Thursday, November 29, 2007

Oi Oi Oi Morrissey Goes Oi??

Interesting controversy?

I'm not sure about this one. All the comments attributed to Morrissey are pretty damning and it's not the first time he's put his foot in it. It wouldn't surprise me. I think our tendency is often to imbue our pop heroes with better-than-the-average-guy qualities, when they're just dumb-shits like the rest of us. I've certainly been guilty of it and probably will continue to be so.

Not that I'm siding with the rednecks and railing on about how the USA is losing its identity to immigrants. Quite the opposite, if there truly is an American Identity I wish it would up and have a massive coronary this very minute--at least the identity claimed by fat peckerheads like Rush Limbaugh and Pat Buchanan. More immigrants, please... Or something.

Feh! (sorry, I just always wanted to use "feh" in some context and hope I haven't abused it)

So what if Moz is a redneck? Can we ask Jimmy Pursey to kick his ass??? That's something I would pay to see long before a Smiths reunion tour, and if Jimmy did a really good job perhaps we could finally say, "The Queen is Dead."

Oops, did I say that??

But yes, I'm a sensationalist dork--I could have written something poignant about last night's debate with Republican presidential candidates. One of the highlights was a bit of mud-slinging on the immigration issue, between Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani. It was pretty ugly and neither man fared so well, but unfortunately it was immigrants that still came out holding the filthy end of the stick. Typical...

But seeing the GOP faves up on the stage did strengthen my resolve to vote, because I've been questioning the worth of this lately. You needn't look any further than the Democratic candidates to have your faith in democracy shaken. It's slim pickins over there--any of them being preferable to the GOP, but not by much. Sad... I'm not ready to sing Shout Obama-lama but that does seem to be the best choice. If it comes down to a Clinton I'm going to have a really hard time pulling any lever at all.

So you see, discussing pop stars is a lot easier... Morrissey's racism doesn't effect my life.

Sweetheart I wasn't really joking...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Got Milk?

Weird news story of the morning: a length of the Jersey Turnpike was closed this morning because of a milk spill.

My suggestion was to crash a truckload of cookies to soak it up.

My dopey son suggested that they call in an army of kittens...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

More list crap Part 3

Oumou Sangare: Moussolou
Slint: Spiderland
Patti Smith: Horses
Sonic Youth: Daydream Nation
Bruce Springsteen: Born To Run
Stiff Little Fingers: Inflammable Material
The Stooges: s/t
The Stranglers: The Raven
The Streets: Original Pirate Material (I love this album but really... )
The Strokes: Is This It (refer to what Art Brut says about recycled Velvets)
Suicide: s/t
The Sweet: Greatest Hits (Ready fellas??)
T Rex: Electric Warrior
Talking Heads: Fear of Music (not '77???)
Television: Marquis Moon
Toots & The Maytals: Pressure Drop
Peter Tosh: Legalize It (should have picked Equal Rights)
Undertones: s/t
Various Artists: 100% Dynamite Series (great reggae collections from Soul Jazz)
Various Artists: Nuggets Collections (first two great, skip the third)
Weather Report: Black Market (I agree this is superior to Heavy Weather)
Paul Weller: Wild Wood
White Stripes: White Blood Cells (I like this album fine but...)
Lucinda Williams: Car Wheels On A Gravel Road

So I've got a pretty hip little list and no doubt you can get some fun stuff from the Guardian's list, but like most lists, it's guilty on two grounds.... egregious omissions and totally twisted additions. Even a lot of the stuff from the list that I own is just mediocre... but oh well. There ya go.

