I haven’t heard David Byrne’s new album, “Grown Backwards,” but I can tell you he’s got Eggers on his face.
CD face, that is!
What I mean is: There’s a spiral of modified copyright text on the CD which is both “humorous” and “adorable.” I have defended Byrne a million times (on the basis of Talking Heads, but also “Rei Momo“) and will again (if he had simply come up with the title for “Crosseyed and Painless,” I’d love him) but this does not augur well.
A party is when I get drunk with my friends and eat and dance and talk and flirt.
A party is also not an event hosted by a bunch of record oligarchs who are terrified by the imminent loss of monopoly that the Internet represents but who are also too weak to confront either this or the fact that their own artists are leaking albums, so instead shift the blame to journalists who are too badly paid and timid to protest and so are forced to write reviews after hearing an album once in a publicist’s office (the “party” in question) while said publicist speaks loudly to Maxwell Smart on weaponized Blahnik.
Timbaland is out, ostensibly to set the stage for the 2005 Jay-Z & Timbaland Reunion Tour.
Grace Jones's Living My Life. (The eternally baffling All Music Guide gives this album three stars.) Before you say "Chris Blackwell produced this, my ASS," because you recognize it as Sly & Robbie's greatest moment, hold on. Find some of Blackwell's Marley productions or his remixes on the Countryman soundtrack. He had a genuine hand in creating that restrained, straining, compressed Island reggae-funk that nobody's come close to unlocking.
But Living My Life is Sly & Robbie's show. "Nipple To The Bottle" isn't sex music or sexy or anything as recordable as that. It's a big alligator clip that will turn anything it touches into an animal that reproduces sexually. It is actually a fucking wizard spell translated into music. You should buy a copy of the 12-inch and put it in a glass case next to your cape and sword. It will repopulate the Earth faster than a bus of Mormons, should Apocalypse arrive on time.
Tight, when used to describe a band, is sort of an insulting compliment: It basically means that the musicians managed to land on the same beats together. But beats are not two-dimensional points. A beat is a big, flat plain with a front, back and sides. There's even a lost middle, a place nobody can find on a map except the bastard in the band who keeps landing there. Sly & Robbie, like Led Zeppelin, can arrive on the same beat [Ed.--boat?] without touching each other. It's the difference between contiguous and overlapping events. This will seem like a slightly insane thing to say, once compared to the recording. Sly and Robbie are obviously landing at the same time. But they don't think they are.
Wait—isn't Nelly Furtado still working? Why does she need an understudy? Why do we?
Octopus/Aloha's been busted and Mase is returning to rhyme. Fill in the blanks.
Let's hear it for J Smooth, continually keeping his game tighter than a fresh jar of Vlasic/the classic, never static/cold rope noose traded for three pink bubblegoose/take off my belt, "Mommy, I need some real help"/never sleepy, hit the cafe with the suede Pelle/ five Puerto Rocks playing Galaxian and skelly/stepped up and gave one a pound, they said, "Ghost what's up? We don't see you around"/continue politicking with the Chifles and the chief/always sign an autograph, never brief/take a Cuban in a bag, eat it in the whip/there's a call on the cell, the mayor's trying to trip/and take away our centers and the slide by the soup kitchen/motherfucker's eating lobster? why's he bitching?/he'll never listen, but my arm will always glisten/you better get your shit tight, 'cause the God knows what's missing.
Today, the iPod is like Live At The Apollo, no mistakes allowed:
1. "Songs About Rain" by Gary Allan. Why did nobody tell me about this song before? (And how did this song get into my iPod? What folder was this in?)
2. "Boys On The Radio" by Hole. Avoids some juicy chances to rhyme with the word "rain."
3. "A Number of Names" by Sharevari. Why does electroclash exist? The genre's entire 15 minutes was done in six by Paul Lesley and Sterling Jones in 1981.
4. "Because I Can" by Katy Rose.
5. "Falling" by Kate Rusby.
6. "Shadow of a Doubt" by Sonic Youth. (The Kate to Kim transition was heart-stopping.)
7. "Raja Vocative" by The Mountain Goats. Verse to keep:
"A bird you would've liked brought the sky down,
but it was useless to see it without you around.
