Monday, February 13, 2006

my shotgun talk with a lecture hall scripture

This would also provide a credible pretext for the vice president to claim that he "did not quite catch that question," daring the questioner to expose his head and ask it again.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

distaff cutbacks

Nine days is an epoch, yeah, but just in case you haven't shed tears of joy in a while (Inoue and Baldwin's heartlifting throw triple axel notwithstanding), please, intake.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Ray Manzarek with the dune buggy: top ten continued, finished

"But you got his number."
"Yeah. I said I knew a guy that looked like him."
I cocked my head & waited for the payoff.
"Well, I said I wanted to compare voices."
Man, I laughed. So did the guy next to me in line.

5. Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra, "Big Red Balloon" - Remember that nearly every time you see Jess Simpson's contract-clad azz on the TV, Lee Hazlewood's making bank. I still think it's benevolent design that allowed the Swedish cowboy to play personal architect to Frank Sinatra's kid, you know? This track is a driving, poignant delight. Lee and Nancy as loveless old couple; he wants to leave in that balloon, she knows he won't. And she's wrong. Every other line has its ultimate word (usually gerunds) sung by a passel of keening fellows. Fitted to one of those classic "I'm Your Captain/Closer to Home" string arrangements (along with the decline in pop backing vocals, the misuse of strings in chart music is greatly lamentable), and we have a bottomless drop into empathy.

4. Elvis Presley, "Blue Moon (Alternate Take 1)" - Ohhhhh, ladies, this is it. That falsetto-in-the-graveyard! Ghostly right there. Elvis, bass guitar, and a couple of coconuts. Plus you can hear someone shifting in his seat. One of the more beautiful works of man. To be played on me next Stycast.

3. Tony Yayo with G-Unit, "I Know You Don't Love Me" - And we all know Yayo's a clown, but really: "My bitches train like robots". Question mark? I had this list going of all songs that reference other artists. I still have it on my hard drive somewhere - hip-hop alone was killing me, but the German in me demands order and fascist thoroughness. Anyway, 50's chorus is a classic, surely to fill up a Word file if I didn't already have honest work these days. "I know you don't love me, I know you don't love me/You scream and holler when Slim Thug's in town." At least we know Slim doesn't have a ghostwriter - his stuff's garbage. Yayo, pay Rhymefest better.

2. Cat Power, "Dreams" - I was surprised how many porn sites my predecessor had accrued on the mail room computer. His Google Search history reveals that at one point, he ran a search for "NOT gay porn". Was he being funny?

1. Nirvana, "On a Plain" - I'll be terribly honest with you. I hope it all hits with the Nevermind piece. Don't know what that'll look like. The Waterloo Records guys at the party (about half the attendees work at the record store, the video store, or the Ice House [not related]) didn't know what Stylus was, but they knew that honoring Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis is an awesome idea. I hope they're right. Joe doesn't like Steely Dan, but Bobby does, and Bobby's Bonnie Across the Ocean is the Beatles' butcher cover, which was bought underneath his nose by a customer for 80 bucks. Guys, when I bring beer to a party, I'm happy to drink it all, but I never plan on it. Let's work together next time. And Metropolis is a wonderful movie to play in the background.

And I can't stop playing this track; it's the best thing on the album.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

let's pretend we don't excyst: top ten part one

In the last three days, I've exchanged a blue collar for a black tie.

Yes, as of Thursday morning, I am become the mail clerk for the Texas State Historical Association. Five days a week, reg'lar people hours. Now I won't just see Whataburger employees and the homeless after I get off work. There's a ton of driving involved (reimbursed), which means time for CDs. I also have my own office. It is called the "mail room". Computer, wastebasket, postage meter: every amenity is provided. Also, there is a working c. 1960s Westinghouse refrigerator in the break room.

Just feeling the sun after I get off work is trippy.

The black tie is for next month's TSHA fundraiser, referred to - with typical Texan circumscription - as "Gala & Texana Auction of the Century". Outside chance I'll get close enough to Roger Clemens to shake his forearm, Roman stylee. And ask Laura what she thinks about George's "fishing trips" to Bohemian Grove. Jack Nasty, that's what I say.

In other news, I realized the glass casing over the bathroom lightbulb isn't nailed in. Actually, there are three screws with paint daubed over the screw drive. So instead of forgetting my brother's candles until they burn to the base, I've substituted legitimate light. Evidently the toilet needs cleaning!

What I'm here for:

10. Steely Dan, "Aja" - From the never-say-die lechery of Katy Lied to Aja's proto-yuppie cakeface. "Aja" has the relatively rare Backer/Fagen ploy of lyrics that are very stupid on their face, as the Dan pull grins to pledge allegiance to "Chinese music" and dude ranches "by the sea". My best guess? General darts at globe-sampling privilege.

