Sunday, January 27, 2008

Most Recent Trip to the Record Store

I thought it might be fun to have a series of posts(starting with this one) that simply share what albums I picked up on my recent travels to the record store. The day, Saturday(though, for some reason, I thought/felt like it was Sunday and forgot to pay for parking, but didn't get a ticket in over two hours of music perusal), January 26th, 2008. Record store in question? Easy Street on Lower Queen Anne. Mood: Vinyl-thirsty; initially seeking Electronica noise, ended up heavy on the Rock and Metal...meandering love.
The list:
Grails Burning Off Impurities, Priestess Hello Master, Helios Eingya, Red Sparowes At The Soundless Dawn, Old Man Gloom Seminar II: The Holy Rites Of Primitivism Regressionism, Black Mountain In The Future, Sleep Holy Mountain...all on sweet, delicious vinyl. and...
...Colleen The Golden Morning Breaks on CD. much fun was had, ears to be delighted for some time.


Hey everybody(in Seattle, at least)! Me and my boy Tre are gonna be rawkusly rawkin at the Black Mountain show on this coming Thursday...YOU SHOULD JOIN US!!!! It will be a kick ass, beardo-bloodthirsty-Canuck-rockin time. If you haven't already heard them, find a way to check out their new ablum(intentional's called slang! big ups to Hutch, who is the first person I ever done heard say it that way). Hope to see you there with your beards on!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

A Mystery of the Record Store

Now, I know I'm not the only one that this happens to, but what the fuck is up with goin record shoppin and, like, 10 minutes after you step foot into the store, you gotsta take a huge piss, but 99.9999999% of all record stores don't have a bathroom for customers??!!?!?!!???!!
Happens every time. Must be one of my Meriods.
Anybody know why this shit happens?

Vinyl vs CDs/MP3s continued

I have long been a big proponent of listening to entire albums(at the very least for the first listen, to give all of the material a fair shot) and fervently practice this is my daily life. Most of the time, the individual songs that make up the whole of the album have a continuity and, perhaps even, coherence to them, making a larger single work of art out of the many(atoms beget molecules and so on). However, in the hustle and bustle of the regular workaday or running errands(see distractions), this continuity is often interrupted, severed as it may be. This has become particularly more frequent with the advent of portable listening devices, starting with the Walkman, then the portable CD player and, now, the mighty iPod/MP3 player. I say this, because when carrying your music with you wherever you go, you open up the listening experience to higher chance of interruption(i.e. running into a homey on the street, answering your celly, etc.). I absolutley LOVE my iPod and guard it like a mother Polar Bear does her weekling cub, but it has forever changed the way in which I listen, for better and for worse. For the better because I am able to carry a small library of my favorite shit to thump in the car, while walking to get coffee and riding my bike. For better because, when I do need to hit pause, I can just as easily start right back up where I left off or clickwheel my way back to the beginning of a song or album, whatever my pleasure. But it has changed my listening approach for the worse for one extremely significant, sometimes saddening reason. The frequency with which I listen to full albums has been drastically reduced, particularly on work/errand days. There may be some extenuating circumstances here. For one, I do not have a stereo in my bedroom at my current house; my stereo is in the living room(mostly for logistics room itself is small) and, thus, I only listen to music on my 'Pod while in my room(I also LOVE headphones, but that is another subject...), which lends itself to an isolationist sense about me(don't have a problem with it, just a fact). Music should often be socially enjoyed, but this is not always possible in a shared living space...back to the headphones or no tunes at all if I'm hangin with roommates(who don't listen to music nearly as religiously as I do...then there are issues of taste and mood...on and on and on, to the break of dawn).
So, to bring this back to the discussion of vinyl(analog) vs cd/mp3(digital). This is one(of many) advantage and benefit to the procuring of and listening to vinyl. I find it nearly impossible to listen to vinyl and not listen to an entire album. This is even more true since I long gave up my feeble atttempts at DJ'ing(I even gave one of my tables to a friend who didn't have a vinyl record player, though Iplan on getting another soon), so my focus in the format is to listen to entire albums. I still struggle to make more time for this kind of listening(for many reasons that are and are not in my control due to shared living) and have resolved to also utilize my 'Pod for entire album listening on a much more consistent basis.
By the way, before I kick off, I just thought of something. As for the continuity arguments, the 'Pod can be just as effective when listening at home. Maybe even more effective, because I never have to get up and flip the record(I know there's a little record inside there!!! I guess the iPod gremlin just flips it for me!?), therefore representing a much truer sense of continuity.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


This is a direct quote from the stall wall at the College Inn Pub, which seemed relevant to the continuing discussion here. Not much time to expand/expound this "morning"(slept in till 12.30, sweet!!), but I will return, as I and many others have mad thoughts on the subject.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Too Perfect!

