Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Richard Skelton: Landings


Between releases as A Broken Consort and under his own name, Richard Skelton has issued forth a plethora of releases in the past 3 years, Landings being the latest on Type Records. Much of his material stems from a deep, aphotic and mourning place in his heart and mind still dealing with the loss of his wife (one can only assume this based on the still-present dedications on album jackets). Much of these albums 'sound the same' due to a firmly entrenched sense of style on Skelton's part: jittering, junk-sick violins dancing in circles of tribal prayer around a center of more immersive, fire hot and plodding strings (cello and viola? sometimes guitar). All of this is submerged in a layer of seemingly undisturbable dust in light. His albums are often long pauses caught while looking at old photographs with scratches on the paper's surface or cracked corners. So, this guileless sameness from one album to another links them tighter artistically and elevates them, rather than diminishes their value, because this is an ongoing document of tribute. And ongoing documents of tribute are not all too uncommon. We can continue to mourn even if we have "moved on" and that is exactly what tribute is. Tribute is often defined by its testimonial action and Skelton seems to be continuing to testify as to the love he and his wife possessed together and the beauty he was afforded to witness.
With Landings, however, the album seems even more personal in its testimony, as if this were the sound he heard as he sat, alone, by a river contemplating her face, the light playing through her hair. On "Green Withins Brooks" for example, the song is started by just placid field recordings of a small stream, which leads into a very sparse ambient peace that lacks the vibrating, pulsating violins and large wooden room feel. It is clearly a piece of music outside in the cold air, staring straight through its quickly disappearing breath. And then with "Of the Last Generation" the violins and ligneous enclosure return with barely a creak to break the meditative flow. The pinnacle of emotional punch on this album (which is an odd thing for a Skelton release...again, that's a good thing) comes at the end of Side 3, "Pariah." This song scrapes and stammers and repeats itself into an acoustic analogue of what Jan Jelinek did on Kosmischer Pitch.
As with Marking Time, Skelton's work is magnificent in a way that the atom-smashing intersection of love and tragedy, pain and grace alone can stand to produce and offer to the universe. Not only that, but the packaging is sublimely rustic. It has a keen, underplayed newness to its design (it is on Type Records afterall folks!), but retains an old soul quality that would conceal its identity while sitting on a record shelf of 40 years prior in the past.
A sure recommendation!
Score: 7.75/10

Goodbye Yellow Brick Guilt

It seems that with the recession (which still happens to effect the entire world), American holiday advertisement pushes cheep wares as advantageous just a few years removed from our own feigned concern with sweat shops and boycotting buying products that support such 3rd World pimping by large American corporations. Yet, you are made to believe, with all your self-centered and elf-concerned 'God-Blessed' American heart that this is what's right now. Because you're suffering, others should further suffer to afford the security and sanctity of your precious little holiday consumer approach to 'showing' people around you that you care. Good night and fuck off America!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Cinematic Enemies

So, last night I, unfortunately, wasted two hours of my life on Michael Mann's so-called biopic of John Dillinger and his famous run of bank robberies in the 1930's. What's most disconcerting is that the film has two of the better actors of this generation in Depp and Bale and this movie still stinks like a roadside rest stop toilet. It's emotionally void, not just flat, but void and I couldn't give less of a shit about the characters, despite one of them being the real-life charismatic diamond Dillinger. Dillinger may have been a secret double agent of the Knights Templar or an alien and none of this fascinating 'other' side of him was even winked at. Let's just say that Depp is about as interesting as Dillinger as Stephen Dorff is as Homer Van Meter. That's saying something. And Bale could barely hold onto that whack ass Southern accent any better than a slimy catfish.
It's a good thing I also watched Robin Williams in World's Greatest Dad. Not since World According to Garp has Williams perfected the art of sympathetic asshole and sycophant so well. Kudos to Bobcat Goldthwait for writing and directing such a richly funny and dark tale.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Album of the Week


Songs From the Skylight by Paul White
More to follow shortly....

Monday, November 23, 2009

Do not despair, my fair readers. All 7.2759 of you. I have not forsaken my blog, I have only taken some time to make an intricate mess in other mediums or other places. I will return.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

bellows

my lungs are the bellows that fan the flames of Hell, my heart the eternal flames soothing the hand-wringing anxiousness of its demons. yet, the eternal angel of hope continues to rise from the ashes of all this fire. she ignites my heart in a way all of Hell's flames cannot. I exhale with the fear of smoldering her delicate wings and tender voice. her delicate, yet confident touch echo me back to a resplendent existence above the flames. I awake from the fanciful journey of dreams to find that she is nothing but a specter of my mind. she is a figment. she is a fantasy. reality is still filled with endless horizons of flame and disgust, a panoramic view of Hell from the center, crying out from the absolution of convictions that sit atop a throne far away from these flames, this smoke, this desolation. but to touch that light and airy seat is but a conflagrated vision, a dream set upon the tongue tips of flame reaching up towards heavens unknown. and she insistently flutters there, out of reach, as long as I continue to wade through the fire without realizing my potential to skate above its reach. so I remain.
my lungs are the bellows that fan the flames of Hell, my heart the eternal flames soothing the sad, prayer-filled admonishments of its demons and tortured souls. flailing towards an idyllized point in the sky of salvation. a place that pines for love, but is ensconced in the very belly of hate and emotional dissection. plying the very sympathies of those without care to climb out of the pits of despair and loneliness, only to find that the journey upwards is complicated by sn eternity of steps; an endless series of motions towards an unattainable goal;.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Just Another Way To Say...


...Shit is funky! For some reason, unbeknownst to me, I've been listening to Cypress Hill's first LP a lot lately. It is straight up funky ass shit. Prince Paul taught DJ Muggs well and it shows on this record. There's no need for me to expound upon some extrapolated philosophical ideas about this album, other than to say what I already have: this is one funky ass album. It's full of great samples and memorable potheaded lyrics, mixed with a South Central LA gangster ethos. I guess my real point here is that this is an album with real staying power, given that I'm still rockin' it 16 years after I first heard it. Anyways, I think that if you're sitting at home struggling with what to listen to and you love HipHop, then maybe just throw this gem on one more time and kick back with a fat doobie and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

a new poem

frayed thread
{10.07.09}

I strain and dream
of talking to people I know
in environments, or situations,
unnatural, untenable fits
to who they are.
shifting and pondering fantasy
through different threaded layers
of reality
I deposit secrets in innumerable
hidden Pandora's Boxes
through universes increasingly
confused in the potential
for existence
I laminate the remnants
of my ideas of love
and slip them under the doors of
neighbors I've never had
hoping that some day
I may awake to find
them returned to me
as an alarming signal
that the dream, the idyll
can actually be tempered
by the tactility of realization

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Prince Howard

Just thought this was noteworthy. Prince Fielder (my new favorite non-Red Sox player) and Ryan Howard both hit their 42nd homers last night, both going to the opposite field on ridiculous pitches. These dudes are serious fuckin' hitters. Fielder hit a pitch that almost woulda been in a right-handed hitter's ear to send Bernie Brewer down the slide. Howard cranked a down and away pitch where only Miami Dolphin fans seem to buy tickets. Fat kids are pretty cool.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday's Poem: Orion Watches

Orion Watches
{09.20.09}

Orion hangs high above me
flirting with the horizon
of a hill
huge, like a god's eye
looming and leering

as if watching over me
in its brilliance this night
and I laugh at myself

the farcical notion
that a cluster of stars
spaced by thousands of light years
from each other and
millions from me
would throw a care
across the cosmos for
a miniscule being
such as myself.

but the hope
is part of the light
continuously bouncing
back and forth
between us, so
I keep imagining
with feigned naivete
that Orion watches over me.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Princely Dreams

Buster Olney, over at ESPN, speculates that Prince Fielder may be traded away from Milwaukee by the start of next season and I have to say that in my greediest moments, I would love to see that dude in a Red Sox uniform. With his insane left-handed power, he could do some serious Fenway damage. If not that scenario, then he is surely welcome here in Seattle, where I could go watch him every week.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dice-K's Return

Let's have a little live blogging on this game, shall we?
Oh sweet! A leadoff walk to Chone Figgins and the Dicey fucker only took 7 pitches to do it.