And in the unstoppable camera of my mind's eye,
I saw you and some foreign guy."
8. "Youth Alcoholic" by Fox and Wolf. So maybe electroclash needed to happen. Briefly.
9. "Hey Joni" by Sonic Youth. Lee's utopia was a big part of my 1988. I was an "intern" at Blast First Records on Mott Street. I was given the "job" as a favor to a mutual friend who was my boss at Food Restaurant in Soho. Her friends, Anne Lehmann and Pat Naylor, tried to show me how to make cappuccino (I could not), asked me to file clippings (I could) and let me have free Head of David records. I got to meet Big Stick and the Lunachicks. The only pay I ever received was an advance cassette copy of Daydream Nation. It was the only free music I'd ever gotten, aside from the Bad Brains' ROIR tape I'd won in 1982 from WNYU. (It strikes me that gift cassettes are somewhat over-represented in my super duper top 10.) The cassette was the only advance copy of anything I'd ever seen. It was stuck in my Walkman for a month. (I mean a month and I almost mean stuck.) I walked through downtown Manhattan, wishing I lived there, loving both New York and some fucked-up idea of my now-ending childhood, with some flotsam about England and Brian Eno thrown in for sentimental measure. In my mind, Sonic Youth, New York and I were in the middle of a big, communal, throw-your-hat-like-Mary-Tyler-Moore kinda love affair. (The feelings were somewhat more directional, in fact.)
10. "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" by Ol' Dirty Bastard. I never thought this song would sound sad. Is there a less sad-acting song? A strike against the Scents School of Critique and Haberdashery. Cement is soft as a baby's tush.
11. "I Wanna Be Rich" by Calloway.
12. "Donald and Lydia" by John Prine.
Don't tell me this little white box has no consciousness.
Just had a lovely lunch with an old friend, Bonnie Metzgar, who I hadn't seen in maybe 13 years. She asked me a question I'd never been asked: "So you like writing about music?" I had to take a good fifteen seconds to come up with something that wasn't just reflexive. And then I said, "Yes, I really do." (The attendant long boring qualification has been excised under the section of the S/FJ house rules concerning tempo and length of phrase.)
These are sometimes the moments when the floor gives way and the windows blow out and you end up covered with bits of "shatterproof" glass and you realize that you are truly living foul. And sometimes they're not.
Instead of actually going anywhere, we could all just pitch in and send Jessica around the globe, with the proviso that she write about her experiences in these places. In 99 cases out of 100, it would be a better use of everyone's time. Isn't that the point of the Internet?
You are right and I am wrong, if those lists over there on the right mean anything. The "Fallen" remix is my number one song, right above "Toxic." I caned it so hard in January and February that I forgot all about it in March. (There is a better word than "forget," one that means "let it escape into the dumbwaiter shaft so it could sleep, marshal its strength and return, fortified, for the long hot summer." That kind of forgetting.)
I am trying to figure out who "Polow da Don" is, aside from being the guy who did this nose-flattening mix. There is a "Polow" in the group Jim Crow and, for the moment, I am guessing these Pola are one and the same. But wait—the "da Don" suffix could have been tacked on precisely to set one Polow apart from another. (Pronunciation: POH-loh or puh-LAOW?) We must know.
Prophylactically, because I think I will soon regret having said anything nice about Jamie Cullum, I will reproduce a note from Justine Wolfenden:
Those ersatz jazz-catz Cullum and Bubulay have generated great rage inside me, the sort of rage that used to make me play the Spiral Scratch EP over and over at full blast in an effort to drown out the sounds of my humdrum existence. Vile, so vile. I've even taken to writing offensive words over the face of Jamie C. whenever I see him in newspapers or magazines, like I used to over losers like Bobby Gillespie (who I saw eating cheap Italian in London a few weeks ago and blaah-blaahing about 'Kate' [clearly La Moss] calling him ALL the time). Anyway, ever since the atrocity that was Jamie and Katie Melua oversyruping the already cloying and sugary (to me, at any rate) "Love Cats" at the Brit. Awards (I saw ony 10 minutes of it and that was the moment I picked to switch on, aah), I have developed some advanced form of aural diabetes and can listen to almost nothing beside Bikini Kill and Minor Threat. Is this a problem?
