7.29.2005

going mental

I swear, sometimes the songs that randomly play in my head would make the best mix CD's. I recall having the *best* playlist ever while triapsing about the Metroparks stoned with Ian about a month ago. I distinctly remember telling this to him, who then proceeded to sing Backstreet Boys, getting it stuck in my head, much to my chagrin. Anywho, the playlist had some M.I.A. (10$ y'all) and Missy (all up in ya melon) and I think some Radiohead, too. Sounds sort of arbitrary, but I swear, it all fit. Of course, I lost it all in the wake of my summerday fog, but it was really damn good.

Then there are those days that my mind basically just empties itself of a whole lotta music gunk. Cleaning out the pipes or something. I woke up to the gratingly catchy "December 1963" aka "Oh What a Night" by The Four Seasons dancing through my neurons. Like, it's fine for karaoke night and all, but geez, I don't want to wake up to that ass! And then there was "Blues in the Night," which again is fine for, like, a high school show choir or some shit, but not for me when I'm trying to get some work done around here!! And you know when you're trying to get that nasty drivel out of your head and you try to sing something else that you actually like but it never works because that damn 80's synthesizer keeps kicking its way to the fore? Maybe it's cleansing, or maybe it's just irritating, but either way it sucks.

I was reading about musical hallucinations the other week. I guess some peeps, when they're in their old age and are just chillin in their retirement homes or whatever, have been known to say "where is that phonograph playing?" And the fat 30-something nurse is like, "biotch, there ain't no phonograph anywhere." And it turns out, these senior peeps are hallucinating songs from back in the day! People have been known to continually hallucinate music for years on end. They say it drives them pretty crazy. Even some composers have been known to have musical hallucinations, such as Schubert and Scriabin. Well alls I gots to say is, if I ever start having musical hallucinations, it'd better not be going like today's. I'd shoot myself in the head.

listening: "Oh What a Night". in my head. again. DAHHH

7.19.2005

a list a day keeps the rock snob at bay

Obviously this list is severely limited by what I own, which is severely limited by how much money I have. So, obv, take it with a grain of salt.

My ever-evolving Top 50 of the Decade So Far (2000-now)

1. The Microphones - The Glow, pt.2
2. Radiohead - Kid A
3. Interpol - Turn On the Bright Lights
4. Sufjan Stevens - Greetings from Michigan: The Great Lakes State
5. Gravenhurst - Flashlight Seasons
6. The Notwist - Neon Golden
7. Missy Elliott - Miss E... So Addictive
8. The Postal Service - Give Up
9. ...And You Will Know Them by the Trail of Dead - Source Tags & Codes
10. Modest Mouse - The Moon and Antarctica
11.
Kanye West - The College Dropout
12. Interpol - Antics
13. Modest Mouse - Good News for People Who Love Bad News
14. Dizzee Rascal - Boy in Da Corner

15. Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
16. Madvillain - Madvillainy
17,
Elliott Smith - Figure 8
18. Radiohead - Hail to the Thief
19. The Streets - Original Pirate Material
20.
Outkast - Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
21. The Mars Volta - Deloused in the Comatorium
22. Q and Not U - Different Damage
23. Aphex Twin - 26 Mixes for Cash
24.
The Streets - A Grand Don't Come for Free
25. Bjork - Medulla
26. Radiohead - Amnesiac
27. The Microphones -
It Was Hot, We Stayed In the Water
28. Sufjan Stevens - Seven Swans
29. Iron & Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days
30. The Microphones - Mount Eerie
31. Outkast - Stankonia
32. Sufjan Stevens - Illinois
33. Jimmy Eat World - Clarity

34. The New Pornographers - Mass Romance
35. Dntel - Life Is Full of Possibilities
36.
Spoon - Girls Can Tell
37. The Strokes - Is This It
38. The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow
39. Tori Amos - Scarlet's Walk