My man Barrett sent this to me. Shiiiitt! I guess I have to dedicate it to Skip, who's one of the biggest Cheech & Chong fans I know and, generally, just a pure child of the 70's.
much love


First of all, today is my youngest niece Satya's 4th Birthday. Let's all give her a grand b-day cheer, shall we?!!!!!? She is named after a philosophy of non-violence laid down by Mohandas Ghandi. She is a beautiful, wild, immensely interesting person packed into a little 4 year-old girl(that's her and myself pictured above). She exhibits an understanding of the world and intelligence that she may not even yet be able to express, but it is apparent when you look at her and interact with her.
So, in Satya's honor, I feel it is necessary to continue the discussion going on with RoyC, myself and others involved.
I worked for many years in record shops, Tower(now defunct, sniffle, sniffle, tear) and Cellophane Square, here in Seattle. It served to simultaneously fuel and satisfy my passion(s) for music. Part of this passion had to do with the ability to discuss and critique music and its related culture. This is exactly what is so important, functionally, about the discussion Roy and I have cultivated here. How do artforms exist, struggle to survive sometimes, in our consumer culture, which is more concerned with the product than its effect on us and our reaction to it?
We have been discussing format, namely the rapid shifts in format in the digital age, and how it pertains, most specifically, to vinyl and how artists/bands will record(to what ends?). For now, I just have a little anecdote connected to format.
The other day, I stopped in on my old manager at Cellophane to pick up a data disc he'd burned for me. Another old coworker was there, looking for some hard to find tunes. Upon searching on the interweb, he told her that there was a copy of the album available on CD and another on Ebay(I think), which was on cassette. She immediately chortled at the thought of purchasing a cassette. And why the fuck not?!? Who actually buys cassettes nowadays, really??? I mean, there are still plenty of folks who might make a mixtape for a friend or a girl they're trying to win the affections of(yup, that's me...they take so much more time and thought to make than a disc! C'mon!!), but other than that, it is clearly a dead format. Now, if he had sought out and found a vinyl copy of said album, I am 100% sure she would've been stoked, as she said so. Except for one fact. She was trying to buy the album for her dad, who now lives on a boat and, due to that circumstance, no longer owns a turntable. That is a pretty specific circumstance, based solely on space(mostly for the storage of vinyl). This illustrates, in my mind, that, if you removed that barrier, then two people from separate generations(one in her mid-to-late twenties and her father) would still be pursuing that piece of vinyl. The reasons may not be boldly clear as to why, but the passion and hunt are there, where as the cassette is scoffed at like a dish of Elementary School Cafeteria Mac'n'Cheese. And this all goes down in a few seconds in 2008, years beyond the announced 'supposed' death of vinyl. I think that this should do it for now, but this subject is far from covered.
G'night all and, once again, Happy Birthday Satya!!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Most delicious

The thing with going over your favorite albums of the year, is that inevitably, you think about records/artists you discovered during the calendar year that don't meet the criteria for the list. With that in mind, I'd like to identify the Most Delicious Discovery Award of 2007. Usually, this distinction goes to an artist or group that I've slept on out of misdirected haterism. Thusly, most recipients have been Hip-Hop groups and the album that changed my perspective on them. However, for '07, the Most Delicious goes to Helios(aka Keith Kenniff aka Goldmund) on Type Records. It was the album Eingya that I first tried out from my lovely record store, Easy Street. This album sounds like the soundtrack to, first, the dream-saga of a life of love yet to come and, second, the courtship and early part of the relationship when everything is coated in that layer of sunshine and honey. Yet, there is a melancholy to it, as well, as if it were the perfect capture of those times of love, but in a prophetic vision of when that all becomes bits of history collecting like dust on the shoulders of old couches. Go take a listen(if I haven't already burnt it for you...those who know) through the link I provided. Cheers.