This feels like THE question right now. Is this all a monstro-sized instance of false consciousness or a big fat détournement that men are, de jure, left out of? (And who wants to hear some old white man's opinion anyway?)
Britney's "Toxic" is giving me more pleasure, day for day, than any other music right now. (The mix on boomselection is ace, too.)
Keeps Giving: Matthew Sweet's "The Ugly Truth"
Could Be In My Top 10 "Again," Which Would Be Sort of Dull and Remarkable At The Same Time: Dangermouse and Jay-Z's The Grey Album
Excellent Use of Antares Autotune: Beenie Man & Ms. Thing's "Dude"
Nas's new double CD, Street's Disciple, will be out July 6.
If you don't mind paying $12 for a gimlet, live cabaret is a fine way to entertain your relatives when they're in town. That's one thing. Whether or not the Cabaret Youth need to make records is another thing. The Great American Songbook is like the average oil company under Bush--sinister challenges to its existence are adduced, yet it never goes away, not in the slightest. Vaughan, Sinatra and Baker having had their say, I can't see why the world needs records from Monheit, Cincotti, Eder, Bublé or Burpingham, if they're only making minor adjustments to the plants on the window sill. Diana Krall I kept, because she seems to have a different way of singing these songs (I can't tell if I care yet). Jamie Cullum is the most winning of the bunch. He might be a good late night host.
It is impressive how dour and joyless this Cold Mountain soundtrack is. Not deep, not pretty, not any variety of auzentik. Just relentlessly dull and cold, an indication of what happens when you think about the auzentik.
I am trying to compile a list of records, a list that won't put me to sleep. The metric won't be enduring value or bestness but some level of impression-making. I am trying to retrieve first experiences that stopped me and tripped a switch, even if I later denied it. It's not a perfect piece of math by any stretch, but I'm getting somewhere. So far, two:
A friend from Brazil writes:
Brazilian rock star and activist Rita Lee just had a great idea that she announced during a recent television appearance.
While complaining about the uselessness of all reality shows that occupies television stations worldwide, such as Big Brother or Survivors, she suggested the following:
We should put all candidates for presidency inside of a house, debating and arguing about their views and government programs. This should be done without marketers, without rehearsed speeches, without masks.
Every week, the public would vote and eliminate one candidate. At the end of the program, the winner would win his/her place to presidency. Besides eliminating the time we spend on reading or watching repetitive and useless news, wasting tons of campaign money that could actually be used by productive education or health programs, and helping a already misinformed population get even more ignorant: citizens would get to meet the true character of each of the candidates.
(Photo by Sam)
I thought Kanye had Pazz & Jop on lock. He does not. He will have to beat Nellie McKay and this will not be easy, because she is stupid good. We are unsure, qua exclaimer, what to put Christ on (a glass pony? a stack of flapjacks? a tugboat?) but we need to say ________! [expression of momentary disequilibrium, shock and joy]
This woman is extra stupid good. She is possibly scary, twice-in-a-lifetime good. Too early to tell how long this will last (Television? Phair? Aerosmith?) but she already has a very large house in NoJokeville.
[And of Television: Why won't someone celebrate The Ponys? And why does he sound exactly like Tom Verlaine when he sings, the singing Pony?]
Today's Best Song About The 9-to-5 Vortex: "Exhausted Love" from Eyedea and Abilities's increasingly useful album E & A.
Today's Song That Does Exactly What The Title Leads You To Expect and Hope For: Kenny Chesney's "Being Drunk's a Lot Like Loving You".
Today's Song Most Likely To Have Been Produced by Jack Black Without Artist's Consent or Knowledge: Melissa Auf Der Maur's "I Need I Want I Will"
Artist Whose Songs Are Most Likely To Be Played Repeatedly Without My Knowing Exactly Why: Butterfly Boucher
Here were are, three days into the season that refuses to play its part around here. The plants are struggling against the numbers (see above). People, they have their own plans, which are not terribly different from winter's plans.
Sitting not two blocks from the NY Stock Exchange seems like bad timing at its finest and most irresponsible.
There goes the sun.
