Wednesday, November 30, 2005

rigging the dhuta

How cute, he thinks he's people.

Probably the first thing that came to mind as New York's serrated skyline hewed slowly 'cross my plane window: There it is: hip-hop. Yeah, I can see Connecticut from the top of the Empire State - but look over there, it's Bed-Stuy!

We stayed in Manhattan, walking all over the city with Uncle Steve our expert guide. We hit the highlights in three days: Jimmy Cagney's memorial, Cleopatra's Needle, ESB, Ground Zero, the early home of the Marx Bros. (Minnie Marx lifted a piano into a fifth-story window, presumably with the aid of pulleys and Irishmen), Academy of Dramatic Arts, Times Square, CBGB's, the Bowery and Elaine's (love to Stephin), Nathan Hale's plaque, the Dakota, Robert Fulton and Alexander Hamilton's graves (shoe store across the street said We Probably Have the Lowest Prices in Town), Chelsea Hotel, Grand Central (smaller than I imagined yet no less grand), Wall Street (GLORIOUS - LET NOT CLASSICISM LANGUISH), Al Hirschfeld's coral-colored place. My calves carry a residual ache.

And - AND - on Saturday, I met up with Todd Burns and Michael Powell, they of the Stylus staff. Soft-spoken, exceedingly merciful, and possessing a highly-developed pattern of duologue. Ain't seen that kind of friendship in a while, and it I was honored to be in the mix somewhere for a night. Bought American Primitive Vol. 2: Pre-War Revenants on something stronger than a whim; I played two cuts cold at Mike's apartment for a Stycast. Listen to me trying to "insert" my "personality" into the mix. Todd has to feed me questions to get me involved: for example, "You don't listen to techno, do you?" and "What did you think about that song?" Went to a bar, talked shop, and I racked up four beers and a vodka tonic before a night was called. As his girlfriend was uptown, Todd accompanied me partway back to Manhattan (I was in Dodger country, y'all*) - our subway was full of buzzing sub-Beat types. Burns assured me that even though the house parties can rock, it's not like these kids are having moon-dappled revelations to the deepest records ever crated.

Or words to that effect. I was grateful yet embarrassed my insecurities displayed that boldly.

Much love for my uncle, who generously took two men under his apartment roof, showed us Sherlock Holmes adaptations, and smoked pipes with us. Now I really know him, y'know? He's a complete man, with a context and a hagiography and four non-working aquariums.

No, I didn't see Ghostface. I tried prayer.

*I said y'all to every service industry worker I met. Every time. Translated, "y'all" means "please deny me free refills and the key to your restroom"

Monday, November 21, 2005

the Christgau troll

Man Man was absolutely wondrous, never pausing not stooping stopping for applause and if Jake Plummer has the better mustache how are you surprised what did surprise was my wish was granted and granted well, big ups to the Hard Wood comedy minds and even though I kind of lost a friend this weekend, sometimes my mind wins over my desire to redeem failures and be everything to all people and the Bengals didn't deserve to lose because Carson's finally getting it and Chad Johnson is the NFL's savior and the Bengals deserved to lose because their logo looks like Brak.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

the Juan McGraw

Dear bshoup->gmail+com,

We're writing to confirm your purchase of the following Amazon Marketplace
item from

1 of Sinking of Titanic-Jesus Blood [IMPORT] [Audio CD] Bryars,Gavin

If all falls into slots, I'll buy the version where Tom Waits sings "Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet".


Seriously, SportsCenter, Why?


Okkervil River and Man Man and self-ratification on Sunday. Irish carbombs over Thanksgiving if Stylus writers hate their families. Which means I'ma miss Clit 45 in Houston. These SoCal tykes are one septic shock away from the Hold Steady, and I know how ridiculous that makes me sound. Is it 6:30 AM already? Time for bed.

Do not buy Rahsaan Roland Kirk's The Inflated Tear without ensuring someone has grafted Natural Black Inventions: Roots Strata onto your platter. I feel like The Notorious O.N.S.T.A.D., but I can't stress this enough, folks: HE PLAYS THREE INSTRUMENTS AT ONE TIME FOR HIS SANITY.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

hey hey

He looked at the conveyor belt for a silver second: "If I could change anything, I'd have lost my virginity to better background music."