Crap I own from that list Part 2

Peter Gabriel: PG 4
Gang of Four: Entertainment
Marvin Gaye: What's Goin' On?
Grateful Dead: American Beauty (oops, do I lose my punk creds here?)
The Harder They Come: OST
Richard Hell & The Voidoids: Blank Generation
Husker Du: New Day Rising
Gregory Isaacs: Night Nurse
Joe Jackson: Look Sharp
The Jam: Sound Effects (don't know about this of all the others)
Jefferson Airplane: Surrealistic Pillow
Elton John: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Linton Kwesi Johnson: Dread Beat & Blood
Robert Johnson: King of the Delta Blues Singers
George Jones: Essential George Jones
The Libertines: Up The Bracket
Baaba Maal & Mansour Seck: Djam Leeli
Madness: Divine Madness
Mahavishnu Orchestra: Inner Mounting Flame
Miriam Makeba: Definitive Collectionn
Curtis Mayfield: Superfly
Minutemen: Double Nickels On The Dime
Modern Lovers: s/t
The Monkees: Head
Lee Morgan: Sidewinder
Junior Murvin: Police & Thieves
Neutral Milk Hotel: In The Aeroplane Over The Sea
New York Dolls: s/t
O Brother Where Art Thou: OST
Shuggie Otis: Inspiration Information
Outkast: Stankonia
Augustus Pablo: King Tubby Meets The Rockers Uptown
Gram Parsons: Grievous Angel
Le Scratch Perry: Arkology
The Pogues: If I should Fall From Grace With God
Iggy Pop: The Idiot
Portishead: Dummy (utterly boring)
The Pretenders: s/t
Psychedelic Furs: s/t
Queens of the Stoneage: Rated R
The Ramones: s/t
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Blood Sugar Sex Magik
Lou Reed: Berlin
REM: Fables of the Reconstruction
The Replacements: Let It Be
Sonny Rollins: Saxophone Colossus
The Roots: Things Fall Apart
Run DMC: Raising Hell
Todd Rundgren: Something Anything
The Ruts: The Crack

(boredom factor kicking in again and it must be worse to read. This section of the list has more interesting stuff on it though)

The Guardian Must Listen List

So rather than go off on a tear about their suspect choices, I went through it and made a list of albums from the list that I own, and made note of stuff on their list that I think I SHOULD own. That was my conclusion--that I bought things that could have been given a pass in favor of stuff I'd be better off listening to. This could get long, but this is what I DO own. It's sort of a tragically hip list:

ABC: Lexicon of Love (Ugh, don't even know how I got this)
The Abyssinians: Forward Onto Zion
Across 110th Street: OST
The Adverts: Crossing The Red Sea With...
Arctic Monkeys: Whatever People Say I Am, I'm Not (People say you're new and exciting)
The B52's: s/t
Bad Brains: Banned In DC
Syd Barrett: The Madcap Laughs
Beastie Boys: License to Ill
The Beat: I Just Can't Stop It
The Beatles: Rubber Soul
Big Black: Songs About Fucking
Big Brother: Cheap Thrills
Big Star: Radio City
Bikini Kill: The Singles
Bjork: Debut
Black Uhuru: Red
Blondie: Parallel Lines
Dock Boggs: Complete Early Recordings
David Bowie: Low
Broadcast: Ha Ha Sound (not bad but not necessary)
James Brown: Live at the Apollo
Ruth Brown: Best of...
Buena Vista Social Club
Burning Spear: Marcus Garvey
Buzzcocks: Singles Going Steady
John Cale: Paris 1919
Can: Tago Mago
Captain Beefheart: Clear Spot (great album but why this one???)
Manu Chao: Clandestino
Alex Chilton: Like Flies On Sherbet
The Clash: The Clash On Broadway (don't know why I own the greatest hits too)
Lloyd Cole: Rattlesnakes (a personal favorite)
John Coltrane: A Love Supreme
Ry Cooder: Chicken Skin Music
The Coral: s/t (could have given this a pass, for sure)
Cowboy Junkies: Trinity Sessions
Cream: Disraeli Gears
The Damned: Damned Damned Damned
Miles Davis: Kind of Blue (again, why this one of all the others?)
The Decemberists: Her Majesty, the Decemberists
Deep Purple: Machine Head
Derek & The Dominoes: Layla and Other Love Songs
Devo: Q: Are We Not Men...
Dizzee Rascal: Boy In Da Corner
Eric Dolphy: Out To Lunch
The Doors: s/t
Dr. Alimantado: Best Dressed Chicken In Town
Dr. John: Gris Gris
Echo & the Bunnymen: Ocean Rain
Brian Eno: Another Green World
The Faces: A Nod Is As Good As A Wink...
Marianne Faithful: Broken English
The Fall: Perverted By Language
Flaming Lips: Soft Bulletin (overrated band)
Fleetwood Mac: Rumors
Frankie Goes To Hollywood: Welcome To The Pleasuredome
Franz Ferdinand: s/t (snore)
Fugazi: 13 Songs

con't later: I'm bored and hung over.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

1000 Albums To Hear Before You Die

IT'S CRAP LIKE THIS that brings me to my true love for music critics, in this case,the cheeky monkeys from The Guardian Unlimited.