Figgins steals 2nd, one out. Ooh, Abreu flies out and we have 2 down...there's hope yet, because he only has to deal with Bad Vlad. Wow, Dice-Fillet gets Vlad to ground out and only needed 18 pitches to get out of the first. Matsuzaka must feel like he just scaled Everest in a lazy afternoon hike. I mean, he only went to full counts on 2 of the 4 batters he faced.

By the way, I'm only commenting on my hate for Dice-K during this post. I wanna enjoy the rest of the game.

Top 2nd: Okay, I bitch about Dice's pitch count, but it did take John Lackey 23 tosses to get out of the 1st, sooooooo.

He gets Hunter out on 2 pitches! Things are lookin' up. Holy SHIT!!! Inning over in just 7 pitches. Are we sure this isn't a Dice-K replicant controlled by the ghosts of Hideo Nomo past??? And he's got a no-no through two (I know this is sacrilege and against the unwritten rules, but come on, it's Matsuzaka we're talkin' about here, he'll labor to stay under 100 pitches by the 6th...).

Top 3rd: First up is Eric Aybar. Dice's first offering to Aybar is about 8 inches outside. That's my boy!! Again, I shut my mouth, as Aybar pops out on 3 pitches. Seven straight retired. Jeff Mathis strikes out!!! This is getting tasty. Back to Figgins now, maybe he can walk him again. Oh damn, I be a soothsayer as Figgins-Newtons is on 1st after a free pass. Yeah, Figgy really is someone to cower from while on the mound. Why don't you go ahead and put a speedy base-stealer on two straight times. Well, at least Maicer Izturis is good at flying out to Drew to close out the inning. I guess Dice just bothers me with that look of "I don't have the drive to do anything." I mean, at least Kaz Sasaki broke himself out of the game while drunk, but Dice-K is just a Nietzsche passage away from slumping into a puddle of ennui and slinking into a dark corner forever.

Top 4th: Sadly, my man Ellsbury was thrown out trying to steal 2nd last inning. Oh well, at least Dice just struck out Bobby Abreu (who I've always thought would look nice in a garbage compactor, since his days with the Jankees). Even after 50 pitches (halfway through Hunter's at-bat), Dice still only throws strikes 50% of the time. Hunter pops out, no-no through 4. One nice thing? Lackey's had to throw more pitches than Matsuzaka. This is certainly an alternate reality moment.

Top 5th: On a hanging breaker, Dice gifts Morales with something to smack for a single. No more no-no. Rivera flies out, but Aybar gets the second hit of the inning (and the game) for the Angels to move Morales to 3rd. Gettin' scary. And Aybar steals second. Looks as though Dice-K doesn't care about that, specially since he likes having the bases drunk, so maybe he'll walk Mathis just to get comfortable...oop, nope, Mathis strikes out swinging. Wait! With Figgins up, he will be able to fill the bags with 2 out. Yippee!! Wow, Figgy strikes out and Dice is out of the 5th after just 72 pitches (usually a 3 inning count for him). Now if only the offense could give him some support.

Top 6th: With one out, Abreu doubles...God I hate that guy. That little self-congratulatory clap and grin that he pulled into second with makes me want to take a cheese-grater to his face (I need psychological help, maybe...or maybe everybody feels this way about Abreu). Bad Vlad's up! Out on strikes and then Hunter lines out to Peppah (Mike Lowell, for those of you not in the know). And who's that Terry Francona plain-clothes look-alike in the Sox dugout over the right shoulder of Dave Magadan??

Bot. 6th: Okay, that bunt single by Ells was the shit! I love how freakin' fast he is. And then Pedey bunts 'em up and the error on Lackey's throw make it 1-0!!!! Bay walks, bases chucked and Big Papi comin' up!!! Holy 2004 version of the Large Father!! Sox up 2-0.

Top 7th: Alright, got some mac n cheese and about to have to get ready for work, but let's see what's cookin in the 7th. Dice back out there with plenty of pitches to go, I guess. Get that bullpen warm boys! I was right. Morales walks and in comes Ramirez. This will end my Dice-hate-fest online for the night as I have to get ready to go sling beer to all you fools.

The Diceman Cometh To Give Me A Stroke

This nervous, sweaty-palmed, plate-nibbling mother fucker is gonna start for the Sox tomorrow. I wish I was a sports book so that I could make odds on how many batters faced the Dice will go to full counts on, how many batters he'll face total just to struggle to get through five innings and be in line for the loss and how many Red Sox Nation suicides will coincide with the inevitable train wreck of a start for Matsuzaka. Don't get me wrong, I'd love the Dice of the previous two seasons (at least record-wise, though he still threw too many pitches), but I really don't think that's what we're getting. I'm also perplexed as to why Teets and the Theos need to start him in the thick of a Wild Card race. Is this a contractual obligation that that demon Scott Boras added into his paperwork?
It also doesn't help that he's squaring off against John Lackey, who looked pretty fabulous in hyis last start, holding the Mariners down like Louis XVI at the guillotine.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Nosaj Thing: Drift

So, I'm a little behind in chattin' y'all up about this one. Who gives a fuck?!? This record is fantastic. A perfect blend of future-Tron synthesizers and crunchy beats with a great sensibility for crafting 'songs'. "Light 1" has a beautifully touching breakdown where everything vanishes except a loving, yet still crusty keyboard. If Nosaj is a disciple of J Dilla (others have said it, not me...), he has surely run into new territory with this album. A true sign of a quality album is how long it endures to secure a spot in heavy rotation and how it is listenable in various situations (in the car, at work, working out, vegging out...). Certainly recommended.

Score: 8/10

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Olafur Arnalds: Found Songs

Olafur Arnalds laments for your soul. This short little record displays a sense of beauty that puts him in a class with Max Richter and fellow countryman Johan Johansson. While brief in time, this EP is filled with timeless beauty that expounds upon the limitlessness of love and wanting. If you haven't yet heard of or heard Mr. Arnalds, I strongly suggest you check him out, as he is currently composing some of the most attractive Neo-Classical tunes around at the moment.

Score: 7.5/10

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Quiet Personal Electronics

One last bit of HipHop to throw your way today (tonight? this morning?), before I quit for now. QPE (aka Quiet Personal Electronics) has put out a pretty interesting platter of instrumental beats for our listening enjoyment.

Some of the rim shot and cymbal sounds on this record remind me of that gritty style of drum programming I've always associated with the metallic pinging of slide-action pistol noises. The association has nothing to do with the violent force of guns, but just the sounds made by them (I hope y'all can divorce yourselves from that so you don't make some stupid assumption like that I'm making associations with tools of violence because it's HipHop. You'd be dead wrong. Pun intended.). The squishy, bean-bag chair bass sonics make a nice wide seat for the rest of the sounds. Occasionally, there are Boards of Canada-esque synthesizers, but then a lot of arpeggiated noise, too. QPE likes to throw in these angular, incongruous drum sounds at times and at first, it sounds like shit, but then you give it a chance on the second go 'round and discover that they add an oddly psychedelic texture along with early digital phone tones.

Good headphone beats to rock while biking, skating or something else of the like.

