Friday, October 25, 2013
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Well I finally saw Herzog with my own very eyes. Thanks to my friends Lauren and Dave, (Babushka and Little Fyodor) who clued me into the international conference at the University of Colorado. I had been to this conference before as an undergraduate in the mid 90s. The highlight of the experience was always Roger Ebert's "interruptus" session of some movie he thought worth dissection. It is a "democracy in the dark." A movie is watched in a theater (The Mackie Auditorium) but anyone is allowed yell "stop!" to make a point or ask a question. In the past it was wholly moderated by Ebert. But the man can't talk anymore.
All I knew was that Herzog was going to be in Boulder, and therefore, so must I. The details trickled in, but I was in such an excitement that nothing really registered except that "Herzog was going to be in Boulder!" A quick glance at the panels excited me further. A talk on his "walking on foot." And then two two-hour sessions of Aguirre the Wrath of God in Interruptus form over two days.
To my extreme delight I found out when I arrived that not only would it be Herzog, but also Ramin Bahrani, director of the neo-realist film "Chop Shop.' A film that I think is one of the best movies of the past decade. The absolute anecdote to Avatar. (He also directed the cutesy "Plastic Bag" short that's been floating around, narrated by Herzog.) Bahrani, a young accomplished director, and a professor at Columbia, asked all the best questions. And the audience mostly allowed the two do the majority of the commentary. Still, even when some knucklehead would ask a stupid question, Herzog could ALWAYS transmute the banal into the profound. He is just spectacular to see speak. *
We went up to talk to him afterwards; Babushka in the vanguard. She slipped him a CD of Little Fyodor and Babushka's Peace is Boring. And as a delightful consequence, the CD is a prop in the video that Ebert shot of Herzog explaining his latest project; something to do with a cave in France. Petroglyphs and stalagtites filmed in 3-D, apparently!
Here's Ebert's blog post from the first day.
I'm off screen. But only just. Off to the left, standing with Dave and Lauren (Little Fyodor and Babushka.)
If only I had the courage to chime in with something substantive, instead of enduring stupid comments from aging, clueless Boulderites! (I'm positive that there could be a very small number of people in the audience that knew as much about the man as I did--if any.) But I was mortified, less than ten feet away, in the presence of the man I most idolize on this planet. So, I didn't get to speak to him directly. That will have to happen another time.
* The esctatic culmination of this effect was at the end of the second showing day of Interruptus. Because Herzog could not stay the whole week, there was a short question and answer segment at the end. There was time for one last question, and this older dude was annointed with the honor of the last question. This gent stood up and announced he was very particular about movies. He questioned the special effects, and how a cannon that fell from a cliff wouldn't explode this or that way. Some literalist bullshit. Herzog took this deflating, idiotic question and went on to explain that he was a storyteller, and the moment in the story was one of many that form a fabric that leads the viewer into stranger and stranger realities.
Aguirre the Wrath of God was the first Herzog film I saw. I watched it almost disinterestedly on my roommate's tiny crappy TV on VHS. By the end of the movie I had felt like something had changed in me. Beyond something like "a ride," or "an experience." But an actual change in the way I experience reality.
The dissection of the last two days showed me in many ways how this is accomplished by Herzog. Slowly, ever slowly, the reality of the movie evolves so that the unacceptable becomes the acceptable. And it is not a drug trip crescendo; quite the contrary. The film is rooted: in the environment, the circumstances of production, the physicality of the jungle, in the mud, Kinski's histrionics--all of it is crafted by the structure of the movie to slowly change the viewer's mind what is acceptable and what is not. By the end we are in El Dorado with a demented conquistador who talks to monkeys. Yes, it is a parallel experience to drug or dream reality. But it is a conscious, crafted reality chiseled by an artisan. It is the difference being in love with a cloud and in a human being.
In short, my faith has been affirmed. Inspired anew!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
This is one is a bit unorthodox. I have agreed to let the esteemed sun expert Alfred Epstein post a lecture. Alfred, I must let you know, is a puppet. In a series of email exchanges with Mr. Epstein I have learned much about the sun, puppets, and Canada. It must be mentioned that Alfred is a puppet and a Canadian. This information (both about Alfred and the information he provides) may or may not be interesting or relevant to you; regardless, it is to me. I had to put meltmaster's feet to the fire (metaphorically, of course) to get this one produced. But he did it.
Here is alink!