Last night, we saw a reading of Lisa Kron's new play, Well. I got nervous early. Kron, said the Playbill, has done many solo performances, not my favorite genre. (I admit The Syringa Tree makes this seem like a dumb rule.) She addressed us directly and said we weren't seeing a play, but a "theatrical exploration" of illness and health in both an individual and a community. This statement was followed by meta-jokes about the fact of the non-playness. We were introduced to her "actual" mother, sitting there on stage in a big recliner. Mom tried to get us all Cokes, wanted to ask our names, was shushed repeatedly.
Somehow, it built steam and worked. Kron's self-aggrandizement emerged as the first move in a carefully staged (like a rocket, not like a play) self-critique with plenty of fuel for critique of others. She spotlit her own uptightness to undermine her time in the spotlight.
The themes were binary: black/white, sick/well, country/city, Christian/Jew and so on. Mother: terminally paranoid and unwell, convinced allergies are lurking in the bushes, repsonsible for all her ills. Lisa: goes to allergy unit, leaves NY, becomes well, wonders why her mother just can't get it together while simultaneously admiring her for integrating their suburban Lansing neighborhood in the 50's.
The play is a staged collapse. The actors keep talking to "Mom," who keeps correcting Kron. Stage directions dissolve and the walls come tumbling down. Ick, we think. Thar lies coy technique masking a lack of ideas, we think. But it was nothing of the sort. The play (sorry, it was a play) was, at the end, about consciousness and normative privilege. Kron's best trope came up first as a gloss on Christianity. "People in the midwest think being Jewish is something you wear on top of being Christian. You are actually Christian and have chosen to put Jewishness on top of this." Race, sexuality and disease are put through the same construction during the play. It's a tight, fruitful way to attack a cognitive oyster that often refuses to be pried open. Those with normative privilege can't imagine not having it, and read other ways of living as optional plug-ins and extensions laid on top of the "regular" life "we" all lead.
Mother: "I never thought you'd become me. I loved who you were and what you were becoming. But I also thought you admired me."
The weather was a jukebox today: First, everyone got on the floor for big, whooping snowflakes going every which way but down. Nothing stuck to the ground, no trace in the place. Then, God requested a cool, grey slow jam. After a few minutes of this bullshit, the crowd fought back and demanded a refrigerator's idea of of sunny. As I write, this is what plays.
Do you like Rid Of Me? Carina Round sure does. And so do I.
And she doesn't want another stupid question and she doesn't want responsiblity for someone else's laziness and she doesn't want membership in a club that doesn't really want her and she doesn't want to sleep but she can't keep her eyes open forever and eventually she will wash her hands if she can find a sink that isn't attached to a restaurant she doesn't like.
Now with 100% less ass, yet another goddamn piece on Timbaland.
Don't wear a yellow shirt to Ikea. People will ask you where the meatballs are.
If you want your kids to go to sleep on time, set the clocks ahead an hour. It's the smallest lie you'll ever tell them.
Fear no one.
Don't just see Punch-Drunk Love—buy it.
(Photo: J Smooth)
Melissa auf Der Maur seems to have made a good record.
I really like Japan.
Get the fuck out of here. This is what we're talking about:
Don't tag on the octopus, toys, and don't give us that birds of prey shit.
Playing Basquiat to Aloha's Haring is Neck Face, who we like:
Our Hot Shot Debut is Compadre Damingo:
Damingo is boiling up some May '68 vapors, possibly unconsciously:
Our friend, the motherfricking supergenius Richard McGuire, is responsible for many things, including our favorite ever web animation.
Cricket said: "Why are Bugs so expensive?"
Or, more literally:
Gene Autrey Trail, between Desert Hot Springs and Palm Springs, California.
The French Connection: Was it FC1 or FC2 that had Hackman and the French guy from the Costa-Gavras films discussing Whitey Ford. "He was a lefty." "You mean a Communist?" "No, he was a Republican."
TheChaseSceneinBullitt wasn't qualitatively better, but it was louder. It's like the Live at Leeds of chase scene—the marks are hit, more or less, but it is so muscular and deafening and oblivion-ish that its momentum overwhelms any logic of technique.
