What was that? I can't hear you. Did you call somebody "murderers"? It's noisy here and you were mumbling. You said something about your friends and your enemies. I am not a lip-reader, so you'll have to speak up.
So those goats could have eaten these flowers,
but they could not have seen any photographs of the Algerian resistance.
This is an actual email from an actual person. (Note: Pre) Thing are a decent tofurkey subtitute for Buckcherry, if you are squinting and listening to electroclash by accident.) The email:
I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know that today is my last day at V2. I was let go this morning. All I can say is this is messed up-I was brought into V2 to specifically work on the Pre) Thing record a few months ago. Everything was setting up nicely on the record, radio was reacting, the single "Faded Love" was kicking in at Active Rock, we created this super cool video game that was going to be on the commercial cd, etc. Then, out of the blue, the main guy from Pre) Thing, Rust Epique dies of a massive heart attack and everything goes haywire. Radio started to back off the single and the CD came out 2 weeks ago and got virtually no press. So, today, they let me go! How messed up is that? Wait, before you think this is nuts, let me leave you with this. So, before I got let go, we had our weekly marketing meeting yesterday. They brought in a psychic person and everyone joined hands and did a seance to talk to Rust! I'm not kidding, even if I wasn't fired I wanted to quit on the spot. They were like "how do we get radio to continue to play this song?" and "Rust please talk to press and tell them to write about your record." I mean come on, that's just rock bottom!
Whatever! Good riddance to the label and the industry. I'm done with all of this."
In Crete, they fire guns in the air to celebrate Christ's resurrection. This has nothing to do with firing AT people, which is how the US celebrates Christ's hit movie.
In Paris, I discovered the technical reason les affichistes didn't happen, say, in NYC. (It's not that exciting.)
In Crete, motherfuckers do not believe in discrete driving lanes, either as white lines on the road or as things to think about. This presented a problem only for a day or so, which begs the question: How many behaviors could we discard and find ourselves not missing? What would be really difficult to change in day-to-day life? And for who?
In Paris, les hommes at FNAC could not help me find the Anouk record, despite being very friendly. (I found it.) The FNACsters are pushing a new release from the Tyrese-meets-Solaar MC named Passi, but I did not buy eet.
In Crete, there are many mountain goats.
In Paris, there are few mountain goats but many impressively delineated arrangements of flowers in public places which the goats could eat, should they decide to visit.
In Paris, the greve is more popular than red Orangina. (We could only find the drink at le yper yper designed airport.) A greve--this one without a parade and the mayhem of some higher octane greves--is why we could not see these photographs. This seemed entirely appropriate. But we did see this exhibit of photographs by the late Ziba/Zahra Kazemi.
What Rania al-Baz is doing is nothing short of revolutionary. As a half-Arab woman, I'm so thankful (and, of course, disgusted) that this is happening right now. Violence against women in the Middle East is common to the point of routine, and the silence that accompanies it drives me bananas. Here's to al-Baz and her mission to end the silence. Make ears bleed!
The World Canine Freestyle Organization scares me. These people are completely nuts. They pay $800 to $2,500 for some loon ("canine freestyle trainers") to teach their dog how to dance. Then the dog competes with other dancing dogs. This is a world-wide phenomenon. (I wonder if leg humping is discouraged. Because, technically, if Fido got the urge to thrust during "Dirrty," wouldn't that be considered, I don't know, proper?) I have a cat. He eats bugs. So there.
It is worth noting that the SFJ /Jay Kay impression Jessica mentioned, wherein Our Hero traveled without moving, occurred during the 2003 EMP Pop Conference. In Sasha's absence, this year's "VIRTUAL INSANITY" Award goes to Olympia electro-rap activists Scream Club.
Scream Club were scheduled to play our little EMP opening dance-party soiree, but the venue enforced early curfew, unceremoniously kicking us to the curb before much DJing or show-having happened. Scream Club spat on that; they were all like, "We came here to play a show, and we're going to find a show."
One hour later, they were blasting beats from the tape deck of a Toyota Tercel, dancing in a V-formation, and projectile rapping in the parking lot of the Re-Bar, to an audience of ten (plus the occasional Seattle uber-hipster type gazing on, in confusion and/or disdain). Their repertoire included "SOTI" (we're all "Sexy on the Inside"!) and an ode to breasts, in protest of Washington State's no-topless-ladies-in-public law, during which ties and tees were removed in solidarity. O-Dub broke the story (with photos, in case this parking-lot dance party scenario is too awesome for you to believe). MORAL: "UNPLANNED" YIELDS MAXIMUM MAGIC.
Four EMP Pop Con Bulletpoints:
* No Sharks vs. Jets panel/audience shakedowns.
* Ghetto Brothers Power: gangs, guitars and the aguinaldo—Jeff Chang's fantastic panel with former Ghetto Brothers leader Benjamin Melendez and filmmaker Henry Chalfant—showed, broadly, how hip-hop was borne of pacifism.
* Franklin Bruno, commenting on my guest bloggership: "That's an odd thing for Sasha to say."
This time tomorrow, I will be en route to EMP Pop Conference, held in Frank Gehry's recycled-pan kindersurprise. I am not delivering a paper on Congalese DIY amplification, but all revelations, controversy, spilled drinks, dance moves and Dale Chihuly sightings shall be reported here.
Tonight I witnessed the EMP's papa sucre, Paul Allen, flapping his arms as if to glide away, pterodactylly, while other of his investments were silenced for months on one second of bad fortune. In the spirit of unity, BamBams flailed.
This time tomorrow, I will be lampin' in a far away platz, doing R&D on whether yodel-pants are being worn tight this season, and partying like it's bingo night at Jesse Helms' retirement community. Props to Lloyd Banks' protegés Crazy Lederhos'n for letting me tag along on the bus.