Score: 6/10

The Coolest Celebrations in Baseball

The Milwaukee Brewers might just be the coolest, hippest baseball team in the majors. I say this based solely on their creative celebratory style. First, when Ryan Braun or Prince Fielder hit a home run, their own bash brothers hand jive is the sparring jabs of a boxer and his trainer. Now, I thought that was pretty fuckin' cool and innovative. But then yesterday, the Milwaukee Brewers blew my freakin' mind. When Fielder squashed, I mean absolutely swatted, a walk-off dinger in the bottom of the 12th, their home plate fracas of fun was one of the greatest things I've ever seen in baseball. When Fielder gets to home plate to be greeted by his teammates, I fully expected the same old mobbing that David Ortiz or anybody else would get, but...that wouldn't be. When he lands on the plate, his teammates all fall on their backs the moment he lands, signifying a grand explosion, and then he looks to the heavens, arms outstretched in a way that almost made him look like an anime character, and basks in the glory of what he has just done. So, follow the link provided and watch the first video clip from that game and you'll see what kinda magic I'm talkin' 'bout!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Onra: Les Chinoiseries

French DJ/Producer Onra (who's of Vietnamese descent) took a trip to Southeast Asia and returned home to Paris with a bundle of old Vietnamese Pop records under his arm. The dust, crust and pops of old, worn wax shines through in a gorgeous way on his LP Les Chinoiseries. All the cuts are enjoyable and certainly head-nod worthy. "The Anthem" is one of the funkiest ass tracks I've heard in a long time (anywhere from a week or so to a year, you figure it out), with a horn section and strings lending each other a hand in a backbeat double dutch of delight. Meanwhile, speaking of funky tracks, after about 27 straight listens to "I Wanna Go Back", I just had to go drop the needle on some older J-Zone shakers. I love that, just like a cluster of capillaries blown up under the miscroscope, somehow you can find the most distant, string-thin connections through the HipHop SpaceTime Continuum. With ears like mine, you could say I'm the Stephen Hawking of the musical goldmine, the way I process sounds and beats and spit it back out with words so fine, I even make the moon happy enough to go shine when it's go time....
...Whoah, uh sorry, er, not really. I guess I just felt the HipHop spirit and had to let loose on a rhyme, just to illustrate how good this album makes me feel.

Also, does anybody else feel like the picture on the cover art almost looks like some dude pretending to be Bruce Lee with that pose?? I dunno why, but I just keep looking at it and seeing scenes from Enter the Dragon.

Score: 7/10

Dak: Standthis


Aside from my endless appreciation for Jay Dee's beats for the Pharcyde back in the day, I was never on top of the J Dilla love fest until, sadly, just about the time of his death. It wasn't a dislike or opining of low-quality HipHop, but I just didn't feel it, hadn't come around to the chopped up approach to HipHop funk. Well, I've come full curcle for sure; not only do I dig Dilla's cuts, but the whole new sub-genre of cut-up, wonky HipHop. In fact, the likes of Dilla, Paul White, Dr. WhoDat?, Onra and many others have gifted me with a fully rejuvenated hope for HipHop. And, they have all proven me wrong in my frumpy, all-too-quick pronouncements of the death of HipHop. I learn my lessons, it just takes me a while occasionally.

So, yet another LA producer comes with a bangin' set of beats this year, on the trail of fellow SoCal beatsmith Nosaj Thing. The style is choppier than Dilla, but maintains the ability to move butts (whether sitting in front of a computer while writing or dancing). I love the use of snare rolls nearly to the point of excess and the sparse '70s elevator Jazz samples and Soul vocals that exudes an early People Under The Stairs crate-digging aesthetic. Continuity and flow are never lost in Dak's chopped-up style, which is key in my mind, because HipHop, as a descendant of Jazz, must always retain that swing.

While this release is basically an EP by standards of length (a hair over 24 minutes), being spread out over 12 tracks makes it transition more like an album. Maybe this is what the EP was really supposed to be, a short work that never reminds you just how short it is, instead, it works tirelessly to expand your sense of time while listening.

At a time when there are no more coast wars in HipHop, I am proud to say that I currently live on the coast that seems to be most concerned with keeping the artform alive. Kudos to Dak for a work well done and I look forward to more to come. This is definitely a recommended release!

Score: 7.25/10

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Uh, Hell Yes I Just Went To This Game!!!

So, on the bus ride back from 'The Safe', I was talking with my buddy Eddie and I figured that this was the best pitching performance I had seen in person so far in my life. We remarked, around the 7th inning, that you had to keep reminding yourself how bad ass Greinke was, because it was a subtle, understated masterpiece on the mound, particularly because he didn't strike 15 batters or anything (only 5, in fact). He just simply went out there, worked quickly and got the fuckin job done. He was hurling 96 mph heat with a low-80s change and a curve that even dropped down to 66 mph. Sick. Overall, a fabulous way to spend Eddie's last afternoon in Seattle for the Summer. Take care Eddie!

Friday, August 21, 2009

My boy Roy C was right, this record is cool. I guess this week's theme is all about sleepin', whether it be me catchin up on shit I slept on or stuff I think you mighta slept on. Wake up bitchez!!

From the Vaults of HipHop

I think this one got lost in the fold for a lot of folks. Bad ass record though and Jean Grae is just perfect on "Taco Day". Plus, D-Stroy is on here and the track "What the Fuck?!" is hilarious. If you slept on this little gem, go back and check it out, you won't be disappointed.

thursday's poem

{slow down}

08.20.09

every once in a while

when I emerge

through the surface of conciousness

like a breaching whale

I slip through the last

echoed breath of my

own utterance

the words slap me in the face:

slow down.

A Well-Rested Life Void of Sleep...

...would be the only way for me to satisfy my appetites for music. It's like being a vampire during endless daytime; there's no way you can go out for fresh blood and the hunger grows and the thirst is so torturous. Only, I can get fresh blood, but it never seems to be enough. There is always some craving, some urge. One week it will be an inability to get enough classic HipHop and another I'll be begging the gods for Neo-Classical pacifiers for my soul. But the method of discovery varies along with the numerous styles of music.

This week, I found the coolest new Funk outfit in The Heliocentrics. This troupe of Psych-Jazz Funkateers is led by their masterful drummer, Malcolm Catto, as it seems only a group of this ilk should be. Catto might be the coolest fuckin' drummer I currently know of. Now, I know I'm about 18 months late on this one, but believe you me, this is a perfect example of how hard it is to keep up with everything and drink 7000 empty calories of whiskey a week.
So, there's a tight little horn section that sounds as though they'd fit right in on a 60's Mingus album or a 70's Miles Fusion exploration. But the great thing is, they don't get in the way. Some horn sections are like that annoying fuckin' kid in the front of the class who raises his hand for every gotdamn question the teacher has. Think James Brown horn funk, but a bit more understated. The keyboards and synthesizers are absolutely killer. Played with enough digital and analog diffusion and tonal discomfort, they keep the out there Out There. The guitar has a nice, slick-toned Telecaster sound that is more Morricone than Booker T. This gumbo of styles and sounds may seem too much to combine and handle, but The Heliocentrics pull it off with such dexterity that they must have been born juggling sounds.
A definite. A hands down winner. If the Poets of Rhythm had done a bit more acid with Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder, not Johnny Depp), this would be the record, after some tripped out HipHop producers got ahold of it, of course. And before it's final, there'd be a session with some folks from Broadcast to give it one more odd-ass spice in the mix.

But a fantastic mix it is.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Trip to the Rekkid Store with my main man Bench

Bench and I went to the store of vinyl wax rekkid purchasing today and, as all trips of this manner are, it was a magical time. The one that I put back in order to not blow too much money was Ice Cream Castle by The Time. I will have more chances to pick that little funk gem up in the future. Here's my haul:
Game, Dames & Guitar Thangs by Eddie Hazel
In the Pocket With Eddie Bo by Eddie Bo (fabulous New Orleans Funk & Soul)
I Thought I Was Over That by Lali Puna (B-Sides, Rarities and Remixes)
Lazy Bones by Witch (described as Afro-Psych Rock, pretty spot on)
Gish by Smashing Pumpkins
Rip, Rig & Panic by Rashaan Roland Kirk

If I could, I'd live every day like this.

Friday, August 7, 2009

What are the first two rules?