Tunes I couldn't get out of my head in '07

It took me a little time to get to this(back in the days when I worked at Cellophane Square, I'd've had a list filled out by December). However, I care less and less about temporal significance in music writing and reviews and the need to have it right away, particularly because it usually prohibits deeper thought and reflection on the piece(s) in question. So, if you think I'm sleepin...piss off.
Also, this will not be a traditional top ten list. I am not ranking, because I don't think that different albums can always be compared to each other as to their importance and impact. Each album, each piece has different emotions to convey and affects on the, I continue to feel increasingly averse to ranking-style lists. Well, here it is.

-Amon Tobin
Foley Room So far in Tobin's illustrious career, I feel that Supermodified is still his best work, but, that said, this album is still among his best work. The field recording aspect shines best with the use of animal sounds, such as a Tiger's brutal gutterances(that's my word!) to augment the bassline. Where will he go next? Favorite track: Keep Your Distance.

-Radiohead In Rainbows The way they "released" this album was revolutionary; it seems that only they could do it(they have the clout, the following). Other than that, I think that Thom Yorke's vocals are the primary strength of the record, carrying it through any weak moments(agh! sacrilege! did he say something negative about the allmighty Radiohead?!!!???! My Universe is melting!!). Favorite track: All I Need.

-Colleen Les Ondes Silencieuses I dunno if I've even fully processed this album yet. The overwhelming emotional power and simple beauty are staggering. I feel as if she has opened a portal into my mind from when I was 6, or 7, and produced the soundtrack to that time and mindframe of my life. Favorite track: Le Bateau.

-Grails Burning Off Impurities Cannot wait to see these guys live, an opportunity I have fucked up with show apathy. My boy Bench hipped me to this record, even though I had discovered them before. They are the best Appalachia Folk Metal I have ever heard...kind of a "brewing storm" feeling to a lot of their songs. Favorite track: More Extinction(the beat is ridiculous and ominous).

-Do Make Say Think You, You're a History in Rust They infused a bit more of an Americana sound into their overall feel on this record, moving away, somewhat, from the psych-rock sound of their earlier work. All hail Constellation Records!! Favorite track: The Universe!

-Bitcrush In Distance Is it rock? or is it electronica? It certainly is melancholy and pretty. Label n5MD is putting out a lot of interesting stuff(almost as good as Type Records, my favorite new label). Favorite track: Post

-Zozobra Harmonic Tremors Absolutely smashing rock energy! I saw these guys open up for ISIS earlier in the year and they, by far, blew away both ISIS(who were a little flat, but I still love 'em) and JESU. Let's just say that both the album and the live show floored me, which is special in my book. If I had to pick and absolute favorite record, with disregard to my earlier comments/thoughts, of 2007, then Harmonic Tremors would be it. Favorite track: the whole gotdamn's that good!

-Loess Wind & Water This is the direction that mellow, emotive electronica should be moving in. Favorite track: Greensland

Other notables(without comment...for now)

-Bola Kroungrine

DJ Alibi One Day

Exillon The Keening Dithers

Hannu Worms in My Piano

Murcof Cosmos

Wax Tailor Hope & Sorrow

Apparat Walls

Here's to an '08 full of godd tunes!!!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Let me clarify that last post

It is more a commentary/criticism of the American educational system than anything else. I have just been repeatedly dumbfounded by the number and frequency of people who don't know what an Ampersand is. That's all...aside from the fact that I was drunk with my boy RoyC and fuckin around at 1 in the morning.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Coming Soon...A discussion of music formats...the demise of the CD? and where the Hell does Vinyl fit in?!?

So, it looks as though my main shit stain, Roy C, and I will soon begin a back-and-forth discussion regarding the next age of the music industry and the formats that will and won't survive these changes.
Anything to say, in a preliminary sense, ROY?
Well, my questions are will the CD end up like the LP or the cassette or 8-track? Also, what will bands record? Whereas they used to record for a format (e.g., 45 minutes for an LP or an hour or more for a CD), those choices seem arbitrary in the age of the MP3. So, what does the "album" become?
Yessss, let's also remember that Miles Davis was the first to crack the time limit.
ps- the 8 track image is of a Thomas Dolby tape...the first artist to record a music video(according to our immediate sources).

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Deep in the Psyche of 2 Hip-Hop Kids

Yo Roy, I'm just glad my ass ain't quite lookin like Fat Joe's!!!
What you gotta say bout that?
They don't call him "Joey Crack" for nuthin', fool!
Nuff said, I think...just glad that I'm not that fat yet...really, check me, I'm still holdin together a slight muffintop figure, right?
Oh, you hittin', dawg. I'm feelin' that.
Are Manatees really going extinct...or is that a far-left environmentalist conspiracy? Well Roy...?
Conspiracy. Straight up., onto the "fallacy" of the Great Blue Whales numbers diminishing at alarming rates...Roy...
Dude, I don't know. I'm still cringing from the sight of Joe's ass.
Time for some PTSD deprogramming now, eh?
Fuck yeah, I'm scarred, dude.
Like a beaten child.