Some more information about this unusual podcast. We found Alfred through A&S contributor Sara Tarkka. She now blogs here, but is, of course, still in contact with Dan, as she is his sister. Sara has recently moved to Toronto to work on a PHD in something or other. Anyhow, she met a puppet and acquired it, I guess.
In other words, this is a very specialized interest podcast, and you may or may not appreciate it.
It matters little. As a troglodyte I am extremely interested in the sun phenomenon, owing to my primarily subterranean existence--I know little about these things! I find it quite fascinating. As far as this talk of parallel dimensions, inanimate revolutions and some talk of a mysterious character named "Mama X," I have no clue what Alfred means by this. I assume that Alfred's knowledge is a deep and esoteric, and thus beyond the domain of us laycreatures. We cannot but get a glimpse of the greater whole of this mysterious universe from hearing such learned puppets speak!
Oh yes, I hope to have an update on the dramatic events of my own life. Namely that of Gormo's insurrection, usurpation of my empire, and the subsequent events that led to his death; and my subsequent, sweet, intricate revenge on the brutish philistine. I have been out of touch, but I have returned!
In the meantime, I bid you happy listening.
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Monday, June 01, 2009
For centuries the mountain top where this body was embedded in was frequently visited by members of the ABM where stories were passed on from one generation to the next. Many members would stand next to the body, frozen in ice, pondering at the tattoos wondering if this was in fact the worlds oldest and possibly first alien murdered on Earth. However, after word got out about the Iceman's whereabouts it was only a matter of time before the scientists arrived, ripping him from his frozen bed in the mountain and sharing him with the world
In the hopes of getting a few words from the prehistoric man they realized that unlike everything they had ever witnessed in the movies that this man would stay dead, never waking up, attempt to escape the lab, and go out in search of his tribe. Instead the scientists in all their wisdom, and against the wishes of the iceman's descendants, decided to make their site more "interactive" in their odd tribute to 1950s horror movies by having a 3-D section of the Iceman's body.
The story is kind of cool as well. Perhaps he was murdered by aliens..?
So dig up those 3-D glasses (they are needed) and make sure you are not viewing this after eating.
What would Eugene O'Neill think?
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Thursday, April 09, 2009
We've moved beyond the eclectic here. What are simply the best podcasts?
There are SO many of them. I have a few that I really like, and have assembled a top ten list:
1. In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg
This has to be the best podcast of all time. It's been going on for seven years. Every week an eminent, scholarly gentleman has a morning chat with a different triumvirate of brilliant men and women about "never knowingly relevant" subjects such as the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, Eliot's Wasteland, and the Pre-Cambrian Explosion. It is definitely anglo-centric, but Melvyn is sharp and witty, and tackles the more scientific and mathematical subjects pretty amazingly for a layman [which is good for the laypeople (like me) whom are listening.]
2. WFMU's aired podcasts
WFMU podcasts are in a class of their own (and thus occupy two places on this top ten list). Because I'm in Korea, I can't listen to my favorite shows live, such as The Best Show with Tom Scharpling and The Dusty Show with Clay Pigeon. The Best Show has a new podcast called the Best Show Gems which looks really promising. (It takes the funny bits from the shows' huge archive; it's a three hour program, so it's definitely an investment of your time. But worth it if you can spare it.) My other favorites include DJ/Rupture's eclectic mixes, Radio Freetown. Lest we not mention plagiartist People Like Us's numerous contributions to WFMU that are usually available in podcast form.
3. Philosophy and Ethics Bites
This is a British series that focuses on a huge array of philosophical subjects, interviewing various philosophers who are so smart it makes your brain hurt. It's good stuff; and you will probably have to listen to several of them repeatedly, as I have had to. Cause they are dense, cause they are brilliant. Speaking of which:
4. Density of Sound - Netlabelism! I found this podcast absolutely randomly. He plays all music that is legally podcastable, which is nice. And he has very good taste. [Full disclosure: he has played some of my tunes.] He tends towards electronic, electronic dub, dubstep and otherwise dubby types music--but mainly because there is just so much good stuff being made in those genres. He plays noise and melodies without discrimination, just with good taste. His shows are always an eclectic brew in the John Peel vein. I have found lots of great stuff through him. (All legal; all free!)
