morning in rural kentucky; i spent all weekend in a rented chevy mailbu, driving the mountain parkway from lexington to pikeville for a two-hour work event, stayed at the super 8 (best hotel in town) and drove back again. i have an itrip for for the ipod, which made a 3.5 hour drive much more tolerable. i never get to drive, especially alone, so i didn't mind much - thinking and smoking and trying to resist my preference for speeding. the summer i finally learned how to drive i was wearing a lot of frankenstein-esque platform flip-flops that made it impossible to know how much pressure i was applying to the pedals, so i learned barefoot and have forever just kicked off my shoe whenever i drive (which can get awkward in the winter). so i drove barefoot through kentucky (how terribly appropriate) - you can see where the rock was dynamited to forge a road and i only stopped once, to get a blueberry shake at a dq in a nowhere town. i don't enjoy being in rural america, but i don't mind driving through.

one thing about alanis: i think that the fact she just re-released jagged little pill as an acoustic 10-year anniversary album is really out of touch with peoples' interests, as well as an obvious money-grubbing cash-in.

i saw a sign for elizabethtown, and cd, being the good ole kentucky boy that he is, is excited for the new movie of the same name. it looks promising.

Friday, August 26, 2005

google earth


this is seriously awesome. i wasn't crazy about downloading and saving the program, and it takes a few seconds to get a hang of it (i recommend using the hybrid - both satellite and street map views), but i was able to locate my apartment's fire escape, as well as my previous homes in dc. my parents' house is too rural for any sort of decent photo, and i was pleasantly surprised to see that, while they don't have a lot of aerial views of galway, ireland, what they do have is a gorgous splotch of green, purple and white. unicorn land!

http://earth.google.com/

it's interesting that my last two posts have had to do (sort of) with planets and space and science, considering i know nothing about any of these things. i DO know that if i wanted to learn, though, i would go here.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

thanks mom


my mother sent me an email forward not too long ago about how mars would be the closest to earth that it has been in millennia on august 27. for some reason i guess i forgot that this news is very 2003, and so i have been thinking about how i should look for it soon. i think i have even been mentioning this to people, which makes me seem retarded.

so i took the bus home with ag today, and i mentioned it to her and she started laughing and was like "yeah, i got that forward too - like two years ago. it was a big deal then. people were actually talking about it, it was all over the news. have you heard anything about it this year from anyone other than an email forward?"

since most of my mother's email forwards have to do with jesus or optical illusions, i should have realized this a long time ago.

if it's any consolation to myself, mars IS coming back, and before the year 2287 - it will sort of be near (and visible) on halloween of this year. so mark your calendars (correctly).

insert headline about jets, preferably a punny one, here


today's first ipod shuffle song: "Look What You've Done" - Jet, from Get Born

yes, it's totally derivative, but i like this album a lot - they're aussies, they're kinda dirty, they clearly like the beatles and the stones. i saw them open for the kings of leon in dc and bought the album before the ipod commercials featuring "are you gonna be my girl?" came out. if i hadn't seen them prior to that commerical, i probably would have stayed away, because that song is technically great but also feels really manufactured and formulaic.

what am i talking about? i'm tired.

here, look at this: it's pretty.

also, since jet clearly wishes that it had been a part of the brit rock revivial, here is a great article on what the charts looked like a decade ago in england, when britpop was born.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

not to be melodramatic, but . . .


today's first shuffle song on ipod: "One" - Aimee Mann, from the Magnolia soundtrack

i love this song. it brings me back to a very special time. picture me in a "garden-level" (basement) new hampshire apartment in the dead of winter in 2000, working on an oscar the grouch cross-stitch i purchased with the sole purpose of giving my hands something to do other than chainsmoke. sitting on a futon in my front room, all alone with my stereo and the magnolia soundtrack in constant rotation. the two friends i had in new hampshire lived 45 minutes away (one to the southeast, one to the northwest), so every now and then i would treat myself to a six-pack of raspberry cider jack (a true indulgence - the americorps paid me $600 a month and food stamps don't cover booze, surprisingly), work on a short story that was inevitably about a girl who wonders what went wrong, and ponder the lyrics to this song. one is the loneliest number indeed.

addendum, 12:48 pm on thursday: so my friend ecf has a blog that he is mighty proud of, full of his own witty comments and i suppose he tries to post photos to make it look somewhat better, so he considers himself some sort of blog authority. i have actually had to remove an entire post because of his comment that outed me and where i work after i left an angry "why am i in atlanta?" post. i have few rules for myself, but one of them is not to be too personal on my blog and the other is to not talk about work, so i suppose by being an asshole he was actually helping me out. anyway, he just sent me an email demanding that i remove the bad pun i had used in this entry - the "man(n), i love this song." i knew it was retarded when i typed it, but please. this is the same fellow that once critiqued a post by saying that it was totally cliche-ridden and poorly executed. why is he my friend? and why do i let him bully me into changing my posts, no matter how dumb they may be?

saving the impoverished, hungry, and undead

this was just forwarded to me by hbs - he found it on http://theupstatelife.blogspot.com/, so the great snarky comment at the end is theirs, as are the links (saves me a lot of time). this is awesome, for many different reasons.