40. Mogwai - Happy Songs for Happy People
41. At the Drive-In - The Relationship of Command
42. Wilco - A Ghost Is Born
43. Q And Not U - No Kill No Beep Beep
44.
The Books - The Lemon of Pink
45. Thursday - Full Collapse
46. Scissor Sisters - Scissor Sisters
47. The Soft Pink Truth - Do You Want New Wave or Do You Want The Soft Pink Truth?
48. Arcade Fire - Funeral
49. Death Cab for Cutie - We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes
50. The Decemberists - Castaways & Cutouts

runners-up: Ben Folds - Rockin' the Suburbs / Death Cab for Cutie - The Photo Album / Deerhoof - Milk Man / Deftones - White Pony / The Dismemberment Plan - Change / Dizzee Rascal - Showtime / Elefant - Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid / The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots / Four Tet - Rounds / Iron & Wine - The Creek Drank the Cradle / Jimmy Eat World - Bleed American / Madonna - Music / Mindless Self Indulgence - Frankenstein Girls Will Look Strangely Sexy / Missy Elliott - Under Construction / The Rapture - Echoes / Rufus Wainwright - Poses / Rufus Wainwright - Want Two / The Shins - Oh Inverted World / Tori Amos - Strange Little Girls / Xiu Xiu - Fabulous Muscles / The Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Fever to Tell

*I'm not including EP's, though let's hear it for Iron & Wine's Woman King, eh?

7.15.2005

snippets and shit-bits

I thought I liked Good News for People Who Love Bad News slightly better than The Moon & Antarctica, but now I'm not so sure after yet another listen to the latter. It's like, every time I listen to one of the two, I become sure that it's actually slightly better than the other! FUCK YOU AND YOUR CONSISTENCY MODEST MOUSE!!

Extra news bits on the upcoming Mount Eerie release. Largest album cover ever? Bewildering and massive liner notes? Laptop music a la Phil's anti-digital lo-fi aesthetic? Mommy Earth preggers at night? Holy shit am I excited. And the mp3's offered (follow the linkie...) are incredibly promising. I am TOTES PUMPED. [side note: they use "totes" in the news bit! Damnit Ian, you're even more avant-garde than when you wore boot cut jeans in high school.]

I've decided I like The Soft Pink Truth's Do You Want New Wave... [blah blah blah etc etc etc] even more than Do You Party?. The LP is fuckin razor-sharp. It either bowls you over with punch-you-in-the-face irony ("Out of Step" is my favorite track on the disc) or kick-you-in-the-nuts relevance ("Media Friend"). And, naturally, the beats are to die for. In the spirit of my being Out of Step with the rest of the music world, it's retroactively become one of my faves of 2004.

listening: nothing. why aren't i listening to anything? what's going on here? OH MY GOD A SPIDER JUST CRAWLED UP MY ANKLE

mount skeezy

Let me just start out by saying: I. love. Phil. Elvrum. I mean, I also love Paula Abdul, but seriously, this is like, way different. omg y'all.

Okay. Mount Eerie was my first venture into The Microphones' gnarly musical/noise-ical world, and it came awfully close to being my last. At first listen, I wasn't at all expecting the ambient thunder jungle nightmare that opens the LP; I promptly switched it off after ten minutes in desperate need of some Iron & Wine. I was feeling more adventurous the second time around, and threw myself at the mercy of the first track, which pretty much sucked me into another universe. Basically. But as soon as the track ended, I found myself lost again. It was interesting, but just too abstract, too random, too pretentious... I might as well just put on some Sun Ra or something. I didn't really have any ambition to figure it out after this listen, so I just threw it aside in favor of the other stuff I was discovering at the time (The Books! Arcade Fire! oo la la, indeed, fuckers. *slams head into monitor*)

Fast forward a few months later, and somehow -- I really don't remember -- The Glow, pt.2 fell into my lap (destiny, right?) Like Mount Eerie, it initially perplexed me, but not in the same way. This time it beckoned me to figure it out. I could not stop listening to it for weeks. Again, like, omg, y'all.

I again attempted a listen of Mount Eerie a few weeks after I heard The Glow, pt.2. Unfortunately, it was bad circumstances -- I was driving across the Ohio Turnpike at night. Fittingly creepy, yes, but far from ideal. Let's just say, shitty car speakers + sleepy Vic = almost crashing into the median. Thanks Phil, I'm gonna put on Madonna now.

Since then, I've bought most of The Microphones' major releases, and have delved into them with gusto (save Window, which I still have trouble deciphering -- oh, one day, Phil...). But I'd kept Mount Eerie on the shelf (that phrase doesn't really work in the iPod age, huh). If I want to understand it, I figured, I need to be in the right mood at the right time. Well, the right mood and right time finally came -- thank you, music library, for sticking me in the stacks with nothing but hundreds of books to shelve and my iPod (uhh, btw, I still need to name aforementioned iPizzle. suggestions?)