But yet, but yet, there's a section from about the 2:20(?) to the 4 minute mark that is some of the most in-love that music's ever been. A brand-new theme emerges on a brand-new instrument (xylophone), as two guitars wend slack grace. When the police whistle enters, it's unbearable. I will never be cool.

9. Daniel Johnston, "Keep Punching Joe" - I still like the hauntology deal, still wondering if it's reductionist/foolhardy to find ghosts in records. I'm still working out the concept of absence during presence, too; it turns out that Stylus writers, generally and with the exception of myself, have some experience with philosphy. I believe Ayo Jegede can lay down a critique of Anselm's premises in the later version of his ontological argument that will cut your knees from beneath you.

Inserting yourself into a big band record = auditory equivalent of that photo in The Shining. AWESOME.

8. Brainwarmer, "Elliott Smith's Guitar" - Recorded more or less on the fly, in Portland, using the late musician's guitar. I found it on iTunes; the lyrics are childish, the energy twee, any sentiment likely self-imputed. I can't stop playing this song. The perfect sideways tribute to the man himself.

7. Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, "Portable on My Shoulder" - The kid could work a word; so well, in fact, that Gordy erected Motown on Lymon's vocal glides. Dead at 26, preternaturally skilled but without a genuine artistic legacy.

6. George Jones, "These Days (I Barely Get By)" - Most. Depressing. Song. Ever. The first half of the second verse finds No-Show Jones fronting a ghostly female choir. For me, apparently, discorporate vocals in a pop song are enough to cry "hauntology"! See also: "They Reminisce Over You," "Wonderful! Wonderful!" and... number five from my next post. Scour the earth for sustenance.

pshoupsgroom: but...your Mom and I have been praying daily for God to provide another job for you that would enjoy
pshoupsgroom: Guess we pray well...
pshoupsgroom: :-)
Brad Shoup: I guess so... praying in tandem is a nice touch
pshoupsgroom: Do your best (as you always do) and work hard and just let the chips fall where they may. Oh yeah, get me Roger Clemen's (former Texas Longhorn) autograph and ask him what happened against the White Sox (after you get the autograph that is)
Brad Shoup: haha
Brad Shoup: sure thing. as long as there's no throwable objects in sight
pshoupsgroom: Born, raised and proud of being a Shoup wise guy
Brad Shoup: natch

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

"Gaining on the Last Supper"

I received a very nice comment and open invitation from the adMinister of Church of Brunch today. There's a service next Sunday, my Austin friends; I may not be able to attend, but you'll have fun.

Beatles and Jay-Z = someone owes Brian Burton a check

Whoa whoa HEY did Jay-Z just tell Paul McCartney and Davy Linkin to "take it up top"?

he's a cyberpunk now

Whoa whoa WHOA what happened to Sly Stone?

Per Ian's request, I found this:
Image Hosted by

it's cool; I'm just picking up Todd's Kraftwerk comp

The box swayed

on the scale

soft knocks

from show birds

We all smiled

at the clerk waiting

til the chickens calmed

for the reading

I hope they last

in a box marked

"No sun, heat

or rain".

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

last plane to cowtown

So I'm leaning on the bar-rail, ready to pay everyone's tab, and this girl slots next to me. "Hey, cowboy." Naturally, I needed three beats to realize the cowboy was I. I was wearing the blue Western shirt everyone likes, the one bought out of a catalog by an ex-girlfriend's resident advisor's mother. Oh, the tales. Purple pearl snaps, encased like fantastical evening pools, domed over.


She asks me if I'm a real cowboy. As I am notorious in regional literary/primitive Baptism circles for my subscription to the second formulation of Kant's categorical imperative, I sheepishly replied that I was not, but I have aspirations. She asked if I was the boss. Again, I had to reply that I was not, at least not tonight; I was leaving against my vote.

What's your name?
Hi, Brad.

Brenna was a rancher's daughter. Was she alone? No. She was with girlfriends. Where was I headed? I don't know; I'm not the boss, remember. Maybe the Dry Bean Saloon. Maybe the Corner.

She reiterated her upbringing on a ranch. Was I scared of her? I took this as my opportunity to scan. Verified blond, pair of beaming greens twinned to the skirt. Tipsy (obviously: haven't gotten non-homosocial barplay since I gave that DeLillo book to sweet Emily). No. No I wasn't. Should I be?

Well, on the ranch I learned how to rope and castrate.
Dip of her head. Can two eyes wink?
Oh. Damn.

I tried handing the yellow receipt back to the bartender. Brenna noticed.

You wanna get out of here, don'tcha? Then: well, give me a hug. Then: But you gotta mean it.

I can't. That's my girlfriend over there.


The night I could've been a cowboy. I don't have to write about anything interesting; I'm smokeless.

fun with white girls

So not only do we have the classic argument that illicit drug use aggravates the agonies of the harvesters/mules/crossfired innocents in other lands, we have another reason why we Americans have no business making cocaine a fashion accessory (until the glorious Libertarian revolution, anyway).