Halloween Finally Gets Its Own Benefit Song

Following in the footsteps of Live Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?", the indie community has gathered 'round and recorded, yes, a benefit song devoted to the prevention initiative of Halloween. The charity collaboration of "Do They Know It's Hallowe'en" is being used to raise money for UNICEF and features contributions from an array of artists that include:

Arcade Fire's Win & Regine
Beck
Buck 65
David Cross
Devendra Banhart
Liane Balaban (Dessert)
Elvira, Mistress of the Dark
Feist
Gino Washington
Syd Butler (Les Savy Fav)
J'aime (Island)
Malcom McLaren (Sex Pistols)
Nardwuar The Human Serviette
Peaches
Jimmy Tamborello (Dntel / Postal Service)
Steven McDonald (Redd Kross)
Joey Waronker (Walt Mink/Beck/R.E.M.)
Jenny Lewis & Blake Sennet (Rilo Kiley)
Roky Erickson (13th Floor Elevators)
Chris Murphy (Sloan)
Smoosh
Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth)
Russell Mael (Sparks)
Subtitle
Stevo (Sum 41)
Tagaq (Throat Singer, Bjork collaborator)
Anna Waronker (That Dog)
Dan & Spencer (Wolf Parade)
Karen O (Yeah Yeah Yeah's)

The single is scheduled for release on Tuesday, October 11th, but you can already stream a lo-fi version of the track over at Vice Records' website. If you transfer it over to your iPod, be sure to tag the genre as "WTF, but I'll still listen anyway because The Arcade Fire are on it".

braggy mcbraggerson


there is a function on my ipod called "music quiz" under games. i have mentioned this to other ipod-carrying friends and they are not familiar with it - i think that the minis don't have it, and some people don't do much with their ipods other than listen to music. not that i am the kind of person who plays cell phone games or downloads tetris to play on my laptop. there is a woman at work who, after logging out at night (we are required to "punch" out, which i hadn't had to do since i worked at target in high school), plays a few games of solitaire. like, she stays late, at work, to play. this strikes me as quietly tragic.

anyway, "music quiz" is a favorite bus activity for me. there is a list of five songs from your music collection and it plays a few seconds from the middle of the song. the answers slowly disappear, so you get a head's up and all, and you scroll and click to submit your answer. it's funny to listen to the five seconds and be like, "oh, i forgot how much i love that song," as well as "i own that?" and "no, i couldn't possibly like this."

every time you plug your ipod into your computer to update it, it resets "music quiz" so that you're never subjected to playing the same game twice, though it only goes to 100 before the songs start repeating themselves. so i always play to 100 and i usually get about 80 right. which is like a B average (or B-). not bad considering my ipod currently has 10,026 songs and there is no way that i am familiar with all of them. sometimes i make good guesses, or the song clip that is playing just so happens to have the same lyrics as the name of the song.

last night i took the bus up to andersonville to meet up with a middle school (!) friend that i recently reconnected with, and i decided to play music quiz. i got a 97, bitch!!!! i was a little bit amazed that i had hit 40 and had yet to be wrong. i can't say if my sudden authority has anything to do with the fact that i am obsessively listening to all songs A-Z in order (except for all of the songs that start with the word "christmas" - and there are many of them, for whatever reason i really like holiday music - i'll wait til a more seasonally-appropriate time to go back to those) or if i just got lucky, but for one glimmering moment i had impressed myself. and then i remembered that no one would give a shit. but whatevs. for one brief bus ride, i ruled.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

pretty, but pretty boring


today's first shuffle song on ipod: "Baby" - Rufus Wainwright, from his self-titled debut

this sounds like something snorah jones would record: slow, careful, showcases a nice voice and competent piano playing, gots some strings and orchestration. kinda cabaret, kinda 1950s torch song, kinda boring. i like rufus, when he's not channeling some depressing old dead starlet.

my friend cd is where i heard "snorah jones" from. he also made me laugh with "pete yawn."

but what does it MEAN?!?!?!?!


aristocrats backlash that's actually quite possibly psychologically sound:

comedians are assholes and they hate us because they fear us, as well as fear the world and the boring everyday existence that they can't bear to take part in.

however, this journalist needs to calm his freud down.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


our email server is down at work. what am i supposed to do? i am incapable of communication that isn't typed.

here - this is a great way to waste time: one of those special quizzes where a computer program tells you all about your deep dark secrets.