Louise Gluck is all right, but what's she like on the mic?
On pg 14 of the Sunday Times Arts section, buried deep 'tween bicep-sized ads for The Alamo and Starsky & Hutch: choreographer Donna Uchizono. What the interview lacks in column inch, it makes up for in action. In two paragraphs, tragedy becomes possibility, and heartbreak is soothed.
I loved the piece in question, Butterflies From My Hand. It was pure kinetic imagination, with many dreamy bits involving scissors and red silk: beauty, not as exercise, but for totality's sake.
Newsflash: Sake improves the sound of speakers. It has something to do with the enzymes in it that tweak the wood or whatever. (But come on now. After a few shots of hot rice wine, what won't sound better?) I'm gonna go soak my cheapo Sony speakers in a case of Rolling Rock and see if that doesn't improve things. To be continued...
Radio Prague reprises a sweet 1970 interview avec la chanteuse charmante Josephine Baker, who speaks fancy on love, peace, and singing elegant lullabies to her babies. Also feeling "chic motherhood," or mums stepping to the cooley, the high, and the harmony*: The Independent interviews Jane Birkin.
Today, J-Shep and I discussed how best to steer ye old SFJ blogge. We both feel the inclination to replicate Sasha. Like, do we hit up some poetry readings, monitor breaking science news, maybe keeps tabs on Eamon diss songs in order to maintain the distinctive flow and not look like total asshats? All we can hope is that our imitation Sasha is half as amusing as Sasha's imitation of Jamiroquai.
They're all jaunty and poorly lit. Just like the Barracuda Club, and boosters gunning for Mai-Tais. It's a good place to leave before bar-time; your humble guest-host* declines non-alcoholic drinks garnished with plastic flowers, as a general rule.
* This one, anyway; there are more! Hi!
Scrounging deep corners for info on the flamenco cante “Calle del Aire,” the Google translator spat back, “Diego the Norway Lobster prepares an anthology of sings.” This might seem like a lie, or faulty chips, or a fantastical picture book suited for ages 5-500, except it is not. This lobster is so, so real.
As is the street of air, or the heart of Albaicin, when impassioned La Caita sings it.
NOTE. Frere-Jones stepped out for a sec; he's writing the world, turning water into ice and not-thugging (yet still popular). Thus: interim guard on presidio frerejones.com. It is like a time share. We will laugh, we will party, we will run you ragged--and when it's all over, you will look upon our time together fondly, and with great wonder.
It is all there. We must simply mine.
Never told you about this January 9 Yeah Yeah Yeahs show. I have a few pictures and they are terrible so I will post them.
What I thought during the show:
"Maps" is not sounding as good as it should. Everybody sure likes it, though.
Christ, there are a lot of people here.
Karen: (lights go up briefly.) "Holy shit, look how many fucking people are here. New York is in the house."
Family day care.
I am so tired I can ____ and I could only _____ if I had a _____. Just back from a tornado, spur-of-moment, dubiously motorized trip to see Dylan at the 9:30 Club in DC. Highlights:
• Got lost in DC for an hour. The model for Dave Chappelle's crackhead gave us the only good directions in a batch of three. The cop? Useless.
• Motherfuckers stop serving food in DC at 10 PM. What, do they have to be home in bed by 11 so Tom Ridge can tuck them in?
• We must now discuss the Bubbada Bubbada thing: press rolls on all toms and two-handed blasts on cymbals.
From The Constitution of Popular Music:
ARTICLE 26: Concerning Protocol for The Conclusion of Popular Songs In A Live Venue: Bubbada Bubbada should be done only at the end of the last song of the set, if it is to be done at all. AMENDMENT (1972, rev. 2004): Bubbada Bubbada is prohibited.
• In addition to the long-running beret man drummer who violated the Bubbada amendment at the end of every song, the drummer from Little Feat is also playing drums with Dylan now. They trade off songs. There is no reason given or seen.
• Every now and then a song emerged from the blooz blood, but mostly we did not get a chance to meet Mr. Song.
• Almost every song was presented with the same bang bang bang lack of dynamic shape.
• There were many many many guitar solos and they were mostly all shit hot.
• I was bored to death and enjoying myself at the same time. I did not get a sandwich from the food window, which was the right move.
• I don't think what I saw has anything to do with what I saw when I saw Don't Look Back.
• The waiter at the seafood restaurant (the only place actually serving) used the word "salinity" when describing a Kumimoto oyster. I have to respect that.
• What saved us this morning on the drive back (after only three hours of sleep) was the Country Music Critics Poll 2003 Singles folder, courtesy of Matos. Montgomery Gentry's "Hell Yeah," Terri Clark's "I Just Wanna Be Mad," and Gary Allan's "Songs About Rain." Also, Tricky's Nearly God. Another "before" exhibit (as in "before and after") in the smoking pot debate. You cannot smoke it endlessly if you intend to keep your skills.
• Remember—today is World War I day.
Tour diaries appeal to me in general, and this one does in particular. Make special note of the Breakfast Club math.
This is not only addictive—world wide web, you own me fifteen minutes!—but is useful raw data for a study on how memory and perception and imgaging work in the...human brain. (That's not really an observation, even if it resembles one. What writing doesn't tell us something about perception? Duh.)
Headline in that free downtown paper today: "MURDERERS!" As opposed to who? As compared to when? Women? Children? Soldiers? A year ago? Yesterday? Is this going to be a regular feature? Murder Watch™? Which murderers and murderees are we tracking? Would there, then, be a day when you couldn't run that headline? And would there, could there be a day when you didn't have a picture to go with it?