Speaking of the bit part thing: It's not the same as FC, but Tsai Ming-Liang's What Time is it There? acts out its Truffaut obsession with a really great, subtle cameo by Jean-Pierre Leaud.
DEAR MS. HOOPER:
I am trap in Zambia. I need $5,000,000 to get home. I am friends with Emperor of America. Please send me your bank account number and picture of you in bathing trunks and I will make you rich. I play the Chapman Stick with my chinny chin chin and can make the girls say Good God Almighty. When I get back to America I will write a song for you called "Mighty Little Lady." I enjoy also candles and long walks in the rain.
So, I am trapped in Zambia and you must wire me 8 billion dollars. You can do this? I can also play zither with my nose. Paula Abdul once said I had "soft hands." Oh my! That was not recently.
You have to give credit where credit is due. I brought back cabaret with my single hand. Ah, pschitt, my green candle, this Norah James is straight jacking my beats.
Please wire me $45 for a soda.
My two new favorite words to say are movieoke and Michael Bublé. If you don't know how to pronounce Bublé, try the most entertaining pronunciation you can think of. That's right. That's how you say it.
You might think, by definition, that Israeli metal would be the best in the world. It does not seem to be, though I have only given it about 45 seconds. By the end of the week, I will be buying Orphaned Land merch. [45 more seconds.] No I won't.
A sequence of songs I heard at the gym: The Doors' "People Are Strange" (I am bored by not liking The Doors and will now like them to see what it's like); The Eagles' "Hotel California" live (almost impossible to fuck this song up, even with nylon-string acoustic guitar); Don Henley's "All She Wants To Do Is Dance" (is this song about colonialism? or trying to get laid in Nicaragua? or a veiled suggestion that women can't be radicals? either way, it is the musical source for Fischerspooner); some nu punk band where the guy stands on a plane wing and stalks his ex in the rain; Linkin Park's "Numb" (computer writes "I hate you, Mom!" song); Evanescence's "Going Under" (computer writes "Thanks for the jeans, Mom, but I don't WEAR those anymore" song); and Britney Spears' "Toxic" (computer writes excellently over-torqued song about bio-terrorism or something).
New Wave stock update: Echo and Bunnymen (the real Interpol source) up, Japan up, Wide Boy Awake way up, Culture Club falling, Joy Division holding steady.
The pictures in that Ashler O'Koch book gave me intense sad gastro vibes and I could not start it.
Transitive property of influence: If I liked Elvis Costello when I was 15 (I did), does that mean I also liked Bob Dylan and Van Morrison at the time, even if I had the impression that I did not like them? If I liked Man Parrish, did I also like Kraftwerk? How does this change? If I ended up hating Elvis, Bob and Van (I do not), does that necessarily mean I would have hated them when I was 15? If I like the A Frames, do I like The Gordons?
The French Connection: Silent movie or fakeumentary? Don Ellis' score: genius or yper yper genius? How many other movies feature a bit part appearance by the real-life person who inspired the main character? How many movies have been based on books the director didn't even read? (That's got to be a big number.) How much fun would it be to do movieoke with the chase scene? Was the chase scene in Bullitt better? When David Chase talked about "dreams and music and dead air and stuff that goes nowhere," could he have been not thinking of The French Connection? Extra-special behavior of the Don Ellis score: The dissonant drone often comes in on top of diegetic music, giving everyone the "crazy crazy let me out of here" feeling.
Most microhouse building I've ever been in: Kiasma Museum, Helsinki.
Why do "hip-hop" scenes in kids movies still use stock CD samples from the Paul Abdul/Art of Noise orchestral stab period? The more recent stock sample CDs are no more expensive.
A few weeks ago, a Union Square movie theater light board wrap looked, at first, like a news crawl update on bin Laden's capture: "The Miracle, Osama, Cold Mountain."
(War memorials usually numb and anger me. The conflation of death and victory is My Eternal Number 0 hit record. Also, any state-sponsored stab at closure gives me both heebies and jeebies, especially the suggestion that the latest round of choreographed violence was somehow productive and now there's peace, as opposed to an interregnum that will be hospitable to shopping. I expect families of war victims feel differently: the statuary and plaques are proof that the people they loved once existed and died for a specific reason. This makes a memorial something like a marriage: a gesture that ritualizes and fixes a personal relationship while simltaneously validating the state's power.