Monday, August 22, 2005

good background music for your D&D tournament


today's first shuffle song on ipod: "Houdini" - Kate Bush, from The Dreaming

kate bush is one part siouxsie sioux, one part yoko ono, one part stonehenge, one part tori amos' mom, one part goblin, one part bag lady with sticks and dirt in her hair, one part anne rice novel but somehow more literary, one part xanadu, and . . . ummm . . . well, she's weird. it's a good kind of weird, though i prefer to listen to her by myself, because it's not really the kind of music that you turn up in your car and sing along to on a road trip or play at a party, because she's really not for everyone. she is to the english countryside as bjork is to iceland - the weird creature who makes sometimes creepy but overall cool bizarro music. as insanely nerdy as it is, i LOVE the song "wuthering heights," where she sings to heathcliff from catherine's perspective (as in "heathcliff, it's me, cathy, i've come home, i'm so cold, let me into your window.") she has a very distinct voice, part creepy british child and part banshee.

when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro


hunter s thompson's family and friends gathered on his property in colorado for the send-off that he wanted, six months to the day of his suicide. his wife (who's, errr, 32 years old) had his ashes added to fireworks canisters, then erected a statue taller than the statue of liberty featuring the gonzo hand with glowing peyote and two thumbs, and everyone watched as the fireworks were set off. a pretty awesome send-off. who knew that he was tight with john kerry?

least surprising headline ever


Tearful Courtney Love ordered into rehab facility

how is it that she has never spent a night in jail on drug charges (or assault, or child abuse, or crimes against nature)? how many times have YOU ever gotten a ride in an ambulance?

maybe robert downey jr should sit her down and let her know how fun prison is.

i hate it when the glowing box in the living room makes water come out of my eyes


i went to madison with a group of friends to celebrate eb's birthday for the weekend - we rode bikes on the city path along lake mendota, went to state street and ella's deli, and spent saturday night rockin out at flashbacks, the "discothèque" attached to the middleton, wi, marriott. i gave the400-pound dj a buck for playing "hey ya" and "billie jean."

returning to chicago, we watched the series finale of six feet under, which made me cry like the sucker i am. i suppose it is good that the series is finally over so i can stop balling every sunday night like i have for the past month, and the last 15 minutes were both really satisfying and sorta disturbing. so then i had to go home, and i decided to leave my bike so i could carry my huge tote bag and a big shopping bag filled with the weekend's supplies - clothes and shoes and magazines and muffin tins from the cupcakes i had made. sitting on the bus with red puffy eyes and two giant bags full of my possessions on a sunday night, i bet i looked like i had just been evicted or i was a not-very-teenage runaway.

the ny times and the washington post both have some decent articles about the finale. it makes me sad that it's over, but too much badness happened to the fisher family for me to suspend belief for much more tragedy, and it's better to burn out than fade away (thanks, neil young, for the cliche). or, as the times says, "Six Feet Under was a beautiful series, and its finale will suffice."

Friday, August 19, 2005

you can fight the seether if you really try


i have always really liked veruca salt, even though i know that they're not the best band ever. their first single, and indeed what got me to purchase their album american thighs when i was in high school, is "seether" - in which the chorus claims that you "can't fight the seether." stephen walsh disagrees (from mcsweeney's, of course, which was forwarded to me by jk, as usual).

Ways One Could, in Theory, Fight the Seether.

BY STEPHEN WALSH

Challenge the Seether to meet you at high noon.

Knock over the Seether's tray in the cafeteria and tell it to meet you in the playground after school.

Take the Seether into the Thunderdome (although this might be difficult considering the "two men enter, one man leaves" rule, because, hey, it's not a man, it's the Seether).

Insult the honor of the Seether's dojo.

Kidnap a family member of the Seether to lure it into your lair for one-on-one combat. (Elaborate cat-and-mouse game involving leaving clues as to location of lair required.)

Respond militarily to the Seether's invasion of Poland.

i can't bring myself to post photos of both of them.


the superficial has been way too disturbing for me this week. first i learn (and see) that jude law is perhaps not perfection personified (click here for "jude law has a small penis" - it's, uh, not safe for work) and then they post photos of that dildo carrot top who is SO INSANELY HIDEOUS that i can't look directly at him. the fact that he has a strange body-builder physique and hair that would look okay as a clown wig - plus his ugly fucking gila-monster face - all adds up to being perhaps the most vomit-looking person i can think of. click here for "carrot top is a monster."

chris gaines: best idea ever


while i do not like the idea of artists signing exclusive deals with corporations, i do like the idea that i will never have to see another garth brooks cd in a store ever again because i would rather eat a bag of glass than shop at walmart.