While generally avoiding the face, my friend Zack and I basically had a Tyler Durden night last night. Lemme just tell you this much, it's a lotta fun when yer drunk as shit and blasting each other, but the next day, the charlie horses in your thigh make getting out of chairs a little challenging. Also, I used to have a promotional bar of soap from the movie that is exactly like the one Tyler there is holding, but then my wife used it, didn't like the soap and threw it out. She is my ex-wife, by the way. Different value systems sometimes just can't mesh.

i got a new tattoo

Sung to the tune of "New Attitude". It's my first pictoral tat and my first with color. It's a feather. And that is my forearm.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Music to Screw By

Every time I listen to "Moan" (Trentmoller Remix) by Trentmoller, I wish I was having downright sweaty, house music repetitive sex. I wish I was fuckin my balls off, this song is so sexy and commands you to move, it seems to have no other purpose, but to compell the sentient beings with thumbs to give up all cares we have for our ridiculous toys and tools and just commence to fuckin'. It may sound crass to you, but it's true. This song sounds like the spontaneous stripping of clothes and the slamming into of one sweaty body to another, smiles ablaze with the pleasure and forgetfulness only sex can bring; the ultimate temporary relief from this puny, overly-self-concerned world. When the lower chakras take over in a momentary revolution of body over mind and erase the ego from its smarmy chalkboard for just...one...singular...moment...of....





this post aided by: teonanacatl

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Flow Du Jour


MC: D-Stroy (formerly of The Arsonists)
All Material is Suitable for Flow-Induced Mind Implosion
Favorite Track: "Vitamin D"
In a Movie about His Life, He should be Portrayed By: Rick Gonzalez

Monday, July 20, 2009

Agates Between Us and the Sun

Agates Between Us and the Sun
{07.20.09}

as the wind
changed direction with the tide
and swept through our hair
or wool sweaters
bringing with it
the tough, salty aroma
of kelp and empty crab shells
we would scan the beach
like human metal detectors
only for treasure of a different kind:
agates.
years later,
at a random moment
someone will type ‘aggregate’
in an email, something
none of us currently even
conjures through fantasy,
and I will think of agates,
partly because the two words
rooted together on
my psycho-linguistic palate as a kid
and didn’t separate into branches
for a couple years.
when I think of agates
we are all walking on the beach
in our determined search
because we know that
Deva loves them, her face alights
at their discovery and arrival:
every time.
as a child, and even
years later as an adult,
I would always have her
examine them
verifying their value like
a rare diamond merchant.
she would hold them
between us and the sun
to force them to testify
to their translucence
and then she would have her lens
through the heavens and cosmos
a peak into the magic beyond.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Wearing the Patch, Trying not to Smoke

Why must I be a sucker for late period, shadow-of-himself Robin Williams films? What used to be a revolutionary comic talent is now just a horrific, stuck-in-2nd-gear shtick of recycled cocaine twitches.
Yet, I find myself eagerly switching to a late night USA Network screening of Patch Adams while folding laundry. And then, just before it all went dark, I heard my There Will Be Blood dvd calling me...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Jayson Stark just earned a Mark, pt. II

So, let me get this straight. This douchebag can make jokes about Manny Ramirez having a period, while being employed by a major journalistic company and probably still gets laid??? I have a sick, fucked up sense of humor, but I also don't write shit like that and publish it. Also, I'm not s stupid fuck like Stark and I haven't been laid in almost 3 years!! It's not right! It's not fuckin right!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

books I picked up today

The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley
The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea by Yukio Mishima
a new copy of Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things
In Cold Blood
by Truman Capote
Clemente by David Maraniss

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Danny Norbury "Light In August"

The new album from cellist Danny Norbury is titled Light In August. I can only imagine it is named after the novel by William Faulkner, but the similarity seems to go only title-deep (while I have not read Faulkner's, I don't feel that this album is meant to reflect the subject matter of the novel). A warm, yet heart-breakingly beautiful album of cello pieces accompanied by sparse piano swells up out of the silence besetting it and dies away in the twilight with such ease that it seems next to breathing for Norbury. I think of a backlit spiderweb on a hot, but comfortable afternoon in August, a breeze hassles its superior strength, which is betrayed by the frailty of its appearance. The silken strands will stretch and sway, but only a vigorous effort will force it to surrender and give way. The sharply reverberating piano that begins "I Turn Off the Last Light and Close the Door" has the same tensilary strength for vibration and duration as the spider's web. As it creates a whirling wheat field underfoot, you drift into the title piece. "Light In August" is a wordless eulogy (much like the entire album as a lament) of Norbury's cello layered over itself until a one-man chamber orchestra is bidding adieux to the way life used to be. "This Night Is For You And For Me" follows up nicely with a slow lovers' dance that spirals downwards into invisible arms. And "All The Stars Are Out Tonight", Norbury's web wraps in intricate patterns around your heart, stretching itself in tachycardic rhythm until they both break into the infinite.
I have only had one proper, all-the-way-through listen to this record, but already recognize its godly quality, its knowledge of the most esoteric simplicities of life and well-crafted love of beautiful sound.

Don't think about it too long or doubt my true knowledge, just get it.





Oh, and by the way, the words "there, that should make life better" better roll outta your mouth whenever you pass this music on to a friend.

I Am The Word Wheel Prince of Darkness!!!

Bow to my metal fingers!!
Tonight we played Word Wheel (no pictures seem to exist of this board game on the internet...) and my sister soundly kicked ass, as she usually does at Word Wheel, Boggle and Scrabble. She just has a mind made for speed with word games. However, she did not spot Satan, which actually appeared on the board in three manifestations of Mephisto. I'm hoping that this signals an even earlier end to the Mayan Calendar than was previously thought and an ushering of a new epoch.
It was also pointed out, by our mom, that Saint appeared on the board simultaneously with Satan. The battle for the universe rages on our little board game!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

More notes on Culture Homogeny

Was just watching some of Dodgers versus Angels on ESPN and apparently there was a fan on the field. I don't think it was a streaker, but HOW THE FUCK WOULD I KNOW, BECAUSE THEY REFUSE TO AIR ANY FOOTAGE OF PEOPLE RUNNING ON FIELD?!?!? How fucking dumb is that? So, we can just pretend that the world and life is clean and wholesome and blemish-free by simply not acknowledging anything other than the family-friendly, wholesome, whitebread bullshit??? Fuck that.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bullpens Shit the Bed, too!

Back in April, I bitched and moaned about Jason Motte, a closer for the St. Louis Cardinals on my fantasy at the time. Motte's tenure lasted about 72 hours on Team Mondesi as he proved competent only at giving Tony La Russa small heart attacks and me a temporary case of Tourettes that my neighbors quickly grew tired of. Closers with this level of confidence seem to be hopping on and off the fuckin bullpen merry-go-round this season. While I don't have Fernando Rodney (pictured) on my team, witnessing him empty his own brand of adult diaper on the pitching mound against the Cardinals tonight was equally frustrating and astonishing. Rodney had 3 wild pitches and about a half dozen others that only missed that distinction because his catcher, Gerald Laird, was adept enough to catch such shitty pitches. It started to make me miss the days of the shut-down, no-questions-asked closers (or pitchers, in general, for that matter). Sure, Heath Bell is the shit this season and Jonathan "Crazy Eyes" Papelbon is consistent, but it seems like bullpens just lack a little balls this season. Well, as John always says, maybe there will be a little "regression to the mean".