Yo, me and my boy Roy C be kickin around...the first time we seen each other in like, well Roy?, 7 months is it? And somehow Slick Rick comes up in the conversation...
... Yeah, out of all the shit we've talked about, Slick Rick warrants a post. What the fuck, Gabe?
Nursery Rhymes, BITCH!!!!
Okay, You got me. Word. Peace!
Is that how we gonna leave the RULER?!?!?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Conditioning through Advertising

I was in the kitchen making dinner, while half-watching an episode of CSI I'd already seen. During an advertisement, I heard this line, "No matter how you see an Army soldier, you have to look up to them." Funny how the line that sets off my fascism alarm is the one my ears actually paid attention to. So, not much to say here, except for the fact that the ad is written to condition you fucking sheep to venerate soldiers and the forces that go to war above all other people in our society. Above all other humans for that matter.
God, I really do wish that we didn't live in a society bent on destroying humanity and the world and forcing society into a highly paranoid and aggressive pack of brainless sheep.
Think on it, please.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Marion Jones goes down harder than Clemens will...

So, it is somewhat early on a day off for me, which leads to one effect on this here post...over-simplification. In the drug culture of sports, I see some [more] examples of race and gender inequalities our society clutches to like a 5 year old with a blanket that mommy is trying to take away, because the kid should just grow the fuck up, but the kid's grip is welded shut.
In this age of "pulling back the curtain" on performance-enhancing drug use, the force with which athletes will fall from grace is directly correlated to their race and gender(gods forbid that we would have to include sexuality here, because nobody is stupid enough to come out in that frat-fuck culture until after they retire and can get away to safe ground). So, Marion Jones has received sentence already today(sure she was involved in some check fraud scam, but she is being skewered primarily for admitting steroid use). That didn't take the "fair & equitable" American justice system long to dispense of a Black woman, who, by the way...CAME CLEAN about her steroid use and showed genuine remorse...didn't we already cover that fucking ground?!? But, hey, she's a woman, first of all, which means that we, as a society, feel she should have been smart and responsible enough not to even touch PEDs(Performance Enhancing Drugs) in the first place. And, let's not forget, she's Black, so the Amerikkkan justice system must deal with her swiftly and harshly. I'm not saying that she should receive full clemency for her wrong-doing(and I only barely care about the check fraud thing...let's not kid ourselves, pro and olympic athletes have been doping like rabid badgers for decades now. if you can read, then read Ball Four). However, she is certainly not receiving the treatment that Lance Armstrong, Roger Clemens or Barry Bonds have and will receive.
Oh, so let's approach Barry Bonds for a moment, and a quick one at that cuz I'm tired of this asshole. A man(child really, but whatever, his driver's license might indicate the age of a man), so obsessed with being the best and owning the most coveted records in all of baseball, who has obviously taken PEDs. I mean, really, the last time a portion of society was this concerned with head size was the Social Darwinists. Anyways, he will most certainly go down. There has already been significant talk of him never playing again after his indictment, which looks pretty certain to divvy out some jail time to him, as well. And the scrutiny he has endured these past few years dwarfs, beyond a shadow of a doubt, anything that that weaselly cracker Roger Clemens will have to go through. Even though, they are probably equally guilty of using PEDs and lying about it, to whoever...doesn't matter to me(ethically, if you lie to your kids about it, that's the same as a Federal Jury on some human level). Nonetheless, Bonds is Black and should pay for his sins to an extent that no white man would even dream of.
I mean, Roger Clemens gets to go on 60 Minutes and chum it up with Mike Wallace...a way to clear his name with some of the moronic masses who watch horribly scripted "news" shows and take it at face value. And, as I am tiring of typing for now, I'll only barely mention the fucking fluff piece done on Mark McGwire and how Lance Armstrong is just simply, an untouchable god of cycling(even though, Eddy Merckx woulda kicked his ass!).
So, even if I approached all this with the grace of a 2 year old eating applesauce, hopefully you, my non-existent readers, will begin to think a bit more about all this.
ps - am I getting the cynical and sardonic bit down at all??