i'm surprised that this deal wasn't hatched ten years ago. no one loves garth brooks more than your average middle-aged elastic-waistband-knit-cotton-pants, airbrushed kitten sweatshirt, ogilvy home perm kentucky fried lady who drives a quarter mile to the post office and hates "the liberal elite" but loves walmart.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

i'm not sayin my baby's a saint cuz he aint but i'll beat the shit out of you anyway


first ipod shuffle song today: "Fist City" - Loretta Lynn, from Country Hall of Fame

aww, snap, i'm happy that this song popped up, because it's truly brilliant. when i worked at nascc in dc, my friend (and now vp of nascc - very impressive) mob would bring me music to check out, including a lot of the Tragic Ladies Of Old Skool Country. loretta is one of them, and she is seriously rad. if you haven't heard van lear rose, which was produced by jack white, you should check it out, but don't like her merely for her white stripes connection. this woman was the coal miner's daughter, for god's sake - from butcher hollow (kentucky), poor as dirt, married at 14, supported her cheating drunkard husband (who she loved until the day he died) and the four kids she had by the time she was 17 with her music. ghetto rappers that complain about how hard their lives were have nothing on her.

she wrote a lot of really awesome songs that were quite scandalous for their times. "the pill" is about how she can finally fuck her husband without getting pregnant, "out of my head and back in my bed" is about going out to the bars to fetch your ex, "your squaw is on the warpath" is a rather un-pc way of telling your husband that you're pissed, "don't come home a drinkin with lovin on your mind" (pretty self-explanatory) . . . here, i found this online: "In her heyday, Lynn was no stranger to controversy. She had more banned songs than any other artist in the history of country music, including Rated X (about the double standards divorced women face), Wings Upon Your Horns (about the loss of teenage virginity), and most famous, The Pill (about a wife and mother becoming liberated via birth control)."

but i must say that "fist city" is my favorite. the lyrics are so badass; especially when you consider that the song came out in 1968, and it's about beating up a woman that says she slept with your husband. sample: "But the man I love when he picks up trash/He puts it in a garbage can/And that's what you look like to me/And what I see is a pity/You'd better close your face and stay out of my way/If you don't wanta go to Fist City."

the best line in a song ever is "you better move your feet if you don't wanna eat a meal that's called fist city."

random: crystal gayle is loretta's sister. she's the pretty lady that i used to watch on bad early 80s variety tv shows who had the crazy-ass hair down to the floor.

wtf?

i just got home from a white sox game. i think the minnesota twins won. i was too busy smoking cigarettes and drinking overpriced watered down beer to notice. then we went to a dive bar. so i get emails when someone posts a comment on my blog, and i see that "anonymous" posted five comments under my previous post about death metal nerds. i guess blog-comment spam is the new thing. all of them are lame, but this one is downright confusing:

"Blogging for input: Do I groom a 7-year-old?My daughter, Madison, is 7 and has seriously hairy arms. As a child I had pretty hairy arms.Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!I have a russian woman site/blog. It pretty much covers russian woman related stuff.Come and check it out if you get time :-)"

about as scary as the munsters


i like lots of different kinds of music. all of the others i like to mock.

click here for the top ten most retarded "black metal" photos of all time and click here for part two of this thoroughly enjoyable series.

jealousy


Things My Brother Has That I Don't.

BY SCOTT EVAN NEWCOMB

A driver's license
My parents' love
A doctorate
A sense of pride and dignity
Checking account
Ballerina as a girlfriend
Respect
Herpes


thanks for the mcsweeny's forward, jk.

what would YOU pee on yourself for?


this article demonstrates two things: people are both cheap and completely insane.

when journalists are lazy.

the washington post has a really not-very-insightful story about how having an ipod is like having a soundtrack to your life, and how music and memory are interconnected and how people love their ipods. wow. new viewpoint. i would understand if this article came out in 2002, but at this point it's pretty obvious that summer is slow and newspapers need to churn out features on an everyday basis.

the new issue of radar as a pretty good article on ipod backlash - not people that are angry about them (except for me and thinking that they're bastards for making me buy an extended warranty for a product that, i don't know, maybe shouldn't break every three months) - but backlash for all of the cheesy-ass books that are coming out about people and their ipods.
radar poked at ipod, therefore i am as being especially poorly written and vapid, and lists other books that are really just the authors' playlists. even I'M not that vain - i might tell you what my first shuffle song of the day was, but blogs are free, and i'm not going to start boring you with Playlist To Wash The Floors To or Playlist Featuring The Absolute Correct Combination of Songs To Demonstrate That I Am Cooler Than You Are While Also Suggesting That I Have A Rakish Sense Of Humor, Including Such Esoteric Rarities As 'Outsider Music' And, Perhaps, Some Pre-Fame David Bowie Like "The Laughing Gnome."