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Jayson Stark just earned a Mark

On his forehead and for that matter, all ESPN Baseball columinsts. I'm fuckin sick of your double standards, heavily guarded racism and self-righteousness. I'm so fucking tired of it all that I can only barely skim the surface. You have spent the last month and a half pushing Manny Ramirez through a series of rock crushers, meat grinders and other undesirable positions for his positive test and suspension. The unorthodox Manny has never been one to capture unfettered admiration in your eyes, sure, but he's no demon. However, to a bunch of cracker-ass, uber-privileged honkey journalists, he must be just black enough, just free-spirited enough to have pissed you off to your core. I'm not here to debate the right or wrong of Manny's drug policy transgressions. I'm here to point out your selective hypocricy, which rears its ugly head in today's article about Raul Ibanez. Did Manny test positive? Yes. Is the baseball culture now tainted in the view of fans so much so that Raul's devouring of opposing pitching is met with some level of skepticism regarding the PED era? Yes, it most certainly is and that is just tough fucking shit. Raul's a grown man. He can deal with this and if he can't, then he shouldn't be a fucking baseball player, earning $10+ million a year to play a game and be in the public eye.
Honestly, I'm happy for Raul, who I watched for years here in Seattle, but also make no relevant speculations about him and PEDs at all. Is there a possibility? Absolutely. Do I care? Not really. We all got what we wanted out of the steroid era: Baseball made a roaring comeback, players earn salaries unheard of just 10 years before and fans got to see some pretty incredible shit happen. So, I ask you, ESPN writers, what is it that makes it so easy for you to treat Manny Ramirez like a Salem witch and then turn around and actually say that Ibanez, "Doesn't deserve a scarlet 'S'"? I have some ideas.....................you fuckwads.

Thoughts On Culture Homogeny

I often rail against the effects of the PC (Politically Correct) Age and the current Post-PC Era. My overall arc is usually to illuminate (or overstate the obvious) an example of how the cleansing of our public persona has made us weak, intellectually stunted and, most importantly, boring. So, my first foray into pounding your heads against the brick wall fabricated of my opinions will be couched in crowd behavior. When you watch highlights of a World Series or NBA Championship victory from the previous generation, you always see fans rushing the field/court to join in the celebration. That exemplifies how much a team has been part of the community, more than just a mere vehicle of entertainment. Now, in the last 15-20 years, I've NEVER seen this behavior repeated as it once was, acceptable and normal. Of course, this happens in college sports, but it's different, because while kids on an NCAA Championship team may be icons within their sub-cultures, they are not mega-rock star millionaire athletes. That class division is so blatant it kills me sometimes, but this is also about the simple dumbing down and brainwashing of our society. We must live in fear of our own (and collective) instincts to celebrate, in this instance, as if the victory were partly our doing. And it really is. We have paid the ticket price, followed the team for what seems to be eternity and cheered with as much intensity and involvement as the "participants" put into their performance. I say that, instead of trashing downtown in your city after a championship, fans should make a collective, yet unwritten pact to rush the field during the on-field/on-court celebration. Whaddya say Amerikkka, land of the free???

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Long Time Comin'

So, I told my buddy Scott a bit ago (maybe six months now?) that I'd do this, but never got around to it. I'll be succinct, but I'm here to endorse Trifonic. Their album Emergence is quite fantastic and I've been digging it for quite some time now. "Parks On Fire" is certainly the standout track, with a combination of DJ Shadow (Endtroducing era) drum programming and some Amon Tobin mechanical bugs feel to it. The guitar playing might actually be the hidden gem here as I can hear The Edge (U2) mixed with some other New Wave and Psychedelic shit going on. Very tight styles emerging, pun intended, into a new, lovely sound that has a foot in the past and a head in the future. Scott also has done some video work for them, which you can check out here. Please give them a listen, as they are certainly talented, yet far too under the radar for their given potential impact.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Jumped out the Jelly and into the Summer Jams


It's Summer, the sun is golden and sweet, hitting you at angles that make you feel at ease. You're out riding bikes, walking around or twiddling the sand out of your toes at the beach with a joint in hand. Radio Raheem is with you, with his bangin' boombox. What 70s Funk jams would you turn on?
1. WAR?
2. Parliament-Funkadelic?
3. Sly & the Family Stone?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Just Another Lame Excuse


Obviously, I loved Johnny Damon as much as any other Sox fan. Up until the '05 jumping of ship, of course. So, this last week when the Yankees visited Fenway Park to square off against the Sox for a three game set they were destined to lose, Damon dropped a pop-up in left. Now, any mature, straight-forward baseball player would just cop to the fact that it happens to everyone. Damon, on the other hand, made constant gestures of looking back up into the sky after the botched play. This included an obvious awareness of the game being on National TV, so as to make gestured excuses to begin with by darting his eyes skyward repeatedly after looking like a dildo on National TV. And then this headline appears today. What a pussy. Just let it go. I don't give a fuck if you have a muscular stigmatism that makes your eyes dance around constantly like a psych-ward wack job. Just cop to making a mistake and move on.
I believe Damon's douchebag rating just jumped a little in the standings.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Salmon Runs

This evening, after mowing the lawn at my mom's house, I actually watched the news. This is a shock in itself for many who know me, because I rarely do. Reasons abound for why I am so awfully pathetic when it comes to the news, but being dragged into tachycardic depression by the state of the world is highest on the list. So, anyways, they were doing a story on the pitiful Sockeye Salmon runs going through the Seattle ship canal (Ballard Locks, way to win one for technology and 'progress' over the environment and indigenous lifestyles...another issue altogether I suppose). The goal for a successful run this year, and to be able to have Lake Washington fishing, is upwards of 300,000 Sockeye come through. The tragic possibility is that we are looking at a run of 18,000 to 19,000. My mind begins to tumble and crash down the stairs at the multi-faceted environmental complications this drastic drop-off implies. Just a taste: warmer water temperatures, effects of Fall/Winter/early Spring floods on egg clusters and their survival, the suppression of other species proliferation due to a loss of food resources and on and on and on.
I have to tell ya, with these kind of signs staring me (us, hopefully?) in the face and the far-too-slow-if-any progress and change in our human lifestyle and impact upon the rest of the planet, I doubt that we can pull out of the tailspin we're in. In my somewhat educated estimation, we have a generation and a half left before we join the relics of the past at Jurassic Park.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sox vs Yanks

Tonight's game is on ESPN, as they need to feed the ratings monster with "The Greatest Rivalry in American Sports". Wake is iffy at best so far, but anytime you can watch Derek Jeter take a completely ugly hack at a 65 mph knuckler is a good time. Unfortunately, I'm forced to listen to Rick Sutcliffe attempt the English language we use outside of whitey's Georgia plantations. It's seriously like taking a power drill and voluntarily thrusting it in your ear and then standing next to an overdriven, blown out guitar amplifier feedback for 3 hours.
As bad as Chien-Ming Wang is pitching (58 pitches to close out just 2 innings) tonight, we should be up by a dozen or so.

Oh, and by the way, when I say "Kotsay," you say "Fuck Yeah!!"

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Easy Street, ease my soul!


Oh well, that attempt at a picture sucks balls...fuck it! Anyways, the point of this all is to share with all of you (are there six of you now?!?) my harvest at the rekkid shop. Easy Street's vinyl section is one of the last physical sanctuaries left for me in this world, here's what I pilfered from the stacks.