Recent Life Top Ten Plus One:

11. Steven R. Smith, Crown of Marches
Will not take you anywhere but downward, into the lee of your thoughtlife. No transcendence, unless you accept the interruption of all normal inputs as transcendant. Get ready for some heady car rides, kids.

10. The Cookies, "Girls Grow Up Faster Than Boys"
Ergo, she's old enough for you. And with stated measurements 36-21-35... as Hobbes would say, 'Yowza'. Good to see some Cookies tracks on iTunes, via the Dimension Dolls multi-artist comp. For a while there, you could get a Jandek track easier. No lie... iTunes has one Jandek track. Irwin Chusid can be condescending to his charges at times, but that's a subject best dealt with in a future On Second Thought piece. Hooray for manufactured girl pop.

9. Jamie Lidell, "Music Will Not Last"
I've been grappling with the album for awhlie; whether it's good isn't causing me much worry. It's decent. But is it sincere (not to be confused with "authentic")? This song is. Perhaps the last lost Motown gem.

8. the career output of the Cows
Just bought Old Gold at Waterloo. & Cunning Stunts: Vincebus Eruptum of the spazz-punk set. And I don't even like Blue Cheer.

7. The Pussycat Dolls condensing the Spice Girls' career arc into two singles
Truly an awe-inspiring feat.

6. Davy Graham, "Both Sides Now"
Zounds! Definitely will be plumbing this guy's discog for soulful folk-guitar workouts.

5. Blue Cheer, "Peace of Mind"
Well... As is typical for me, I go for the power ballad. Amateur.

4. Donovan McNabb for mayor.
Offically secures my vote for Most Comported Player. Pray for eventual redemption.

3. Dorothy Moskowitz, "Do You Follow Me"
Ms. Moskowitz acts as the necessary balance to Joe Byrd's self-anointment on the liners for last year's United States of America reissue. And this solo track from said reissue, while straight-ahead (save the line "though I may be late/I do not blame you for killing me") is still a highlight on a decent disc. Oooooo it's electric circus music etc. I like the power ballads best. How scrumptiously bourgeois!

2. The foosball table moved to my warehouse.
It's in worse shape than ever, but since Amanda has me at defense every game, it doesn't really matter. Except for the middle man on my three-bar; the tape holding him to his post is pretty weak.

1. Richard and Linda Thompson, "I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight"
This song was my weekend. The perfect single.

special category: Michael Anton Parker's love for "herky-jerky" music. Makes a man ask for a mix tape, just to dip his toes in wilder waters.

Thank you Nathan.

This is what I learned at work today. If you want to know how strong your car battery is, crank your copy of Defenders of the Faith. Defenders of the Faith sounds like crap if you lose the low-end. That is what I learned at work today. Thank you Nathan.

vasio congestive

Flipped from national to local station, reward being two White Stripes videos back to back. "Seven Nation Army," "Denial Twist". Seems to me they've become a Great American Band, with a body of work bearing up the quirks. A highlights-only box set could easily be produced - with little judiciousness involved in the picking. Whether they've made a play-thing of the blues is far behind the point now; their amalgamation of jaundiced child's-eye-view, Stooges-style dumb-smarts, and the wild wisdom of the Delta is tilling some nervous soil. I really expect the Stripes to outstrip the esteem accorded their rock peers within five to ten years.

Then again, I don't own either Index record. So feel free to discard my opinion.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

user SellMeAGod

Well, looks like I'm validated. By someone who writes like Soul-Junk and listens for klaxons. Entirely valid.

I can't remember... is it American to support the proven winner or the scrappy challenger? Go Galaxy.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


The inventor of album covers, from Roque.

Chavo Guerrero Is Champion of the World

Not sure if I'll be able, but since I'm going to be in NYC during this, I'm going to see about attending. If these are the same booklets he referenced in that old Pitchfork list, I'm eager to see how they turned out, especially knowing they weren't interred in the garden.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Savagery on Sunday


Two and a half years of magic. That's a half-year longer than "Sports Night," so we're extending. But still. We had our chance.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

RJ11, four pin connector

Saw Capote with Vincent tonight. Brutally tranfixing film; Hoffman flies kites with ambition and the truth for the length of the movie. I know I don't see films enough; this was a reminder.