what's great about the radar article is that they reran what the post had to say about the walkman in 1981 and it is basically the same - revolutionary! a real turning point for american -- no! global! -- culture! but also, we are alienating ourselves from one another! seclusion through headphones! radar points out that all the ipod proves is that upper-middle-class americans want their music to be portable. i would add that they are also desperate for hobbies, and your ipod quickly becomes one.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

stopped trying


today's first shuffle song on ipod: "Stupidity Tries" - Elliott Smith, from Figure Eight

he has such a sweet voice with great melodies and total sad-sack lyrics that would be charming if you could think of anything other than the fact that he stabbed himself in the fucking heart.

not as exciting as seeing jack white on the street, but better than seeing victoria jackson at the airport.


my brother (tb) and i went to get some thai food for lunch (we work just a few blocks away from one another) and then went to the virgin megastore to check out the new tuesday releases (nothing exciting). we were smoking cigarettes out front when duff mckagan from guns n fuckin roses (as well as velvet revolver) came out of the store and walked past, crossing the street with his virgin bag. i didn't see his face but tb said that he looked OLD. he was wearing black jeans, a black tank top, and a black baseball hat, and his long bleached out hair was scraggly. lots of tattoos. looked like he weighs 140 when wet.

i didn't have the time to ask him what it was like to be one of the last people to see kurt cobain alive. next time, i guess.

just to ensure that this wasn't another fraudulent sighting (like billy bob) i went onto the cyberweb and saw that velvet revolver is playing the illinois state fair tomorrow. awwww, c'mon now. that's SAD.

(maybe not as sad as the fact that my buddy tc is going to go see meatloaf at the allentown county fair in ohio next weekend).

odd juxtoposition: a pbs interview with duff and matt.

Monday, August 15, 2005

roger ebert smack-down


he has a creepy baby face and is a chunk, but ebert pulled out the big guns on (of all people) rob schneider for deuce bigalow: european gigalo and delivered a pretty good dis (last sentence).

apparently he's pissed that rob schneider stupidly took out a full-page ad in variety to take a journalist to task for making fun of his lackluster -- no, awful -- career. it's dumb. read about it on defamer.

ps: i have an update about thinking that billy bob thornton was on my bus one morning. i saw him again. definately not bbt, but certainly in need of a makeover. the gray goatee and wee little black-clad frame with circular sunglasses and a receding graying hairline are too eurotrash for this guy when he should be aiming more for professor.

hopefully better than i fear it may be


remember the rejects that mailed sony a truckload of apples in protest of fiona apple’s new album being shelved? (no? well, they’re really sad – click here). not that their efforts have anything to do with it, but “extraordinary machine” will be released october 4 and the single is out tomorrow.

fiona’s been so good about staying out of the spotlight that i just recently read that not only is she not with pt anderson anymore, but he is having a baby with his gf maya rudolph. pointless celebrity knowledge is my calling.

new york times article here.

koons/mccain 08: they put the POW in POWER


sure to be responsible for the highest-neilsen-rated-debates ever: http://www.walken2008.com/index.html

click here for basically the best video ever made. well . . . okay, top five.

looking through his imdb profile, he has been in some really shitty movies. joe dirt? the country bears? dude, he was in gigli, and i felt mentally retarded when i was finally done making myself watch that awful piece of crap.

my bff, ag, is a lesbo, but she says that walken is one of the few men that she is attracted to. i don't really know what to do with that information.

Captain Koons: Hello, little man. Boy, I sure heard a bunch about you. See, I was a good friend of your Daddy's. We were in that Hanoi pit of hell over five years together. Hopefully, you'll never have to experience this yourself, but when two men are in a situation like me and your Daddy were, for as long as we were, you take on certain responsibilities of the other. If it had been me who had not made it, Major Coolidge would be talkin’ right now to my son Jim. But the way it worked out is I'm talkin' to you, Butch. I got somethin' for you. [The Captain pulls a gold wrist watch from his pocket] This watch I got here was first purchased by your great-granddaddy.

It was bought during the First World War in a little general store in Knoxville, Tennessee. It was bought by private Doughboy Erine Coolidge the day he set sail for Paris. It was your great-granddaddy's war watch, made by the first company to ever make wrist watches. You see, up until then, people just carried pocket watches. Your great-granddaddy wore that watch every day he was in the war. Then when he had done his duty, he went home to your great-grandmother, took the watch off his wrist and put it an ol' coffee can. And in that can it stayed 'til your grandfather Dane Coolidge was called upon by his country to go overseas and fight the Germans once again.

This time they called it World War Two. Your great-granddaddy gave it to your granddad for good luck. Unfortunately, Dane's luck wasn't as good as his old man's. Your granddad was a Marine and he was killed with all the other Marines at the battle of Wake Island. Your granddad was facing death and he knew it. None of the other boys had any illusions about ever leavin' that island alive. So three days before the Japanese took the island, your 22-year old grandfather asked a gunner on an Air Force transport named Winocki, a man he had never met before in his life, to deliver to his infant son, who he had never seen in the flesh, his gold watch.