I saw this piece in News of the Weird, but NOTW neglected this delicious detail: "[A]ccording to Lt. Jeff Clark who heads the MPD's Project Safe Neighborhoods, Booth even made up a rap song about the murder."

I'm on the lookout.

oh and i whooped up on some darts last night i was lagging behind but bam bam bam all these triples kept dropping so i showed up that weedy student government guy who was a total courtesan in loss.

teh controversorz

Ephemera gets chopped and bagged again; were you there to see it? Secret blood feud enclosed.

I was surprised none of the other commenters for the Kubb track cracked erection jokes. Ian had the snappiest putdown, regarding Billy Currington: "The only way I could hate this song more was if I was actually a woman, because then Billy would be singing to me." Sad to admit: too much ska this week.

I don't know when the piece'll up, so let me leave you with a premise:

Nevermind: not that good.

Let me rephrase: not that good.

And you thought I just knew how to work the italics tag. The over/under is 20 comments. Not here, on Stylus.

Monday, February 06, 2006

varia miscellanea

It would be hells of awesome if Mr. Jacques read my pre-weekend post and decided to obliquely dump on what he perceives to be my kind, but I'm betting that's not the case. Anyway, I'm down with the Liars, but I haven't yet gone on record saying such, so I think he's culling the messageboards for inspiration.

The fourth-panel payoff was pretty nice, no doubt, although it's a bit of biting the feeding hand (see Mr. Jess Harvell's similar criticism on a different topic somewhere in the Status Ain't Hood comment section).

I recognize that my Kraftwerk article is hostage to the delivery practices of the United States Postal Service, but that shouldn't stop me from getting two other things in tonight. So much (good) new writers and content washing in; my overlong Stycast just got posted today. One notable expert has tagged it the "drunkest Stycast yet"; I ended it with J. Lo's "Get Right" (so good. so good!) and included 12 songs, so there's probably something to that. I see friendly challenges in drinking and writing ahead.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


This is where all the scenester idiots start bitching about how my comic "used to be cool, before every poseur who reads Pitchfork knew about it." Now all I have to do is get someone over at Tiny Mix Tapes to yell about my comic on the front page and I will have achieved INDIE ROCK UBIQUITY.

Jeph, baby, I've been wondering when it would be time for the talk.

With your love of white boys making busy, the torporific rearrangement of calcified musical motifs, the same three jokes about Bob Pollard drinking or Sigur Ros sounding feminine, you are the poseur who reads Pitchfork, sugar. Plus, there's your inability to describe a metal album without using the words "totally" or "*lame-ass borecore group* meets a metal band"... Come to think of it, honey, the only metal you've ever really pushed is all PF-approved: Mastodon, Isis, Opeth, and Pelican.

It's still better than Mitch Clem's nagging inferiority complex. I'd take a naive 'indie' enthusiasm o'er naive pop-punk enthusiasm coupled with a chip on the shoulder. Seriously, if you're a 25-ish man writing strips about Hot Topic, cut back on the coffee. His newspost stock-in-trade is straw men, whether they be Christians, Pitchfork readers, Against Me!, or kids who don't rock out in the pit. God love him and Jeph both, though, as cartoonists, even if the former can't keep on one project too long and the latter's reliance on sexual dialogue makes even a swampmind such as mine shut down from monotony.

I mean, if you're gonna tag yrself 'indie,' listen to subway fiddlers and Pennsylvanian shape-note choirs. Not rock bands with $15.99 CDs who make videos, use iTunes, and sell babydoll tees. Although, just like the snark's been dialed back on the 'fork, Jeph's been dropping less of the indie-humor science. Sex is easier, I suppose.

Ryan North and Tiny Mix Tapes, though, we're down with. They're not kidding themselves. And they totally rock like the Johnny Burnette Trio meets a metal band.

EDIT AFTER READING THE COMMENTS: Just like Ian, I still read QC. Every update. I can't front. He's got a point about naivete; just like the music quips are sweetly inclusionary, he doesn't want to accept that readers can't just form deep emotional connections with his creations and not find them physically attractive in any way. It's c00t. And I have no opinion on Get Him Eat Him.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

big sister complains all the time/she's hooked on barbs and wine

I still haven't acclimated to these new, daylight hours. But I knew the Myspace note was a scam when the initial e-mail offered me pictures if I e-mailed her and didn't respond to the profile what left the note. And her website branched off of I'm hard up but payment is just unnecessary, baby.

I'm still awake at 6 AM, listening to The Boogie Woogie Resurrection Hour Stycast (I'm not sure what the MLA says about podcast formatting) and typing an essay on parent pop. I'm sure somebody will be reading a rough draft at some point. Right now - as research - I'm revisiting Austin's own Millions of Dead Cops, of "John Wayne Was a Nazi" fame. College radio memories.

Of course, this does nothing for my priapic rage. Neither does the intra-Democratic abortion debate. Time for street prowler music.