Polvo, Exploded Drawing. Much more rockin than I remember (more warbly, experimental was my memory). Good old Bob Weston production and flashbacks to Cellophane afternoon shifts with Barrett.
Head Machine, Orgasm. Pictured above, barely. Cool psychedelia all about sex, humpin', fuckin'. More listens required, but the first impression is: spark one up!!
The Wizards From Kansas, S/T. Maybe the ultimate gem of this crop of psych-rock. Has an Allman Bros kinda thing goin on, but wrapped in more LSD paper than booze. Plus, Jake Wilson is from/lives in Kansas. Hmmm...maybe he's a Wizard and this album was prophetic???
Velvet Underground, S/T & Nico. Uhhh, why didn't I already have these? Jane says. I didn't, by the way, buy the new, crazy ass $28-version of these platters. What is it with the vinyl records these days, every fuckin The Cure platter I want is reissued at like 30 bucks. Even the cashier at Sleasy Streat couldn't explain that one, save for a theory on niche-market pricing. Fuckin' almost as much bullshit as Josh Beckett getting lit up like Vegas on Christmas by Tampa Bay last week.
Love's A Real Thing: the Funky Fuzzy Sounds of West Africa, Various Artists. Peanut Butter Wolf and David Byrne clack heads to compile this one. Nuff said? Nope, there's a track on here that was playing in the store (another example, of countless, why you should pay attention to in-store play late at night) with a guitar player that shredded up some Eddie Hazel type riffs.
Silver Apples, S/T. Groovy to the max, yo! Dan Taylor (percussion) can lay down some in-the-pocket grooves sho nuff! All sorts of simple, yet headnotic songs that employ an aesthetic that might not have truly caught on until the most recent wave of Neo-Classical Electronica artists (think Murcof, Jacaszek). Makes me wanna eat a bag of mushrooms and lay in a field of grass, giggling for hours, just listening in on the secret language of vibrations spoken by the intangibiles of the Universe. Ole!
So, blogger-dick.com.fuckoff just went haywire on me. So, the other records I got were The Beginning of the End, Funk Nassau, which is a fine fine representation of New Orleans Soul/Funk from the late 60s early 70s (some of the best music ever made). Plus, I got my copy of Jacaszek's Treny in the mail from Boomkat, fantastic!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Synecdoche, New York


Just finished watching Synecdoche, New York and I have to say that for much of the picture, I didn't know what to think, what to feel. I was lost, insensitive to the toilings of the characters, their own struggles with being lost in their infinitely small moment of consciousness. The tiny paintings of Adele (Catherine Keener's character) seem to best exemplify this notion that is so dear to the Carl Sagan in me, the mark we make on the universe is so small that it is ever-rapidly approaching insignificance. Yet, insignificance is only what we make it.
This is the first movie to make me cry in a long time, because I felt the real, coursing arterial of ravenous hunger for love and connectedness. We make ourselves a synecdoche of our own desires, but not a true representation, rather a truncation. We cut ourselves off at the head before we are fully grown to flower.
Charlie Kaufman again writes a tale so close to the real heart of the plural singular, but it is depressing. The turpitude with which it sails across the room to my eyes is painful, for it is all too real, too self-reflective.
Luckily, I have The Day The Earth Stood Still left to watch so I don't feel like hanging myself quite yet.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Foot in Mouth Disease

I don't normally write much about politics, because I am an emotionally-charged layperson in many aspects of political discussion. However, I was reading this article about Obama pledging to work towards Nuclear Disarmament and felt slightly irked about one thing. A world without Nukes is a great idea and a fantastic reality, if achieved, but I also think that safety in the world, for the world's entire populaces (human and beyond) could be even more fully achieved through a deeper disarmament than just Nuclear. Is it not blisteringly clear to most sentient beings that a world without Nukes is still a wholly brutal, vicious and unsafe world??? You know how much more fucking damage we can inflict upon each other and the future with so-called conventional weapons? Just something to think over...and then scream HIPPIE!!! in my face.

Even though I'm not one. A Hippie, that is. I might actually be a Conservative Buddhist/Shintoist. Who knows.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Vin Scully

So, today I'm listening to some games on mlb.com and I decided to check out the Dodgers' afternoon game. I forgot how enjoyable Vin Scully is to listen to. He and Dave Niehaus are about the same age, but Scully doesn't sound lost in a haze of senility behind the mic. No offense Dave, but you gotta hang it up. You sound like a post-stroke victim trying to learn how to construct full sentences all over again. Meanwhile, Scully still sounds smooth and informed. Transitionally, Scully will ride over speedbumps without an audible hiccup. Besides, it's quite entertaining to listen to somebody in his 80's call Orlando Hudson the "O-Dog".

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Quick Notes on New Records in Gabelicious Land

As I continue to delve further into the realm of Neo-Classical seratonin uptake assisters, I am easily falling for the slow cello laments of Hildur Gudnadottir's Without Sinking. Also, Nalepa's new rekkid Flatlands is pure bass and bubble genius. "Fourth of July" is the out-and-out winner track on this album, with it's skittery, almost haunting tone and approach to low-key dancefloor aesthetics.

And keep your eyes peeled for my next review at the Silent Ballet of The Alps dual-EP release A Path Through The Sun/A Path Through The Moon. Glorious droney psychedelia.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Getting the car fixed

Can actually save you from a small heartache. I was watching the Sox-Rays game today on NESN (for some reason, I get all the Fox Sports affiliate baseball channels. no complaints, in fact rejoicing, but it is strange) and in the 9th, the Sox made it look not only interesting, but downright possible for a walk-off win. By bringing the winning run to the plate with David Ortiz, there were thoughts of 2004 postseason walk-off heroics. It didn't happen, just like so many other times in baseball that the averages rule out over the whimsy of hometown fan dreams. Even if I'm not really a hometown fan.

So, having AAA show up just as this was going down saved me one more fit in front of the TV and maybe helps me to learn to mellow out and take this long, crazy season a game at a time. I easily get wrapped up in overthinking the significance of each game, while discovering new string theories of expletives. Thanks, then, to AAA for getting me outside to look at my car, which might need a new alternator, might not? Is the battery toast? Who knows....A man named Tony knows and he's going to right all that is wrong with Suby-Sue (my car).

Now, if I could get Tony to work on Jacoby Ellsbury's swing and plate discipline.........

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Steam escaping the ears, blood dripping from the nose...


...are just a couple of the most common symptoms of Fantasy Baseball Transient Ischemic Attack Syndrome (FBTIAS, not yet recognized by the DSM-IV or other medical journals/reference materials). This generally happens here at Team Mondesi when Gil Meche and Edwin Jackson, two of our young guns we hope to rely on for another successful year, gift-wrap us 6 and 7-inning gems only to have their real-life bullpens shit the bed. What's most interesting about this physiological disorder is that it kicks in only when the lines of reality and fantasy cross and the neurons firing for the separate purposes spark an illogical communication within the brain and triggers the mental and physical side-effects. See, the Detroit and Kansas City bullpens both blew leads after the starters (aforementioned Meche & Jackson) had shut down the opposing teams for ample inning outings. In fantasy, this only screws Team Mondesi out of a 2 in the win column. However, the fear and irrationality that leads to FBTIAS is that not only do we lose those 2 W's, but that the psychological effects on the real pitchers could impede their progress in their next starts. For more information, please refer to last night's post on Jason Motte.

Fortunately, the Red Sox and M's real bullpens have performed quite nicely in the last couple of outings.

A few hours later??? I'm kicking myself, because as a baseball fan, I should know better than to compliment the new M's bullpen before they're done BLOWING A LEAD AND THE GAME
!!!
(just about midnight, punching myself in the gonads for being so stoopid)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Mere minutes away from memories.


This gentle soul, igniter of my passion for baseball, is coming up to bat 5th in the order as soon as they get underway in the Twinkie Dome.
Also, just saw the new M's commercial with Ichiro retiring the pitching machine and it is classic Mariners' commercial humor. Kudos to the writing corps at M's Marketing Headquarters!


HOLY SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTT!!!!!
Griffey just parked one above the baggy at the Metro Dome for his 612th career bomb and possibly 47th on Opening Day!! Feels like ol' times already.

Soon to be joining the ranks of the unemployed?

So, I'm not a Cardinals fan (don't dislike them either), but I just watched Jason Motte blow a 2-run lead and possible first save for my fantasy baseball team (and the real-life Cards, of course). Now, I actually got a little emotionally invested in this event and am mulling over handing Motte his pink slip from Club Mondesi (my team name is Foul Odyssey of Raul Mondesi). I'll have to talk to the General Manager and Department of Scouting first, but Motte's ass is on thin ice and I'm a blowtorch of an owner...