5. Vital Weekly
This is a quote "so-called pod cast" unquote that I haven't listened to very often, but it is definitely Vital. I don't listen often because it doesn't download automatically and it doesn't offer the pure listening pleasure that Density of Sound offers. It does, however, do humanity the service of sifting through piles of CDRs and independent releases to find things that are interesting. Vitally, it offers extensive reviews of the music--so this is a quote "so-called pod cast" unquote that you don't even have to listen to! Vital!
6. Broken Beat Radio
This great podcast has an (YES GLARGH!) eclectic (GREERSH!) brew of succulent, jerky yet smooth beats with an rnb tang. It works, and is perfect instant gratification. Sometimes it is jazzy, sometimes it is hip-hoppy, but it is almost always really good stuff. This is stuff I wouldn't normally listen to, but Argo and his crew's taste is impeccable. If I were ever to have a party where ladies whom wished for sophisticated beats to fashionably gyrate their sinuous forms about my property, with Dewar's and roaches in hand, this would be the first thing I'd head to get things bumping. Food for dreams...
7. Radio Lab
Leslie turned me on to this one. It really annoys me like with its preciousness, a la This American Life, but I have really learned a lot from it. It is still annoying, and I think the producers are smug. It's supposed to be science that is made palatable with interesting music and quirky personality. The science is already palatable, and they have incredible access to an amazing array of researchers and personalities like Oliver Sacks. I don't think the music is that interesting; mainly because it is all IDM-sounding cliche sounds. But it is very well produced. And there's so many smart people involved in it that it can't be ignored.
8. WFMU Podcasts, unaired.
Some podcasts on the WFMU website are purely podcasts, never aired. Some favorites include Cake and Polka Parade, and stuff that People Like Us and Ergo Phizmiz do.
9. The Journal with Bill Moyers
Bill Moyers is one of the heroes of our time. I watch the show on my computer now. But last year when I didn't have a computer at home I'd download the podcast at work and listen to it while eating dinner on Monday nights.
10. Your podcast. It's pretty much my favorite. The most eclectic of the bunch.
Honor mentionables: The History of Rome. The Jesse Thorne empire, namely the Coyle and Sharpe Episodes (the inspiration for my werewolf phase).
Sunday, April 05, 2009
I've added a sidebar with links to posts that epitomize the best of my blog. It's been a strange five years. I've made a lot of friends, discovered some amazing music, literature and people. I have had some amazing travel experiences. Those who know me know that one of the great highlights of the past five years has been the birth of my nephew, and the friendship that I'm trying to nurture with him. Soon I hope to meet my new niece.
The "best of" are sort of the more wordy pieces I've done, but I'm also planning to do a set of links to some of the picture posts that I've done. And also include highlights from my co-bloggers. I plan to keep this site up, even as I try to branch out into some other projects. I consider myself a writer, but most any writing I've done that I have shared with people has been on this blog. I think when properly culled, there is something worthy to be found in this blog. I hope you think so too.
I plan to continue to be angry and sloopy. If you have a vote for the "best of" sloppy, let me know in the comments! Thanks for your continued support.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Self-mailing has always been one of the primary subjects of this blog. Or at least that was one of the aims of this blog in the foggy days of its creation.
The Velvet Underground has been an abiding interest of mine.
Now, how is it that I never made the connection between these two?
Lyrics from The Gift (off of White Light/White Heat):
It was a New York company. You could go anywhere in the mails. Then it struck
him. He didn't have enough money to go to Wisconsin in the accepted fashion,
true, but why not mail himself? It was absurdly simple. He would ship himself
parcel post, special delivery. The next day Waldo went to the supermarket to
purchase the necessary equipment. He bought masking tape, a staple gun and a
medium sized cardboard box just right for a person of his build. He judged that
with a minimum of jostling he could ride quite comfortably. A few airholes,
some water, perhaps some midnight snacks, and it would probably be as good as
How is it that I never made this connection before?
Notice that both subjects make it into this post. It's taken me four and a half years to make the connection. Sheesh.
I guess I never listened to it very carefully before. I just like grooving to it's funky noise jimjam. It's actually kind of annoying to listen to the words--it's distracting.
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
I use last.fm a lot and my new years resolution from 2004 was to be less full of shit, and my new years resolution from 2005 was to try to be nicer to be people--so with that preface, I'm pretty much showing how much of a hypocritical asshole I am. I think my new years resolution this year is to not be so hard on myself, but also not be full of shit and also be nicer to other people. This is all very difficult. But I've just befriended someone and I've cut and pasted their "about me" write-up here:
My Music Library (will be updated periodically): 01-26-2009
I created that HTML page using foobar 2000. It is the greatest media player of all time hands down.