Three days later, your grandfather was dead. But Winocki kept his word. After the war was over, he paid a visit to your grandmother, delivering to your infant father, his Dad's gold watch. This watch. This watch was on your Daddy's wrist when he was shot down over Hanoi. He was captured and put in a Vietnamese prison camp. Now he knew if the gooks ever saw the watch it'd be confiscated. The way your Daddy looked at it, that watch was your birthright. And he'd be damned if any slopeheads were gonna put their greasy yella hands on his boy's birthright. So he hid it in the one place he knew he could hid something. His ass. Five long years, he wore this watch up his ass. Then when he died of dysentery, he gave me the watch. I hid this uncomfortable hunk of metal up my ass for two years. Then, after seven years, I was sent home to my family. And now, little man, I give the watch to you.

joke's over.


oh, courtney. for years i have wanted for you to get your shit together, to make good music, to not be such a ridiculous cunt, to prove that you are a good actress when not playing a strung-out junkie whore, to be a good mom to a kid that had a lot of shit to deal with before she could even say “social services,” to maybe justify why i have had a liking for you for so long. i mean, you were a widow at my age! with a baby! and friends that kept od’ing! you were so outspoken and didn’t give a fuck and just wanted to make art and work out your issues in front of a live studio audience. i usually dress up like you for halloween, mostly because it’s fun to look as totally disgusting and rancid as possible, but that hole t-shirt i wear over my pink babydoll dress and under the craptastic fox-fur-trimmed cream leather belted coat is from 1994, when i thought that you were rad. well, bitch, i think i’m finally over you. quit fucking doing drugs, quit lifting your shirt and skirt like a deranged attention-starved skank, quit selling your dead husband’s legacy, quit beating people up, quit running over to the entertainment tonight microphone when they’re trolling the red carpet at c-list events (yeah, i saw that you were at the american idol finale this year), quit trying to be a celebrity, quit being a los angeles wash-up, quit with the repulsive drag queen plastic surgery, and, most importantly, maybe you should just quit pretending that people ought to like you.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

my arteries are almost closed, but i am so content.


so besides watching the aristocrats this weekend i also found time to sleep, drink beer, go to the grocery store, have an improptu hors d'oeuvres and wine dinner party, and visit hot doug's, the best hot dog and encased meats emporium in chicago. now, people like hot dogs. new york has hot dog stands on most corners. dc has "half smokes" and slathers them with chili. go to any backyard barbecue and you're gonna have a hot dog. even vegans like not dogs. but chicago is a special place if you want one. i can walk to three pretty good establishments from my apartment (the weiner's circle, where the mostly-african-american staff insults you and your appearance as their friendly schtick; the beef stand, where i have downed chili cheese fries at bar time; and house of wing, which looks like a bad chinese take-out place but has some of the most amazing fried food ever). mind you, i live in a neighborhood that is exclusive, expensive and snotty, and yet hot dogs and hot dog joints abound. hot doug's is basically the mecca of chicago hot dogs. it's tucked way northwest in a crap industrial part of town and is only open for lunch, but people drive and wait in a line that stretches halfway around the block to get in. there were a lot of hipster kids and some families and some grannies and some sad fat alone people, and those were the best gawdammed hot dogs i have ever had. i ordered the elvis (polish sausage) with everything on it (in chicago, "everything" means relish, onions, a quarter of a pickle, tomato slices, and celery salt on a poppyseed bun), as well as the ace patrick (delicious corndog) and some duck-fat fries. now, i love me a good corndog, this is no secret, but this could have only been more magical if it were a unicorndog. the fries were amazing (though i must admit that the entire time i was eating them i was like "you know how completely bad and wrong it is to be eating these, right? you do realize this, don't you?"). i knew that duck is a fatty meat, but i had never concluded that you could actually cook with duck fat, and that it would not taste like duck but would lend a crisp consistency that is truly a delicacy. oh, doug. how i love you.

lots of pussy in this movie.

so of course i saw the aristocrats. twice. that alone should tell you that i thoroughly enjoyed it. i have a few complaints, they being: 1) it was too short 2) some of those people were not funny. at all. 3) about twenty minutes into my second viewing, a man walked into the theater and sat right next to me. i was sitting with my friend tc to my left and an open chair, the last in the row, to my right. there were other open seats. if i were a man, i would know not to be so socially retarded as to sit next to a girl in a theater that had other available seats and was showing a movie that featured explicit, in-detail language and jokes where "sucking and fucking" shit-covered incest-and-bestiality-style debauchery are described. this was creepy. it got worse when the man, who was not laughing at all, started unbuttoning his short-sleeved dress shirt. we live in scary times, and i immediately thought "what if he is a suicide bomber, making some sort of point about how immoral the infidel americans are, so much that they pay $9.25 to listen to their esteemed entertainers describe acts that would surely not please allah, and they must be destroyed, one at a time, and i think i'll start with this tall bitch right here." granted, i didn't look at his face, so i don't even know if i was racially profiling him, but i just felt really uncomfortable in general. so he unbuttoned his shirt, removed it, and then placed it over his lap (yes, he was wearing a t-shirt underneath). now, instead of being a suicide bomber, he bacame, in my mind, a sex offender who would end up grabbing my hand and making me touch his exposed penis poking out of his zipper but underneath the shirt on his lap, while i beat him with my white patent leather purse and screamed. i turned to tc and said, "move down as many seats as you can." the guy stayed where he was but then left the theater after another half-hour or so. i don't know what his deal was, but he scared me. people are so fucking creepy.