...and it's only Opening Day.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Yo Mama

Is so fat that she gotta keep pesos in one pocket and yen in the other.
Anybody miss the good ol' days, during the Golden Age of HipHop, when shit-talkin' (known to ethnographers and really fuckin old people as "the dozens") was an integral part of a day spent hanging out with friends???
Me too. Well, what the hell happened to it? My theories are all wacky and conspiratorial. Nonetheless, seeing as that we live in the post-Politically Correct Age, what I have termed the "Apologist Age," I think the humor and openness required to sustain such dozens marathons has been sucked right the fuck out of many of us. It is said by doctors and psychologists alike that laughter is a pro-active factor in good health and longevity. Therefore, on that simple premise alone I believe we should strive for this behavior to become a near-as-possible-to-daily occurence.

Yo mama's so old, she can still read Aramaic...Snap!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Poem for Mahalia

Move On Up A Little Higher
03.25.09


I shit you not
I sat down
put on the headphones
and slapped the needle
down. and
had a spiritual experience:

hearing Mahalia
feeling Mahalia…
but not just in some
simple, auditory audience
way, not just receiving
no…

no.

I channeled a spirit.
Moved up on higher

swept up to the clouds
of the gods
upon the warm updrafts
of her vibrato

suddenly,
knowing all the words
as if I’d been in church
all this time {and I had}

the very sunshine
crept out of her throat
unleashed the power
of faith
to carry on

the foundation of strength
in her breast
that heaved upon
the weary cries
of so many ghosts
that spoke so clearly
in her call
a call to peace
and light
as if Zora or Ralph or Ishmael
had taken
another path in life

the path of swing
gradually, yet surely
firing towards
the sky

the truest of Cupid’s arrows

Friday, March 20, 2009

Bracket 'n' Ball Bustin'!!

Well, even though I'm not winning my Bracket Challenge with John and company, I am feeling pretty good about my bracket. So far, of the 4 bad picks I've made, 3 of those are losses by a combined 4 points. So, it's not like I made stupid picks. I didn't hand my bracket to my alcoholic 5 year old niece and have her fill it out after she's pounded her 5th 40-oz. bottle of malt liquor for the afternoon (this really is a family tragedy, despite the fact that it has fueled her stand-up comedy career).
Some other things staving off catastrophic depression for the staffers of the Intricate Mess are:
- Moderat's self-titled album
- the new DJ Signify
- every single role Michael Cain has in a Christopher Nolan film
- MLB 2K9....though the pitching controls are still a bit difficult (I think they designed it with the idea in mind that every single person who would ever play this game would possess a 64-inch flat screen TV. I have great vision, but I can't fuckin read all that shit!!!)
- new MF Doom
- new Jacaszek. however, there are some anti-dynamic moments that trigger psychotic fissure for me, which is a departure from my expectations after Treny.
- Both of the Intricate Mess's Fantasy Baseball leagues draft within the next 8 days.

Friday, March 13, 2009

thursday's poem

{the tonic is personal:the personal is political}
03.12.09

the melody of my being
resolves at the tonic
when
the road behind me
is dark and bereft of machines
left to flirt with
the moon, as a giant chalkboard
to scribble invisible
poems of love to the universe

the chain is undeniable
yet ignored by so many:
from me
to the road
to the moon and
the universe
and back again
where me is interchangeable
with you, except you find
your own tonic note

I wonder, often
what would happen
if we all were humming our
personal tonics
simultaneously…

Thursday, March 12, 2009

It hurts to agree with Stephen A. Smith

So, this morning I'm checkin' email and doing some fantasy baseball research. When I get to the ESPN home page, I see the headline that reads "Sox P Papelbon calls Manny a 'cancer'." This bums me out, for a few reasons. First of all, didn't the Sox trade my favorite slugger on July 31st, 2008? Yes. Then why the fuck are we still talking about this? Is it because in Boston you make sure you let a brown/black person know how unwelcome they are even after they've left town? Fuck if I know and that's an emotional rhetorical question. I also don't like it, because I love Papelbuns as well, but think this is a retarded time to be bashing Manny, from the safety of a Manny-free clubhouse and in separate leagues (for baseball idiots out there: Manny's with the Dodgers in the National League and the Red Sox are in the American League and the two teams won't be playing each other unless it's in the World Series). When I click on the link to the article, I see it's Skip "Broadway MS" Bayless and Stephen A. Smith debating the ethics and timing of this statement. Now, I normally think a.) Stephen A. Smith is a basketball guy, what the fuck is he doing talkin' baseball? and b.) god damn he's annoying, but Bayless (can't type his whole name) is worse. The fuckin guy even said, "I don't like the word 'cancer'. I don't even like using it." Almost like some reformed slave-owning cracker talkin' bout the word 'nigger'. Damn this guy is pathetic (and you know he's thinking it, cuz he's sitting across the table from a black man, Stephen A. Smith). When Smith opens his mouth, yelling as usual, I actually agree with some of it (and I've heard him defend Manny before, which enamores me to him even more). Thus begins my Thursday, agreeing with the lesser-of-two-evils sposrts pundit when it comes to my favorite slugger Manny Ramirez, who, by the way, might be an asshole. I really don't give a shit, because he's brought me significant moments of joy with the swing of his bat.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Castro's Delight (a poem, you assholes)

Castro’s Delight
{03.10.09}

top of the 8th
2 out and a man on 1st
Yosbany Peraza, a 30 year old catcher
steps to the plate

after a swinging strike
on old Uncle Charlie, making
the count 2-1
Peraza launches the next pitch
well into the left field bleachers

a swell of Cuban cheers light up
the Mexico City night
and urge all 262 pounds
of Peraza the Cuban Beetle
around the bases

a fluttering neon bulb
of a memory of Cecil Fielder
skitters across my mind

and I utter, “what a beautiful moment.”
as Peraza is greeted in the dugout
to Castro’s delight

How...embarassing.

So, I'm watching Italy versus Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic and in the bottom of the 5th inning, the ESPN guys are interviewing Mike Piazza, Team Italia's hitting coach. They're joking around with Piazza about getting in the game, as his team had fallen behind 4-0 in the previous couple of innings, and as this is happening Bobby Abreu destroys an Italian pitch all the way to the bleachers in right field. The tone in Piazza's voice turns darker for a moment and is cut off while the play-by-play takes precedence. Then, mere pitches and seconds later, Miguel Cabrera turns another pitch to left-center for back-to-back homers and then Magglio Ordonez smashes a stand-up double and Piazza's voice turns to irritation masked by the knowledge that he's on the air. The camera, a few moments later, is turned on Piazza as they conclude the conversation and he looks like he's about to munch those expensive headphones like a meatball sub and then go lay waste to the dugout. I can't think of a worse time for a coach to be on. Even more insane is that, as I write this post, Jose Lopez and Ramon Hernandez have also gone back-to-back jackers..........in the same inning, bottom of the 5th. Shiiiiiiiiit!

Monday, March 9, 2009

A few musical things to think on...


So, once upon a time I used to keep up on my list of 'albums of the day', a list designed to keep you, my faithful reader(s), abreast of what I'm listening to. And I know you all base at least half of your musical tastes on what I tell you to listen to or what I have been diggin' on, cuz you all know that I have such supreme, refined taste. Well, I kinda fell the fuck off that wagon, so now, I will try to make frequent, yet certainly not daily, posts of records, bands, soundtracks, sound collages, mp3s, etc, ad nauseum that have crossed my hard drive or GabePod or truntable. This week I'd like to start with a record that won't reach most of you, The Alps' two-EP excursion further into psychedelia that harkens to earlier times and other dimensions. The first part is A Path Through the Sun, which is complemented immediately by A Path Through the Moon. The sound contained within would make ancient shamen proud and current stoners turn it up loud. Then there is Larvae's Loss Leader, reviewed very recently by my main man Sjugge Sjugge. Quite a cool hodgepodge of Dust Brothers' ominous bass ethics and a lighter, sunshine pathos of Boards of Canada and, even, Bibio. Also up for consideration, but by no means brand new, is Nalepa's Pomme Granite Dub EP. I met Steve at Decibel last year and had no prior knowledge of holmes, but he is a stellar guy and makes some tasty, juicy beats. In rotation for the purpose of review over at the SilentBallet is Skytree's Windings of the Dragon Track. For as fiercely Burning Man hippie as a name like Skytree can be, there are some pretty sweet tracks on here, though I'd chop it down to an EP.
Enjoy! Ecouter!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

This is where we slow down..........