This memorial gets me, though. It is always happening when I look at it. The water and the algae move towards death--or peace, if you think not being conscious is a relief. The solider doesn't look like he'll make it, though I think we're supposed to believe his friends will help him in the forever-delayed next second.
The image seems too grave an accompaniment for the nonsense I post here, but both Spalding's death and the topic of suicide deserve better than photos of ice.)
Are you going to say something about Spalding Gray? I'm pretty sad about it, I have to say. I always figured he was smarter than me and now I'm sure. He managed what I could not. All the time I was in NYC trying to die I kept putting it off because I couldn't think of a way that wouldn't inconvenience someone, be it room-mate, cab driver or many, many subway riders. Finally, when I was much recovered, I took the ferry and realised how simple it would be/have been to roll off in the dark.
Moreover, it's free, so no coin for Charon.
However, by that time the ferry or any other means of travelling the mortifera via I might choose was surplus to my requirements. But it had been there all along and I never knew; Spalding did.
Hope he's at peace.
PS: The last and only other time I commented on the death of a public figure was when I posted my own personal eulogy on the Fame Forever website in response to the passing of Gene Anthony Ray. You may laugh but I was quite moved by the public reaction to 'Leroy's' demise. Lord knows what I'll say once 'Bruno' passes over.
From the Monday March 8, 2004 issue of The Guardian:
Sick of being called ho's and bitches, a group of young women in Boston has set up a new radio station to fight rap's misogyny. By Diane Taylor.
Men At Work's 1982 single "Down Under" is trying to be a Steel Pulse song. Why didn't I notice this at the time of the song's release, when I was listening to both MAW and SP? The desire to be David Hinds is most audible at the end of the song, as Man At Work Colin Hay improvises just a leetle.
My friend Harriet's show, "Unveiled," is an exhibit of the work she did as a photojournalist in the Taliban-ruled Afghanistan over a period of ten years. Harriet risked her life documenting the lives of Afghani women and the women risked their lives by allowing the pictures to be taken.
March 4th-April 3rd
Maya Stendhal Gallery
545 West 20th Street 2nd Floor
between 10th and 11th Avenues
New York, NY 10011
Journalists love nothing more than correcting each other, as seen by various recent fracases, so why hasn't there been more red ink on this? The answer may be "There was. You just missed it, dumbassio."
(Books are sometimes very long wish lists of what the author would like to put in a book when the author grows up except oops, she's all grown up and it is a book!)
Lil' Jon works better for me as a psychic cameo than as a maker of records. I was wrestling with a hose this morning and it definitely helped to imagine Jon standing there saying "Yauy-erh!" as I torqued. When I was watching Cee-Lo's band ooze through Chuck Mangione and Spandau Ballet (who are fine just the way they are) on Tuesday night, the image of Lil' Jon popping up with a "Bia bia!" helped pass the time.
Here's a picture of what John Ashbery looks like now. The bibliography is far from complete, Joshua Clover points out. So now is the time on s/fj when we direct you to this bibliography. The picture, though. I'm saying.
I don't know how I did it but during the umpzillion years I've lived in New York and the 10 years I've lived in Lower Manhattan, I managed to never actually see the New York Stock Exchange. Until today. Wombling up from Bowling Green, I noticed a huge police presence on Broad Street. Checkpoint after checkpoint. It is mortifying that I had to walk up the block to figure out what they were guarding.
It seems appropriate that there is so much anxiety and implied violence around one of Money™'s top wholesale outlets. I don't know if the military and police presence was standard before 9/11. I don't think it was. It seems permanent now.
There were protesters from an anti-Mobil and Exxon group in front of the Exchange. Two were dressed as tigers and they danced about in the misty rain, handing out flyers. Japanese tourists snapped pictures of them, the stock exchange and me taking photos of both.