i don't want to give too much away, but i loved kevin pollack's christopher walken impersonation, sarah silverman describing the aristocrats, charlotte's wedding planner on sex and the city (mario someone or other) doing his liza impersonation, and, as i had heard, bob saget's version of the joke. i think i just really appreciate the creativity of how far you can stretch the bounds of decency, and deliver it in a very deadpan, matter-of-fact way.

the very last screen you see after the credits roll is that the movie is "for johnny carson." the first time i saw it (friday night) the audience did a collective "awwwwww" and then burst out laughing at how ridiculous it was that they were "awwwww"ing. it was a nice ironic hallmark moment touch.

ecf asked me how i liked it. i replied "my faith in humanity has been restored." and, really, i'm not kidding. we all know that there is so much horror in the world, and we need to talk about such things to get over or make sense of them. and if you can make it funny, well, then, god bless you.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

obvious, but still nice to know that i am not alone.

this is why i blog. and why you are reading this.

nice try, msnbc.


msnbc interviews frank black.

it's always funny to see mainstream press cover bands that have become wildly successful and beloved despite never being written about by, say, msnbc or people magazine. like, this line is just funny:

"As Black croons about unpleasant episodes in his life, it’s clear how music was an important emotional outlet for him."

um, yeah.

read about frank black from a new perspective - the perspective of well, here's a guy that is putting out what is sure to be, from the sounds of it, a critically-acclaimed solo album, right after reuniting with his highly influential band, and all we really have to say about that is: "A hero in alternative rock for his quirky, tuneful songs like 'Here Comes Your Man,' Black traveled to Nashville, Tenn., to work with some legendary studio musicians."

this article also features a photo that is just really terrible. i don't know how to make it better . . . but maybe "full-body shot" isn't the way to go.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

a geography lesson: the crazies vs where i live


this has been circulating in my office's email forwards. i have never lived in a red state and i intend to keep it that way.

Dear Conservatives:

We're ticked off at the way you've treated California, and we've decided we're leaving.

We intend to form our own country, and we're taking the other Blue States with us.

In case you aren't aware, that includes Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, and all of the Northwest. We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to the people of the new country of New California.

To sum up briefly:

You get Texas, Oklahoma, and all the slave states.
We get stem cell research and the best beaches.
We get Elliot Spitzer. You get Ken Lay.
We get the Statue of Liberty. You get OpryLand.
We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom.
We get Harvard. You get Ole' Miss.
We get 85 percent of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get Alabama.
We get two-thirds of the tax revenue. You get to make the red states pay their fair share.
Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christian Coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch of single moms.

Please be aware that Nuevo California will be:
Pro-choice and antiwar and we're going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They have kids they're apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose and they don't care if you don't show pictures of their children's caskets coming home. We do wish you success in Iraq and hope that the WMDs turn up, but we're not willing to spend our resources in Bush's Quagmire.
With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80 percent of the country's fresh water, more than 90 percent of the pineapple and lettuce, 92 percent of the nation's fresh fruit, 95 percent of America's quality wines (you can serve French wines at state dinners), 90 percent of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias, and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools, plus Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Cal Tech, and MIT.

With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with:
88 percent of all obese Americans (and their projected health care costs), 92 percent of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100 percent of the tornadoes, 90 percent of the hurricanes, 99 percent of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100 percent of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson, and the University of Georgia.

We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.

Additionally, 38 percent of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62 percent believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44 percent say that evolution is only a theory, 53 percent that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61 percent of you crazies believe you are people with higher morals than we lefties.