Barry & Harold
{02.23.09}

my heart begins
to slow into a hypnotic rhythm
and all goes quiet
as if soft, protective foam
is minimizing vibrational damage
to my ear drums

tension, backs quickly
out of the room, like receding fog
on fast forward

we’re gonna start by catching two-handed, like we learned in Little League

my anxiety goes numb
fear disconnected by its own neuropathy

then we’re gonna switch to one-handed, Harold.
[just stopping it with the mitt and transferring to the throwing hand, the right in the case of Barry and Harold]

every fiber of my spinal cord
starts firing the same message
of a low hum, like an engine idling
and the physical world’s import fades
amidst the shining aura of movement and energy:

the ball had become the temporary center of the universe:

and now, Harold, we’re gonna take it off the short hop
[angles and vectors chasing a line drawn by a little white sphere and red threading. a string theory, of sorts, fusing two grown men together by the connection of their energy. their mutual love]

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Free Leonard


Just a reminder that this gentlemen is still in prison. I know that most people in the mainstream stopped caring once the "conscious" 90's ended, but I'd like to encourage you to sign the petition for House Oversight investigation into the FBI's Misconduct at Pine Ridge. Do it motherfucker, or you're off my Christmas list. For real.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Holy New Fuckin' Record Batman!

Jacaszek, one of my favorites and cousin of Murcof, is releasing a new album March 16th (in Poland...so, hopefully March 17th on the internet, that all-democratizing machine). Basically, if I had to describe Jacaszek in one statement, then it would be Arvo Part on a Psylocibin Beserker-Meditation Session. I wait, slobbering like summertime children at the curb side of the ice cream truck, for this album. And listening to him talk in Polish about the new record is pretty freakin' zen as well.......ooommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Beet That Motha Fucka!

My coworker and friend Josh was talking about having recently done a root roast and he inspired me to do this (above). Lots of garlic, onions, yucca root (instead of potatoes), carrots, red and orange beets slathered in olive oil, some worcestershire sauce, tons of fresh-dried rosemary and some pepper. Then, after roasting for about 45 minutes, I topped it off with the beet greens. Damn skippy this shit is tasty!

Anyone Else Think Anderson Cooper Looks Like A Douche?

Man, I don't care if Anderson Cooper brings the news in the most concise, thoughtful, efficient manner. I don't care if he breaks a story about Dick Cheney's up-to-now secret child pornography ring involving Shetland Ponies. This guy looks like a douche; a reformed frat-fuck date-rapist, who took a communications class and a public speaking class, discovered 12 year old Scotch and Cuban cigars and thusly developed a taste for a life beyond his means. He looks self-important and as if he just recently found Touch of Grey and overdid it.
This, of course, is all misanthropic speculation. Cooper could possibly be a nice guy, but what the fuck do I care?

One of limitless reasons why I love baseball

Interesting how Roberto Alomar got his first career hit off of Nolan Ryan, but was also the last out of Ryan's last no-hitter, striking out on a 2-2 count.

TARENTEL REVIVAL

I remember when I worked at the Laughing Elephant warehouse and Nick the Bear kept trying to get me into to Tarentel, a San Francisco psychedelic rock outfit. It wasn't even that I was resistant to it back then, I think the Tarentel receptors in my brain and energetics network just hadn't been built or finished yet. The last couple of months, the finishing touches have gone off without a hitch, as my "new" love for psych rock (maybe just a rekindling passed over from '60s shit to the now, yo!) has been fueled by the last couple years' listenings of Grails, The Alps and the likes. Sometimes, at least in my philosophy, it's not that you dislike a type of music, but that a key is turned and a circuit is completed and you and the style of sound 'get' each other. You find the kind of stuff that gives you boners and then you find more. Well Nick, I'm sorry it took me so long. If it's any consolation, this band fucking rocks in a totally non-traditional rocking way. Right the fuck on!

LENT is fun to poke fun at!

I need help my friends (or those I pretend are my friends in the ether). It's Lent, I'm not Catholic and I clearly have many vices to choose from which I could give up for this annual celebration of self-deprivation. Won't you help me with some suggestions?

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Spring Baseball


This gentleman hit an absolute bomb to left against the Yanks today. Good job, man, good job. Brian Buscher also dumped in a long 2-run double to break it open (still only the 3rd inning). Liriano looked scarily hittable, though.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Paul


Today has been a pretty good one. Paul's Boutique turns 20 and somebody saw fit to reissue it (somebody making money). The vinyl got me all excited, even though I already own a copy of the older 4-gatefold version, because it touted 180 gram wax inside the wrapper. Unfortunately, my expectations were quickly dashed and let down. The wax is 180 gram alright, but only one friggin' platter!!! Are you fuckin' kidding me?!? If you're going to reissue a canon-defining, epoch-outlasting album such as this, then get your head out of your ass and put it on two platters of 180 gram wax!!!
Nonetheless, it is a joy to listen to again. Better yet, good to have a reason to listen to it again, particularly while I finish up acquiring tickets to my first ever game at Wrigley Field!!!!!!!!!!! That's right folks, I'm gonna catch a ballgame in the friendly confines of Wrigley this Summer. I know it's crazy, but...ballgame in the afternoon on a weekday!!! Can't wait!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Lookin' for Love in all the wrong places.

I think Johnny Lee put it best when he sang "Lookin For Love."
I was discussing the search for love, relationships and women with Peter and Jud after the inauguration party tonight. Peter and I were commiserating about annoying tendencies of that dating/selection scene. I brought up one about the photo section and some people's selections. I get really tired of the pictures of white girls standing in a dusty field or a jungle clearing or on a white sandy beach posing with locals (mostly children) that are always, and I fucking mean always, people of black, brown, yellow or red skin tones. This has come to be identified as the 21st century equivalent to a prevalent '90s malady of white people talking themselves up in the context of having black friends, or all my black friends say........Quit showing it to prove something. Do what you do, love and hate the entirety of humanity, but don't try to polish the turd that is you by placing it next to a bunch of African kids you took a quarter off of your privileged college life to "help". (this notion, by the way, ties into the previous post and the nod to Baldwin). So, anyways, maybe this is just the lonely, backed up me finding anything and everything wrong with prospective mates (nod to Mr Hicks), or maybe I'm just right. Who knows and, probably, who fuckin cares?

don't turn my tenets into tenements, cuz then all I'm housing is projects and resentments, the next time we meet it'll all be harsh sentiments

One of my worries after today is that the white liberal mainstream and the media will own this moment of Obama's inauguration in a way that proliferates the same ol same ol. Essentially, when we remember the basic tenet of a lot of what James Baldwin said was that true and compelling Black Liberation went, intrinsically locked together, hand in hand with a liberation for White people as well, because they needed to be liberated from the incumbent power structures and thought paradigms that create and enable things to be as they are. Now, I know a lot of people will answer my cynicism with something to the effect that electing Obama is the proof of such major change, but I disagree, we still have humongous racial divides/issues/problems in our society (as well as gender, sexual-orientation, ad nauseum). So, are white people any different on Nov. 4th than they were before? A little, but not in the big way that is necessary for true change in this instance. Are they different even after today? Maybe even a little more, but we need to start truly confronting our issues and stop skirting them based on our PC desires to remain comfortable and feel good about ourselves. This is not that well worded, argued, whatever. It's just a though-fart, just needed to get this out that we need to keep the ball rolling and not just sit complacent after making the change of electing Barack Obama, which is, in case you think I'm a total downer asshole, totally fucking awesome. Let's just keep expanding the possibilities and realization of those possibilities of awesomeness.