My library consists of 41793 songs as of February 13th 2009. Only 0.6% of my music library is lossy. The remainder is composed of lossless formats, predominantly FLAC, but also wav, monkey's audio, and wavpack.
I take great pride in my tagging as I try my best to use official names for artists and albums. With english, I follow strict rules of capitalization with titles. Languages such as French use different title formats so i'm doing that as best as i can too.
I'm constantly fighting with last.fm's tagging. Artists like "Smashing Pumpkins", "Tommy Dorsey & Frank Sinatra", "Queenadreena" etc. last.fm has "Smashing Pumpkins" as "The Smashing Pumpkins" and "Tommy Dorsey & Frank Sinatra" as "Frank Sinatra & Tommy Dorsey" to name two examples. Forget about this new auto-correct thing. It's ridiculous. If they are going to auto-correct they need to figure out official names and stick to that.
We have some elitists, people who strategically scrobble and or a combination of both on last.fm. I am neither of those. I stay true to my musical taste. You might ask yourself why I have more than one profile. The answer to that is simply because I go through different musical moods every now and then so I like to scrobble artists that are new to me so I can have an accurate picture of what my mood is that week or month. I also do it for the recommendations.
As I'm sure you have noticed by looking at any one of my profiles, my musical taste is very eclectic to say the least. I like to think that I know a lot about any given genre or period of music, so don't be afraid to ask me questions if you have any. It annoys me when someone thinks they have eclectic taste or that they "listen to everything" when it really seems that they listen to different sub-genres of the same genre and maybe a classical music artist here and there.
Anyhow, I sent him a shout asking him what was the most eclectic thing he's ever listened to. That, of course, was a jerky thing to do. But at least I've recognized it as being a jerky thing. But reveling in the jerkiness of it goes against my 2005 new year's resolution of trying to be nicer to people. But, surely, one elitist is allowed to be jerky to another elitist about being elistist, are we not?
People always say that they have pretty eclectic taste in music, and, post 90s I think that is we live in the age of eclecticism. Napster and Limewire started making music exploring a lot easier. Actually, it was necessary. I remember looking for Waylon Jennings tracks and finding all sorts of stuff that I still don't know what it is. Most of it sucked. I remember searching for 'drone' and 'noise' and 'drum samples' and found some mic in stuff and other intriguing crap. Some of it was weird. I keep it all because I am a digital packrat. And now via piratebay.org you can download the AC/DC discography and everything Jack Johnson ever did; you buy Bitches's Brew and maybe Jack Johnson mentions Ali Farke Toure and now all of the sudden you have an eclectic selection of tunes in your iTunes library. Oh, and you listen to some Mozart (as my new fellow eclectic last.fm friend writes about), so you are a bonafide eclectic. Or you can just own everything Tom Waits did; and that's basically being eclectic right there because his style of music is basically like every style ever done. (That's the voice of the asshole that I'm supposed to be working on reducing pursuant the 2005 resolution.)
With last.fm you can get some idea of how eclectic your tastes are. Objectively. I've found an eclectic test and now there's even a SUPER eclectic meter. How do you measure eclecticism? From what I've gathered is that they measure how related (via the tags) the different artists you listen to most. If you have a big spread, your more eclectic. Firstly, I think you should have eclectic taste. Diversity is the seasoning of existence. Secondly, I think that the greater variety that your taste exhibits, the more likely you have a better idea of what is good and what isn't good. But I download a lot of stuff, and a lot of it is crap, and last.fm keeps track of it all. (You can erase your tracks, so to speak. And I sometimes erase my meltmaster leavings because I listen to it more often than I quite like to let others know. But who gives a damn? The digital life is strange.) Anyhow, the eclectic taste score can be taken here.
Take your top 20 artists. For each of these artists, collect the top 5 similar artists. The resulting number of unique artists is your [b]eclectic score[/b]. If the score is small (extreme = 5) your musical preferences are very limited, and if it is large (larger than 80, extreme = 100), then you have an eclectic musical preference. You can compute your own score at http://anthony.liekens.net/pub/scripts/last.fm/eclectic.php
My eclectic score is currently 83/100
And then here's the SECOND level of eclecticism. I'll dive right into it to see, quantitatively, objectively, just how SUPER-ECLECTIC I am. Here we go. Pray for my hipster soul:
meltmaster's super-eclectic score is
As this number is larger, you have a more eclectic musical preference. People with scores over 700 have bragging rights. People whose score is below 400 should consider more musical styles!