It's takes a brass set of balls to compile any list of musts, whether it be music, film, books etc. It takes a bigger set of balls to put crap like Oasis on that list. If you look at it chronologically I don't see how you'd even get past 1945!

As of today they're up to 'S.'

I'll add more to this later as I trudge through the slime...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ziggy played guitar

But back then he could afford to. AT TODAY'S PRICES it might be a bit more difficult. If prices continue to rise perhaps the next stage in new music will be trash bin lids and kazoos... though if I dig about some I might just already have SOME OF THAT.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Abuse of language

There was a conversation on another blog site (yes there are others!!!) about the abuse of the concept of irony. This was specifically in relation to the 20 and 30 somethings who towards the end of the last decade adopted trucker caps and such, and then moved on to weird 70s cap like Styx and REO Speedwagon tour shirts, Amish beards, NASCAR belt buckles and the latest: The Burt Reynolds Mustache.

It is my contention, having heard the term "irony" thrown about in relation to all this, is that the only ironic thing about all this is that it's not ironic. It's just simply trendy to be stupid. It's annoying.

One good thing that came out of this annoyance though is that I learned a new phrase to describe these people. They are:

Low-Top Chucks

presumably for their footwear of choice, but it all amuses me to no end. Amusement is good.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...

Hey, remember me? I'm your ol' pal CHLAMYDIA!!!


Nah, but seriously folks. Here's one you don't hear too much about these days. What with HIV and such, the "curable" diseases seem like child's play. Of course they're not but when was the last time you even heard someone use the phrase, "The Clap?" Or "The Drip" or even plain ol' Herpes? I'm not making light of any of it but being from my generation it's hard to wrap one's head around the idea that unsafe sex kills (no bad jokes inserted here about "wrap one's head," or "insert" for that matter), but absolutely foolish not to think about it.

So why do I link to this article? It's not because it's all that shocking or informative, but simply because it caught me off guard, and then I was caught off guard by being caught off guard.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Beware of Darkness--George Harrison

This is for CelticGods, because he gets it...

And this is for all my pals and people who have propped me up through the weird times and vice versa of course. Life can be strange sometimes and in a perfect world it would come with a warning label like "Possible side effects include.... " These are pretty much my favorite song lyrics of all time:

Watch out now, take care
Beware of falling swingers
Dropping all around you
The pain that often mingles
In your fingertips
Beware of darkness

Watch out now, take care
Beware of the thoughts that linger
Winding up inside your head
The hopelessness around you
In the dead of night

Beware of sadness
It can hit you
It can hurt you
Make you sore and what is more
That is not what you are here for

Watch out now, take care
Beware of soft shoe shufflers
Dancing down the sidewalks
As each unconscious sufferer
Wanders aimlessly
Beware of maya

Watch out now, take care
Beware of greedy leaders
They take you where you should not go
While weeping atlas cedars
They just want to grow, grow and grow
Beware of darkness (beware of darkness)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Philip Larkin: This Be The Verse

I was talking with someone last night, about the foibles and folly of parenting and she reminded me of this poem by Philip Larkin. It's a hard one for sure, but I guess it's got to be taken in the context of the English sense of humor and irony.

This Be The Verse

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.

All Things Must Pass

I've probably written about this a few times, but this is the song/album that gets me through the odd existential crisis. It's a love song on the surface, but not really a love song at all. In any case, the lyrics that get me through the darkness (Beware of Darkness, by the way).