Sincerely,

The Brain Trust States

i actually really like canadians.


since the ipod is dead (or, rather, since i have a new, empty one), here is the first shuffle song of the day off of my work computer's itunes: "Cause=Time" - Broken Social Scene, from You Forgot It In People

my work itunes library is different from my home itunes. i used to "manage" my friend's bf's ipod for him in exchange for cds, so i burned all of his cds to my work computer and set him up that way. he has a pretty solid sense of what is awesome, so i scored a lot of rad shit (glad i now have the weirdass dungen album, because i wouldn't have ever purchased it but i like listening to swedish retrospacerock in my cubicle - and when a song is titled something as great as "gjort bort sig," you know that you've found something special). he had me throw on some albums that i recommend, so i added broken social scene. this is a great song off of a solid album. they're some sort of musical collective, like a less twee belle & sebastian, straight outta toronto. the arts&crafts website says that "this album flows like a compilation of sounds for the wounded," and while pretentious, true.

i saw the band at the black cat in dc probably two years ago. i was totally into "anthems for a seventeen-year-old girl," which i heard on a cmj compilation, and so i bought the album and went to see them. it was kind of a messy show - they try to switch it up - but it was pretty fun, too. i don't really know much about the band, and i kind of like it that way. i think that the lyrics to "cause=time" has something to do with hypocritical bible beaters, but that's just a former english lit major taking a stab at it. i must say, there's something about how the singer slides through the line "i've been alone since '89," and i think i heart him.

isad.

so my ipod died. again. i now have my third ipod in nine months. that's not a very good track record, apple. i treat it well - it has a sweet blue leather case, i charge it every night, i listen to it every day but not for hours and hours on end. it is filled to near-capacity. i don't drop it. i don't store tasks and contacts and other extra info on there. i just want my music. i love my ipod. i thought that my ipod loved me. don't i treat you right, baby? don't i?

the apple store is one block north of my office, and it is always a fairly smooth transaction - i write my name on the clipboard at the "genius bar," some computer nerd in cool glasses calls me over after a bit of a wait, i tell him that it wont restore or reset, he listens to the sad clicking and grinding of the little wheels buried behind the silver backing, and he goes to fetch me a new one. "bad hard drive" is the diagnosis. annoying, because now i have to register it and it will take a while to upload all of my itunes onto it, but at least i don't live in sucksville, usa, where i would have to mail it in for repairs or call the best buy a few towns over for advice or just decide that i have to pay for a new one on amazon.

do i pay the $60 for the extended warranty (extended only six months)? my warranty is over in november. fuckers.

Monday, August 08, 2005

you shouldn't care anyway.


sorry to spoil the book and deliver this totally upsetting news to you, but i thought that this was a funny t-shirt. it is the "primary photo" of the guy that just friendster messaged me. he's not really my type (i don't like magicians, both literary and hobbyists) but i didn't mind getting a message that told me i was super fine.

huh. you change your primary friendster picture from a pile of corndogs to you drunk on a couch and they start emailing you. noted.

i'm not really in love very often.

today's first shuffle song on ipod: "I'm Always In Love" - Wilco, from Summerteeth

i first saw wilco open for rem in 1999. i was like "nice. now bring out stipe." because, really, i was in the sixth row, having flown to chicago from new hampshire for the show (i still do things like that), and i wasn't really all that concerned with who was opening. in fact, i figured that they were just some southern roots rock band that peter buck liked. my brother highly suggested that i get summerteeth when it came out - he said that it was rock for adults. and it is - it's sweet and smart and sad sometimes, but always interesting. i fell in love with this album, so by the time wilco started touring for yankee hotel foxtrot, i kept going to see them whenever they came to dc, and i saw the documentary at visions (RIP). i saw them at the 9:30 club in dc two weeks after sept 11, and i felt weird about just going out to the rock show and getting some beers when really everything seemed like it should still be stilted and raw. come to think of it, i listened to summerteeth and being there a lot that fall (being there's "sunken treasure" still kills me). but i also listened to a lot of ac/dc post-sept-11, pre-feel-normal, so maybe there isn't a lot to that.

wilco is chicago-based (the marina towers condo buildings are the kool architecture featured on yankee hotel) and i have heard of jeff tweedy sightings at random suburban malls.

all alone is all we are


article on sincerity, authenticity, and grief in the ny times, dissecting last night's six feet under. think what you will about how manipulated you may feel when you're crying (for the second week in a row) over a fictional person's death and for their fictional family's loss, but what i have always loved about that show is how it addresses universal questions and and fears without seeming preachy or overwhelmingly depressing; in fact, the true point of the show is that we don't and can't know the answers, so just try to be happy. plus the show can be really, really funny.

so there are two episodes left. i don't know how they could possibly, satisfyingly wrap the show up in two hours. i do know that i will be mega pissed if any of the show turns out to be a dream (which is why my mom stopped watching dallas in the 80s) or the figment of an autistic kid's imagination (which is how i believe the creators of saint elsewhere wrapped up their show - all of these characters and events and such were invented by rainman).

fantastic shout-out to kurt cobain last night.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

was "poodle hat" a big seller? no?


i'm not like a huge weird al fan or anything, but this is fairly amusing: a cut-and-paste "'interview" with eminem. i'm surprised he didn't get smacked down for this.

his hair is really repulsive.

it was really sad when his elderly parents were found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning. random.

watch here - it's 10 minutes long.