The following are the artists with the most occurences in your list
* Magazine (8)
* Wire (8)
* Public Image Ltd. (7)
* The Sound (6)
* Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band (6)
* The Fall (6)
* Pere Ubu (5)
* Echo & the Bunnymen (5)
* Gang of Four (5)
* Mission of Burma (5)
* Silver Apples (5)
* Television (5)
* Amon Düül II (4)
* Harmonia (4)
* Neu! (4)
* Faust (4)
* Lou Reed (4)
* Can (4)
* Boredoms (4)
* Cluster (4)
UPDATE: Okay. I've got a response from my new last.fm friend. I feel like an ever greater asshole now. He responded to my jerky question with sincerity.
thats an interesting question. the thing about my listening habits is that im all over the place. my library and what i listen to is probably more eclectic than ur above average listener with eclectic taste. i dont listen to one genre more than the other and i listen to many different genres. so a question like "what is the most eclectic thing" couldn't really be answered as i listen to everything and anything equally. in my case u can call the most popular artist "eclectic" because i listen to that just as much as i listen to lesser known and or artists that are considered obscure by popular standards.
And thus the quantification and qualification of eclecticism becomes ever the more elusive! (And I'm still full of shit.)
Feel free to post in comments the most eclectic thing you've ever listened to.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Well, it's happened. He's been hobnobbing in Hollywood long enough; he's up for a nomination for best doc, along with Henry Kaiser. I haven't seen it yet.
I saw Henry Kaiser perform with Loren MazzaCane Connors, providing a live soundtrack to some crazy Japanese silent film (A Page of Madness).
I saw Mister Lonely. That isn't winning any awards. Nor should it. It should just be let be. Perhaps long down the road we'll see the genius in it.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
About a week ago I twittered something like this:
I have decided that there is a fine line between sex tourist and English teacher in Korea. If there is a line.
I guess he didn't quite know how to take it. Yes, it is an overstatement. But it is the sad truth that the (male) expats in Korea can be divided into three categories:
1. Sleazy misogynistic pussyhounds. (Sorry for the tart language.)
2. Creepy pseoudo- or actual pedophiles.
3. Normal people, some of whom are cool.
No matter how you slice it, a lot of interesting people end up in Korea. But that has its good and bad points, obviously.
I like to say that the expat population is basically equally divided between the three groups. It's not fair to say it; but on the other hand, I don't have a high opinion of a large amount of the expats here. A lot of the Korean men are creepy too--there's a thriving sex industry here. Partly I think it is just that a lot of guys are creeps no matter where you are, but the white guys think they can get away with a lot more in Korea. And I guess they do.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Why is this guy so famous? He's the Tom Waits of Opera. If Tom Waits is weird music for normal people, Pavarotti is opera for Tom Waits. Caruso, Callas and Bjorlings cough up and wipe little, mucus-bleeding asymmetrical Pavarotti's onto stagehands in between set changes.
Why do people like him so much? He's Tom Waits, in that he's so popular. If Tom Waits is weird music for normal people, Pavarotti is opera for for those with Kenny G CDs. Your Carusos, Callases and Rosa Pensalles have shat out little asymmetrical turds that could sing opera better than Luciano. Or should I say, Loser-iano.
Why is this guy so famous? He's like Tom Waits--universally lauded in the mainstream, when the people doing the real stuff stay on the margins. Tom Waits is a marginal talent; people send him their CDRs of shit and he just copies what these weirdos do. Maybe that makes him a genius in the Andy Warhol vein. But compared to Luciano Pavarotti, he's a nobody. And that's what Tom Waits would like you to think; I'm Tom Waits and I'm just a nobody singing my weirdo faux-hobo boho oboe. Yes you can polish a turd, and that turd's name is "Nobody" Waits. But his name is also Luciano Pavarotti. Rotting sewage. But perhaps I'm being a little harsh. But in the glare of the mind-bleeding talents--your Carusos, your Callases, your Melchiors--it's just impossible to consider Pavarottie as anything but pure garbage. Shellac for the soul.