I'm guessing the odds on Hoffman garnering an Oscar are long for a clutch of reasons; if Clifton Collins, Jr. were to be nominated for Best Supporting Actor, that would suffice.

Friday, November 04, 2005

the fossor reviews Brad's newest purchases

Glenn Branca, The Ascension (1981)

Fascism! Where is the trickster Georges Sorel, armed with the bombast of a decadent age of machines? I daresay I shan't watch any enclosed multimedia; the effluvium of rallies likely circumscribes the thing.

Turn it off; this music thirsts for my catafalque.

Kelley Stoltz, The Sun Comes Through (2005)

This is the man the lad was so keen on two years ago; is this correct? I knew his mind would be deliquesced trying to impress those pocket intellectuals for whom he pines so. It sounds like Robert Dylan went mad on a pleasure cruise.

Misfits, Walk Among Us (1982)

I suppose this followed the Branca work much like the cultural buffoonery of Monroe and Lewis played bait-and-switch with Old World fascism. I rather enjoy this, in the manner of bread and circuses, or baseball games in Civil War camps. Don't tell the boy.

Gil Scott-Heron, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (1988)

Perhaps the boy uses this music as aural provocation during his commute. Polemics this far removed from his experience... it would be far better for him to own a memoir.

Steven R. Smith, Crown of Marches (2005)

I'll be retiring to the patio with the Juniper Green and this record. The music of ending ages, personal Caesars at a million Rubicons, a billion potential Romes exchanging prismically. Crushing in its foreknowledge.

gone sampling those Mario coins

Finally found a used digipak Late Registration. And it seems Evan's on it: all feeling and little follow-through, not enough details to convince me the middle class is the future. "Touch the Sky" is pretty bangin' in that NoID/Ghostface way, but the trite chorus flattens things. "Roses" finds that legendary line between mourning and celebrity indignation, and "Gold Digger" still (still, even after 10 times a day combined on the warehouse radios for a month and a half) sounds like a classic. Ditto "Drive Slow" in a minor manner, the best part coming when Kanye boasts "I got mo' TVs in here than where I live," and GLC rejoins with "And that don't make no sense, but baby I'm the shit...".

Anyway. But that's it. How the hell does one Common verse equal a track on a Kanye album? And who's going to call 'Ye on that "it's in a Black person's soul to rock that gold" ish? Ask Jada; anyone can ask a bunch of questions. If you're such a genius, either hand down some answers (a dangerous game in the entertainment world) or sell the conflict better.

Or, just, you know, stick to production. Remember, how smart can you be if you've got Adam Levine on the hook?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

happy birthday, Louis the Stammerer

When I get sick I get nasty. Only in my mind, and only to strangers. This afternoon I went grocery shopping, shooting thought-daggers at nearly everyone. I swear to you, I wanted to wipe the whole place out. People weren't attractive enough, the elderly were too feeble, the children too annoying, my peers too glib. I thought about who I was in junior high and how I would've wiped me out too. This is who I am when I'm sick and sick only. And it's just a bad cold - when I had walking pneumonia for the first of two consecutive years, I became a two-week nihilist. Maybe I'm just so used to existing on a middle plane - to getting by - that anything external that lays me out also slits my emotional hamstrings. It's really sad. I'm not even that attractive myself.

Really, though, if I could only focus on my worst traits during my illnesses; if I could try accepting all those damnable flaws I haven't gotten rid of, then maybe it'd be a form of aversion therapy.

Moving on: I miss ceremony. To wit:

Isn't that nice? Slightly better than an annual re-enactment of the "Thriller" video.

... or IS it?


screen name: Emma Morrow (2) posted on 02/11/2005 12:23
Yeah, that Kanye is a real intellectual:
"George Bush hates Black People!"

What an idiot! That stupid deer-in-the-headlights look on his face was just

50 Cent is perfectly right - Katrina was so bad that the Red Cross had to
borrow $300 million for the first time ever. The pace of the rescue was better
than with Wilma in Florida, just ask them.

50 Cent - tomorrow, one of your albums will be mine. Promise.

I just need some fan to tell me the best one...