I couldn't fit this in today's Goodbye, Babylon piece. George Santayana was living in America during the first decade of the 20th century, just as the music on Gooodbye, Babylon was being performed, some of it straight to acetate. Character and Opinion In The United States, published in 1920, is based on his American experiences. This passage feels like it was written after atttending a Pentecostal church service: “It is obvious that speculation can be frank and happy only where orthodoxy has receded, abandoning a larger and larger field to unprejudiced inquiry; or else (as has happened among liberal Protestants) where the very heart of orthodoxy has melted, has absorbed the most alien substances, and is ready to bloom unto anything anybody finds attractive."
Every time a Black Uhuru song comes up, I am happy.
If I ever overthrow something, even if it's the bagel cart outside, I want Soundmurderer & SK1's "Soundbwoy" to be playing from the windows. Wait, it just ended. Let me start it again.
The combination of this song and this coffee leads me to believe a coup is unnecessary. I can just jump over this bagel cart. Hey! Yes, I am looking at you. No, no, I liked the bagel a lot. I just have to jump over your cart. No, no, I can do it. Just back up a little.
My glasses are busted (pa-twing! on 47th street this morning) so now the screen is very far away. My old glasses hold an old way of seeing.
I saw the biggest garbage tonight and boy am I sad. I wanted to tell you FIRST about two incredible dance things I've seen in the last month--María Pagés and Bill T. Jones--but now I must deal with now. Karole Armitage tonight was as close to meaning-free art as I've ever seen. I'm not sure I believe anything can be free of meaning (whatever that is) and of course she was indicating her own turdy preferences like a lighthouse, but gotdang I've never been so glad to be in a place dark enough to nap. Content, such as it was: weird light strings, hideous metallic bathing suits, shitty lighting, ugly music by composers I like (Bartok and Bryars), anorexic voguers who looked like Gollum, both of them, some yoga chick who moved all slow and shit...and I've already forgotten. Less than an hour, no intermission. Why no intermission? Because people would have left and gone to The Hold Steady, where I should be now. But I give up.
Saw Cee-Lo last night. 11 piece hip-hop band with too loud bass player. A kick-ass DAT would have been 800 times better. Middlebrow "virtuosity" can kill any good idea--black, white or green. Crowd only got on their feet for the Tim track, "I'll Be Around." I feel very warmly toward Mr. Callaway. Still. Dave Tompkins gave me some good words for this one:
antacid jazz.. not zantacular. not good for the ants either.
"No, no, I wasn't pushing you out the door with the barrel of this gun. I was just happy to see you!"
The US has its Alfred E. Neuman routine down. Before you accept the administration's denial, see this completely remarkable film. It's about driving all of your cars, to paraphrase Lisa Miskovsky. It is also about a coup and the fourth largest producer of oil in the world and popular democracies and what the US regime cares about. Every high school and college student in American should be required to see this film before matriculation.
I don't trust these poll thingies, but the last gay marriage poll stirred up some pretty active bees, so go on and vote in this one anyway. Preliminary results: 82% of readers are against a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
And to all the Toronto massive: Tara Sloane is coming to Lee's Palace Saturday night. No guarantee whatsoever that it will be on a par with Joydrop.
The New York Sports Club chain provides, "free," an awesome music video program, the soundtrack of which is piped in for those not watching the little buddy screens as they gallop and oblongate. This means I can leave my large Soviet wearable radio at home. The music is not universally popular. My fellow sweaters drop all these sotto voce Popeye-mouth comments: "Turn it DOWN," or "What is this shit?" The off-site, third party programmer and I are of one mind, though. It is good to work out to catchy dance pop like 2 Unlimited or catchy lady rock like Joydrop, my A#1 jukebox favorite for the last month. Back in 1999, "Sometimes Wanna Die" impressed somebody at Tommy Boy enough to hire Tommy Lee for the video. I don't know what Tara Sloane is doing now but she should do it in a studio.
Lamb always seemed like pretenders to a throne that was toppled in a coup they slept through. I was mostly impressed by how physically attractive they are. They look like they were cultivated in a petri dish by Prada. I am now reconsidering my position. (Not about their looks--they're both still hotties.) "Sweet" is 17 Brit club songs averaged into one, in the best way. The approach departs from their standard "sad is the new catchy" moan and stands up straight, ready to do the hucklebuck. It could be Soho's "Hippychick"'s granddaughter. I think it came out more than a year ago and they've got a new album out so this song is gone, except at my house.