I bet Tom Waits listens to Pavarotti to learn how to sing. That I believe. But I don't know why anyone else would listen to either of them. I understand that they both have pipes. For a fake-weird man, Tom Waits gots pipes. And for a man who fills opera houses, maybe Pavarotti's got the greatest pipes of all. But they are both so awful--it seems to me that only true weirdos would listen to either of them. Not weird people, but people with weird souls. Pavarotti and Tom Waits are music for normal people with weird souls. And your real talents, your Carusos, your Callases, your Beniamino Giglis, your Giovanni Martinellis, your what have you's, that's for people with normal souls. Not normal souls, but...well for the real people. You know, what Keats talked about when he talked about the only real things being clouds and lines of Shakespeare. The real things are the things that deranged weirdos (asymmetrical beings with symmetrical souls) who send things to Tom Waits (who turns the asymmetrical artifacts symmetrical); and then Tom Waits re-interprets the things he hears on the CDRs that weirdos have sent him the same way Pat Boone reinterpreted Little Richard, or Keith Richards reinterpreted the blues. But I believe Keith Richard and Pat Boone. I think they believe in what they do. They can't help it. They have symmetrical souls. I don't believe in the idea of the soul. But I believe they have pure, symmetrical souls. Tom Waits is an actor--and a very, very good one--that's his soul's symmetry--he's an actor; Pavarotti too--he's a fantastic actor. Neither men are musicians, they are actors. So they are winning actors. Losing singers.
The question remains--why are they so beloved? Unquestionably loved. Showered in the respective currencies of their respective homelands. The love for them is a veritable typhoon of overpowering esteem that I find baffling, asymmetrical. For one, Pavarotti can't sing worth a damn. I don't make this statement lightly; I realize how esteemed he is. And second, I find Tom Waits uninteresting, symmetrical. What am I missing? I listen to a lot of music, but I'm no encyclopedia. And what is taste? My own taste differs from those others whom taste I admire--how can I account for this, and even value my own taste in music? I used to like Tom Waits. I used to think Pavarotti was an amazing singer. But I (think I) know a lot more about so-called 'weird' music and opera. I can posit idea of 'taste' and the notion that certain types of music 'speak' to my so-called 'soul,' and certain types don't. Kenny G and Pat Boone are objectively awful--yet they are professionals. They make handsome livings from the things they do and the things they do are music-related. Their music fulfills some sort of function in society. In Italy they have music piping in the restaurants and cafes (or what passes for cafes--coffee joints or stops, I would call them) and they have awful pop music infecting the air and the same is in the country I reside in now: by and large there is nothing but really the most awful music peeing into our ear canals constantly. People celebrate this urine-for-music by singing it in karaoke-style booths. If you throw alcohol into the mix, I can see the appeal (and have experienced it first hand. I like to sing Lou Reed's Perfect Day.) It's just silly fun. But the music is awful. Lou Reed can't sing, but nobody can't sing like him. It's all about soul. No. It's all about being true. And not having a weird soul. Having a weird soul is not the same as being weird. I don't think Tom Waits has a weird soul. I think everybody has a soul that is a little weird; this is the wonder, the splendor of human diversity of opinion, appearance, phenotype and genotype. And those with truly weird souls (people who try to be weird but are normal, or people who try to be normal, but are weird) are not weird. But the true weirdos, those who radiate weird from the core can't but help being weird, the weirdos who send their homemade sound collages and freak songs that they make to scream away the boredom and what have you to Tom Waits. This is the reality; these loser weirdos are the reality. When Pavarotti screams away he is screaming away nothingness. He is acting as if he is screaming away from some center that has no core--he's hollow, that's why he's so resonant! But the real tenors sing as if they have swallowed something and it can never be dislodged, but nonetheless they sing because it feels better when they are singing because the thing that is lodged within them--this asymmetry--gets shaken around and doesn't cause them so much pain in the meantime. Of course, they have to stop otherwise their lungs would explode. And it's a release. The mind rewards the body for cathartic release, with endorphins, or what have you. The singers get trained, and the climate they are trained in and brought up in no doubt have something to do with it all--be them weirdos or straights. Regardless, your Carusos, your Callases, your Montserrat Caballés--they aren't singing from nothingness, they are singing something at the nothingness. The somebodies who have something are singing to the nobodies whom have nothing so we can have it too.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
So crappy, I kind of like it. See if you can guess the topic. Use it for your classes:
Imagine immaculate, blue sky from horizon to horizon. Gleaming sky scrapers, smiling kids with boxes of caramel corn, stadiums, firey Tex-Mex, the majesty of the Rocky Mountains. And you’ll have plenty of room to move and mull and take it all in. What I’m describing is the modern, rustic, and cultural melting pot that is the New America. Welcome to Denver, the perfect home for the next World’s Fair.