Sunrise doesn't last all morning
A cloudburst doesn't last all day
Seems my love is up and has left you with no warning
It's not always going to be this grey

All things must pass
All things must pass away

Sunset doesn't last all evening
A mind can blow those clouds away
After all this, my love is up and must be leaving
It's not always going to be this grey

All things must pass
All things must pass away
All things must pass
None of life's strings can last
So, I must be on my way
And face another day

Now the darkness only stays the night-time
In the morning it will fade away
Daylight is good at arriving at the right time
It's not always going to be this grey

All things must pass
All things must pass away
All things must pass
All things must pass away

Friday, November 09, 2007

The Odyssey: Rarefied Air

The photos above are from entrance to the Cornell campus and the famous gorge (remember the Ithaca Is Gorges tee shirts?). I spent a couple days in Ithaca earlier this week, living like the returned king... food, wine,song, revelry.

It's such a beautiful little city tucked in the the bottom of the Finger Lakes region--the whole vibe so different from Brooklyn. (or not?) You never realize how much you need to get away until you're there and gone. And sometimes you never realizes what's lacking in your life until its right in front of you.

Living in any big city can put you in a weird relationship with nature. It becomes a sort of alien anthropomorphic entity. In some ways it most closely parallels the relationship one must have with nature when they are the isolated alien entity alone in nature. It is the other, mysterious... except in one case diminished and the other omnipotent.

But before I spend too much time waxing poetic...

Good trip and I look forward to going back and seeing more of the region.

The photos above are deceptive. The gorge is really rather deep and the fall from the larger bridge is about 150 feet or more. There are several very sheer cliffs below that have historically been an effective way of not telling your parents about your failing GPA... But dispensing with the morose, the wonder of upstate New York is that everything is rather big. That's what is really impressive. It's all just so big.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Wind That Shakes The Barley

There is no shortage of movies on the Irish Troubles, and no shortage of great movies on the Irish Troubles. The Wind That Shakes The Barley though, may just be the best one that I've seen. I'd a sneaking suspicion it would be a killer when British conservatives went apeshit about it when it was released. They called it "contentious," "divisive," "troublesome," and "unnecessary." That's generally a pretty good indicator that the filmmakers have cut right to the quick. History is of course written by the victors, but sometimes you get lucky and it's retold by the righteous.

And it's certainly not a one-sided story. There is a lot of moral and ethical complexity covered here. It's not a good guys vs. bad guys story. It's very very honest and definitely portrays the growing pains of the new Irish Republic also. Nobody is spared.

So add to that, well written, beautifully acted and directed... It's definitely a must-see no matter where your loyalties lie, and if you think you've seen too many movies on the subject, give this one a shot.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Good Night to All of It...

One of the real horrors of drug abuse and addiction, that few film makers have ever been able to capture, is the grinding tedium. Jim Carroll described it at the end of The Basketball Diaries as "just another 9 to 5 gig." William Burroughs, despite how so many people who romanticize and glamorize drugs through his writing, described it as slow soul rot. COCAINE ANGEL does a really good job of portraying it, without being mind-numbing to watch. It's about as accurate as I've seen. Writer/star Damian K. Lahey... man... I don't recall anybody doing it better.

Tell you what... I sat and watched it with my 15 year old son... and I'm such a thicko, given my own background, but I believe some of this really struck home with him. It's as good a PSA as you're going to get on the topic.

Echo & The Bunnymen and troubled times.

It's definitely an ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN day... crumbling Brooklyn Gothic, expansive, blustery, gray sky and stiff winds. Something about a storm out along the coast and cold fronts battling tropical fronts. The weather probably isn't much different than the first time I heard them nearly 25 years ago. They will always be autumn music for me.

The news is all bad, darker than the clouds. A friend wrote and said that a state of emergency has been declared where she is on the other side of the world. Television and radio broadcasts are shut down. It's getting harder and harder to understand any of it anywhere...

But here I am tucked away cozy and safe with a full stomach and a full refrigerator and a full bank account and it doesn't make sense that it's the same world. It didn't make sense 25 years ago either and much of the news sounds the same. It's a time warp afternoon. I don't get it.

Canus Alopecia Universalis

Damn!!! So it wasn't a CHUPACABRA after all! Though bald coyotes are nearly as disturbing.