So, uhhm... yeah. After all that, it turns out that I don't have all that much to say about it. Nothing to do with the quality or anything. The thing's great, right up there with his last two. I just don't really have the words to express how I feel about it. It's probably the most cinematic piece of music I have ever listened to, hands down. The way it conjures up elaborate images, scenes, story -- you might as well be watching a film, but like, you know, without the picture. Except the picture really is there. I swear. It's that convincing. So what kind of film is it? Well, it's definitely an art film, but way grander than most. Think
Cremaster a la Bjork's hubby Barney, no not the dinosaur. Speaking of dinosaurs, I'm pretty sure there are some in this film. There's also God, angels, blood, ocean, clouds, sun, space, etc... you know, the usual Microphones fodder. If The Glow, pt.2 says a lot about the intangible, Mount Eerie speaks mountains (hee hee) about the tangible. Like I said, it's grand. Which is remarkable, seeing as that the album barely clocks in at 40 minutes. And... hmm. I guess that's it. The words stop there. I mean, I can go into descriptions, but it wouldn't capture half of what makes this album so interesting. In any case, I'll be listening to this one a lot more now.

Excitingly enough, Mount Eerie's debut LP, No Flashlight, is on the horizon, set to be released a month from now. Yay!! (In case you didn't know, The Microphones is dead and resurrected as Mount Eerie. Just like the album. Talk about taking your work seriously.) Pitchfork posted the tracklisting earlier this week, and contrary to my expectations, Phil seems to be continuing a few song titles in the vein of his major Microphones releases (see: "2 Moons," "The Same Ocean"). Perhaps one day we'll have "The Glow, pt.5" on our hands. Oh, rapture!

7.13.2005

y kant vikter read

I knew working at the music library would lead to nothing but a pile of unread books in my apartment. I now have six publishings on pop/rock criticism & culture (enough Frith and Christgau to satisfy my eye-rolling needs for the entire summer), as well as a book on philosophy of music. And then there's the new Harry Potter coming on Friday... oh man I needs to cancel that Blockbuster subscription and get reading. And I haven't even listened to that Harry Partch CD I checked out.

listening: the beeps of the copy machines in the music library counterpointing with "Eli's Coming" by Laura Nyro, which is on repeat in my head.

7.11.2005

ty wirehog

gotta steal kim deal, she snappin through my cable wires. lord knows we don't goes to the store no more, they all nappin back with they laptop or desktop, boppin with the moneymakers to pirate tidbit bump. scratchin and growlin, thumpin and howlin, grind to the seats to the streets with a big fuck you to virgin, verge, yeah vagrant too. mad at the world, gettin paid but who pays anymore but the poor and the needy and greedy? well for once they don't neither, so fuck your subpoena, your big guns and your mons and your skip track hons, this glitch snap bugaboo gon shimmy back to his mac and bang heads with criminals and kim deals for the next couple crunk juice years... can i get a hellz yea...

7.05.2005

bi now, gay later

All I gots to say is, duh! I've been saying this shit for years. Now I have scientific evidence to back it up.

straight, gay, or lying?

excerpts:

"...a new study casts doubt on whether true bisexuality exists, at least in men.

The study, by a team of psychologists in Chicago and Toronto, lends support to those who have long been skeptical that bisexuality is a distinct and stable sexual orientation.

People who claim bisexuality, according to these critics, are usually homosexual, but are ambivalent about their homosexuality or simply closeted. "You're either gay, straight or lying," as some gay men have put it."

"Using a sensor to monitor sexual arousal, the researchers found what they expected: gay men showed arousal to images of men and little arousal to images of women, and heterosexual men showed arousal to women but not to men.

But the men in the study who described themselves as bisexual did not have patterns of arousal that were consistent with their stated attraction to men and to women. Instead, about three-quarters of the group had arousal patterns identical to those of gay men; the rest were indistinguishable from heterosexuals."

"About 1.5 percent of American women identify themselves bisexual. And bisexuality appears easier to demonstrate in the female sex. A study published last November by the same team of Canadian and American researchers, for example, found that most women who said they were bisexual showed arousal to men and to women."

I should be a freaking scientist.

listening: "Bad Man" ~Miss E Miss Demeanor