A World’s Fair needs adequate infrastructure; in this area Denver delivers the goods. It has a huge convention center and a dizzying array of accommodations from the budget to luxurious. It has several state-of-the-art stadiums and a light-rail network that is the envy of the west. The clincher? The area known as Stapledon: This was the area of the former airport and is ripe for development; The hallowed name of Stapledon should live on through a New World’s Fair.
Denver is festooned with a populace of tremendous diversity. Denver has long been the home of an industrious Latino population that is redefining the New America. Enclaves of other ethnic populations such as Korean, Vietnamese and Russian also give the town an uncommon flavor. Denver embraces the new as it does the old: The old west pioneering spirit still remains. Visit the numerous museums dedicated to the old gold rushes. Denver or bust!
Perhaps the most compelling reason for holding a world’s fair in Denver is its astounding environs. The Rocky Mountains have been holding visitors in awe since the dawn of Native populations; new visitors to the world’s fair can find themselves enthralled in the majesty and beauty of this vast and dramatic mountain range. If hills aren’t your thing, the metropolitan area explodes out into the austere plains of the east. It should be said that though the Denver weather gods can be a tad fickle, the weather is generally quite good. It gets hot in the summer, but not overly so—with not too much rain. In winter, if there’s a snowstorm, chances are the sun will come out to melt it within a day or two.
I invite your committee to come to Denver and really experience the pleasures of this former pioneer town. Come taste the sundry delights of our ethnic cuisines; experience for yourself how livable and convenient the city is to visitors; and, finally, bear witness to the splendor of its dramatic terrain. One shouldn’t ask if Denver is ready for the world, rather is the world ready for Denver!
Thursday, January 08, 2009
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
I don't have any specific plans. However, I think that I won't be posting much on it for awhile. This is for a variety of reasons. One reason is facebook. I've just been posting links on facebook. It's easier, and I get instant reactions. Another reason is that blogger doesn't work as well on my mac. I tried posting the other night and it was just frustrating. I have become sucked into this mode of instant gratification. So, if you want to keep up with my doings, you should add me as a friend on facebook. Start a profile on facebook if you don't have one. Everyone is on it now.
Speaking of instant gratification, Volume 2 of the Ero Gray produced Land of a Thousand Rappers has been released. "DADDY WARBUCK$" (Notice the dollar sign.) And best of all, it's totally free. (And totally strange...much more bizarre than the first one.) I haven't formed an opinion about this project yet, but I think this sort of bizarro freeform strangeness is good for hip hop. Also, the production is really interesting, it's definitely worth a listen. Here's the link. Or here's the direct link to
Speaking of which, you NEED to buy Castanets City of Refuge, and it's companion volume Dub Refuge. I HIGHLY recommend them both. Castanets could be possibly categorized as "Freak Folk" or "Weird Folk." It's not really that weird though; it's just very space-shot and emanating with the desolation of the plains. City of Refuge is available on CD, but Dub Refuge is only available on vinyl and itunes. I just downloaded them a few days ago and I was mighty impressed. Now I'm going to copy and paste all of this onto a facebook post.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Check it out, judging from these, I must be the hardest Jew to buy Xmas gifts for....
It's just an odd little pot my Father-in-law gave me. Random...we're gonna put kitchen utensils it. I told him I'd use it at the office, but I only have one pen there...
From my mother-in-law. To her credit she always gives us little silly things like this every year, but usually it's a whole can of Spam...not just this single...but, in hindsight, I think it does suit my crazy, on-the-go lifestyle...
Here's a detail:
Time to go to Crazy tasty town!
I also got some Boba Fett pens, but those were pretty cool.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
There are a million things here....but, christ not ENOUGH writing is done here....so much of the web is showing off fucking Products...but I want more content....but the only way to add it is to do it....right? So I will...fer now, when it is late, and the kids are asleep and my belly is full of shnitze and fried eggs and good german beer...and I'm not so alienated anymore....right? BUt I can't forget what it is were here for, right...just want to stumble around, feel the soul come out-----fuck that horseshitnonsense, but, well, I can't type, but I can hear the train not far from my house...and that's what I want to be...carrying coal all night long. There was a time in my youth when information was not so legible...I want kids to be there..but they won't. they are already smarter then me. BUt I AM healthy tho I fell on my ass earlier tonight. down the carpeted basement stairs I went, while talking with my son about weather or not he was going to follow me down the stairs...but too late, I was already there. Sorry, buddy, sorry. This is a KOrean keyboard I type on. Good luck. Every last movie I see has Clooney in it, but That's not that bad. Dan posting korine blurbs. and that is not what I am looking forward to...not my kind of REALISM...no....think of the band Gomez! English junkers wanting to be black americans! that's wheres...its at. for now,at least..