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

8 Diagrams

Well, I've had my initial, quick-flip-through listen to the new Wu-Tang Clan album, 8 Diagrams. I have to say that, even though I don't expect 36 Chambers type brilliance, it is still a disappointment in the early going. To focus on the positive for a moment, however, there is one track that I had to play over and over in the car. "Campfire"(coincidentally the first track) has a sick production that even conjured up some late night outdoor excursion(possibly a campfire, but not exclusively) before I even knew the track name. Maybe it has to do with the barbershop quartet-style vocal bassline intertwined with the little, yet effective string sweep. Great track and all three verses by Meth, Ghost & Cappadonna are stellar. It's just a bit of a bummer, though, that is about the only highlight, for me, so far.
I think that this may be indicative of my high, yet possibly decaying, standards for Hip-Hop and what I wish to hear. This is a many-sided problem(like some self-indulgent, archaic, snobbish 20-sided die...roll me and see how many upturned-nose reasons I can give for not liking 95% of Hip-Hop after, oh, about 1996). It seems that this will be an oft-appearing thread of thought and criticism for me in this space.
As for now, it's late and I gotta wake up early to work at a) one job that is harshin my mellow like sandpaper jockstraps and then b) the other job, which I like, but will put me home at 3 am.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

the fine art of the Dine & Dash

OK, look...If you feel the need to execute a dine and dash, let me spell out a quick moral guide for you(as if you didn't already know, but if you didn't, you're a douchebag!).
I would say that the first rule(and maybe ONLY rule) to dine and dashing has everything to do with the dining establishment in question itself. If you are sitting down to a meal at a restaurant that is family owned and not a chain operated business, then that would be your first tip as to a place not to carry out this kind of mission. Chain restaurants are a much better target; they have so much more money to cover such incidences than mom and pop type spots. Also, you probably would know some of the folks who work at a family owned jonx as opposed to a chain-operated spot, which should lend to an atmosphere of family/friend that should prohibit such actions.
The reason I am bringing this up is due to the fact that my boy John, who works at a family-run restaurant, recently had a run-in with some dumbfuck who thought he could go for the dine & dash gold at his place of employment. According to John, the guy ran up a tab in excess of $85 and then proceeded to hit up the front door like a subway turnstile and kept struttin on...Well, John didn't take to this lightly, as he shouldn't(being that it is his livelyhood!!), and chased the guy out the door and, in the ensuing mess, tackled the guy, only to have hime get away as John was attempting to call the cops. The squirrelly fuck threw him to the ground and then bounced like the check he left.
I used to work at the same spot and I didn't dig it, for many reasons, but I wouldn't advocate a dine and dash there, primarily due to the fact that it is a family-run spot and my boy John works there(most importantly!). I have performed a dine and dash before, but it was a Dennys' and it was 4 in the morning, when my friend and I had waited an hour and a half for food and even longer for a check that never we, drunkenly, took advantage of the opportunity at hand in a corporate spot that has no ties to the community and pays their workers the same shit wages no matter what(by the way, we left a tip for the poor waitress, who was so completely overworked and bogged down).
I guess, maybe with no real valid reasons to back me up, I just feel that if you are going to dine & dash, just try not to pick a spot that is family run and has folks workin their asses off just to get to the next paycheck(which is true of Dennys' workers, too, but I still feel differently justified...!!)
Goodnight for now and hopefully, I will be able to castigate the world more clearly tomorrow.
Love, Rev. Gabelicious

Thursday, January 3, 2008


Happy New Year everybody(probably nobody at this point, seeing as nobody will be reading this for a while)!
Just a quick note to reflect the passing of a calendar year, something completely arbitrarily created by humans, but seemingly necessary at this point in our "evolution" or "progress".
Anyways. I will be using this space to spill forth a plethora of thoughts, ideas, frustrations, celebrations of the Boston Red Sox, and criticisms of the glorious, illustrious culture and society we inhabit, endure and influence.
Initially, it will seem(to me) that I will be babbling uncontrollably to myself, or perhaps another personality or 5, but eventually, I hope there can exist a conversation here...or "dialogue" as it was favorably, yet snobishly, referred to in my course of college studies. Ah yes, my first crack!! Do I really despise the institution of education? That question is for you to figure out, and many more, as we continue on.
So, for now, in the drunkenly immortal words of my good friend and myself on New Year's Eve, "If you have hate in your heart, let it out!!! Hate hate hate in the 0-8!!"
Cheers and Go Red Sox!!!