Slopped by Zentrout at 1:10 AM
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I recommend the time saver called meatwater.
There's a decent interview with the inventor here.
Back in my bohemian days we'd boil up some beef stock and then chill it and pack it into a big jug and drink it out in the parks while we talked about poetry. But everything's got all high tech now.
If they could just reduce into a sort of food paste, that would improve it. You could brush your teeth and eat lunch at the same time.
...can't remember where I found this. Must have been on lifehacker.
Monday, December 15, 2008
On the front of the mouse war, we've got the Orbita Freestyle. This, and a foot mouse might be my answer to ergonomic heaven.
To follow up on the Hadron: it appears that we were so close to annihilating the planet that some sort of terminator appeared from the future to make it stop working.
h/t the internet.
I'm very close to buying an overpriced laptop so that I can start making music again. It's exciting; it's harrowing.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Time for it to die.
I think I might be going no-hands mouse. The song at the end of this promo basically all but convinced me:
I'm behind the times, I guess it's called Non-Specific Arm Pain now. That seems like a bit too much of an existential appellation. Something like non-specific life pain.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Here's a good review of A&S lurker Ero Gray's dub re-interpretation of Castanet's City of Refuge. From the review:
If Raymond Raposa's album is what despair in the desert sounds like, then Gray's version, Dub Refuge, is what that same despair sounds like when it echoes and thumps inside your lonely, parched skull.
You would be insane not to want a piece of this.
Here's the link to it on Asthmatic Kitty.
Congrats to heroic Ero, dub-man, poet of the dessert of the real.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
You can send a personal message into an outerspace timecapsule that
will be launched by an Ariane 5 rocket into an orbit 1,800 km high, an altitude that will bring it back to Earth in 500 centuries, the same amount of time that has elapsed since early humans started to draw in cavern walls.
Get your kids and your grandparents to write notes:
Every person is invited to write a message addressed to the future inhabitants—the deadline is December 31, 2009. Messages can be posted via the project's website, or sent by postal mail. The organizers encourage everybody to gather messages from children, senior citizens and the illiterate so that every culture and demographic on Earth is represented. The satellite has enough capacity to carry a four-page message from each of the more than six billion inhabitants on the planet. Once the satellite is launched, the messages (with personal names removed) will be made freely available on the web.
I think I will either publish a Conan the Barbarian story, or a message from Kirk:
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Long time readers know that I'm into alternatives to mice for controlling my computer. So far, the best we have are trackballs. But this might be taking us somewhere where I want to be:
So far it's only the finger that gets to go into tron-space to fondle the digital panda. But if your hand gets to go in, and possibly, your whole arm, well, then you may get to that level of organic movement that may be less damaging than our current interfaces. Supposedly, the most ergonomic form a keyboard could take is a ball, about the size of a beach ball with the keys on the sides. Well, if your hand could merge with the monitor in a digital opening, like the finger poking at the panda on the tire swing, you could interface with a virtual mouse and virtual keyboard that would let you do all sorts of things that would look like interpretive dance, and be better for your musculature.
Here's a direct link to the Japanese site.
Although I would use the word "pinko" in an affectionate way:
Let's face it: The former frat boys who populate Wall Street today understand economics as well as the pinko professors whose courses they snored through.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Whoa, and I just happened to be wearing my Mission of Burma t-shirt today!
from the Mission of Burma Myspace blog:
Mission of Burma tracks on Rock Band 2 Out Today
November 18th, 2008 - Now you can jam along with Mission of Burma in your very own home. Rock Band 2 for Xbox and Playstation 3 have released a three-pack of Burma songs including "Mica," "That's When I Reach For My Revolver" and "That's How I Escaped My Certain Fate." Buy each song separately for 160 Microsoft Points ($2.00) or buy all three for 440 MS ($5.50)! Songs are available for purchase on Xbox Live or PlayStation Network, respectively
And we were gonna buy a wii this gifting season!