April 30, 2005



Posted by Sasha at 09:36 PM | TrackBack



Say hey, send a cake, sign yr name, or just bown down to the litigator-in-training who defines “unfuckwithable.”

Posted by Sasha at 06:14 PM | TrackBack

April 29, 2005



If you missed it, here is the text of Elizabeth Méndez Berry's sidebar from the Times A&L, a few Sundays ago:

April 17, 2005 Sunday

Taking the Rap

Questioning rap music's portrayals of women is becoming something of a cottage industry: Essence magazine has sponsored a ''Take Back the Music'' campaign, and town hall meetings and conferences are popping up all over. At the University of Chicago's ''Feminism and Hip Hop'' event last weekend, musicians, scholars and activists were joined by some of the young listeners they professed to be most worried about: a group of Chicago high school students, who held their own panel. Elizabeth Mendez Berry spoke with them about some of the lyrics and images under question.

''There's a song now by the Ying Yang Twins called the 'Whisper Song.' Oh my God. I went down to my sister's college and this guy was playing that song, but it was the real version, not the edited version. And I was like, 'Could you please turn that off?' Even though they're making money on it, that is not right. I don't think they would want their mother to be called a bitch.''

Bianca Keyes, 17

''Truthfully I'm not a feminist yet 'cause I don't get the real hard meaning. I don't understand how when a man calls a woman a bitch or a ho, she gets offended, but when some girls call other girls bitches or ho's, they don't get offended. My cousin is a pimp, and he doesn't smack the girls around or anything. He's nice to them, he gives them money. It's just a job for him.''

Christopher Durr, 16

''When I think about Nelly's 'Tip Drill' video'' -- in which Nelly runs a credit card between a woman's nearly bare buttocks -- ''I do think that he was just making money. He didn't say that all women are tip drills. But then again, why do you have to make a song like that?''

Jessica Robinson, 17

Posted by Sasha at 11:18 AM | TrackBack



Everyone in America should have heard and seen Ned Sublette's paper at EMP. I mean heard, and I mean seen. You need to hear him sing "Congoooo....congo nation," and to hear him clap and to hear his accent dip and rise as he gets into the guts of his story. There is nobody else like him in this game. He is the music critic who could take it to the people, our Southern democrat from Louisiana, the guy who makes the theory disappear inside the gumbo. If some pointy-headed douchebag like me came out and opened a paper, as he did, by saying "Slavery. It's the central fact of American history and yet everyone thinks 'Huh, slavery, that's weird," everyone would be braced for a serving of self-righteous vegetables. (Ned, I'm paraphrasing. Please let me know if that is unfaithful or misleading.) That's New York. We can make make beats, we can make hot dogs, we can win every time, but we can't make anyone like us.

But Ned is infinitely likable. Which made me wary, because I wanted him to be angry. He was talking about sex slavery, African families being separated for commercial profit, and the river of black blood that runs under the feet of every tit-flashing moron and bead-throwing fratboy who gets to New Orleans on their parents' dime so they can get drunker than the people who founded the colony. But Ned wasn't angry. He's smarter than that. He knew he could lay out the facts and let us feel them, and deliver it all like a story of a summer vacation, complete with slides.

Six percent of the transatlantic slave trade came to the U.S., Ned said. Only six percent. In New Orleans, a chunk of that human inventory was then bred for sex slaves. But Ned wasn't doing straight sociology; his presentation was about music. He riffed on carnival krewes and Master P lyrics. After telling us that he once, as a child in Nacogdoches, he reenacted a slave auction in class, he moved to excerpts from an interview with Donald Harrison, former Marsalis band member and current krewe chief. Harrison said (paraphrasing again) that parade days are the only days black men in New Orleans are allowed to "act like men," which bounces off the walls very differently in the context of identity theft, real identity theft. Sublette closed with a sucker punch, pointing first to the synergy of krewes, hip-hop and 150 years of exploitatation, and then concluding abruptly with three sweet little A-bombs: "That's called resistance." For a second, I couldn't breathe.

Vernacular, friendly, researched up the colon, organically political, soaked in the love of the music's sound and story, Sublette could change a motherfucker's life. Viacom—get at him.

My plane as grounded in San Diego for two hours, and I missed Thursday night's opening plenary. Eric Weisbard kindly delivered my comments, which will be posted somewhere soon. I will also be posting the obligatory pictures of people soon, here.

Posted by Sasha at 10:27 AM | TrackBack



Lee Gardner writes in with the answer to the question: What is Cappadonna up to?

Saw Misters Lee, Haggard and Dylan last night at the Beacon. Amos Lee was very chai latte. Great voice, though. Haggard was my kind of old: wasn't ignoring it ("we're the only travelling beer joint band with full-time nurses"), but wasn't apologizing for it, either. Merle's voice was beautiful, the country swing was supple, grade-A Bakersfield issue, and his weed tune was funny. (I don't give a shit about weed.) He started the show bareheaded and then put on his hat and shades. Take notes, Juelz.

All respects to my esteemed peer and friend, I think Dylan is only for the core now. I can't understand him. Not the deep, Biblical hoo-hah. I mean, I can't understand the words coming out of his mouth. The band is good. They play real well. I like guitar solos. I don't know why the drummer plays every song like it's the last song of the set, but maybe that's how you get back at the asshole who never lets you use the bus bathroom. But, see, because I can't understand anything Dylan is saying, all I hear, over and over, is the same blues rock song. The faithful? They hear the dog whistle. They recognize a word, a phrase, a scrap of Scripture, and then they whoop. All is good in Bobland and, from there on in, it is de jure a good experience to have, because it is listening to a Bob Dylan song, this experience.

I am on the bus for much of Bob. I am not your Bill O'Reilly. I might even go religious on early Dylan. And I certainly don't think Dylan is doing Dylan On Ice. A lot of that shit he's playing live now is some weird-ass blues rock, blues rock thought it may be. But those (me and my wife, for example) without decoder rings will likely respond, in their own way, as we did last night: we came home to watch the American version of The Office, which is shockingly OK. I miss the war fiend and Gervais, but the Tim character is better.

Posted by Sasha at 10:08 AM | TrackBack

April 28, 2005



Dizzee throws his rope onto road. I am not cynical about this, even if experience suggests I place a different bet. (Also, from the Guardian, and months old, an excellent use of the list format, and as good a primer on Leonard Cohen as you could hope for. Cohen is one of many artists that I can like immensely while enjoying only about five of his songs. [This is a preview of the Job Retraining Program Theory, starring Laurie Anderson and Bruce Springsteen.])

Posted by Sasha at 03:48 PM | TrackBack

April 27, 2005



Last night, Julianne and I saw The Futureheads performing at a Spin/Newcastle Ale/Merck/iTunes/Beatrice/Lockheed corpo handjob unplugged show. Because they are made of approximately 75% White Music and 25% Setting Sons, it is medically impossible for me to not like The Futureheads. That said, I have now seen them three times and am fairly sure that I am actually experiencing their music, and not simply feeling the buzz of old triggers.

I love that (and how) the band commits. They're never too cool for the room, never too special to do the job. They all play hard, they all sing, they all make themselves present for their own music. In this instance, they managed, impressively, to overcome the deep anti-vibes of a space beneath a staircase in the buttcrack of an office building.

Posted by Sasha at 04:08 PM | TrackBack




"Dad, will my English Muffin speak English?"

"No, I don't think so."


[Rubbing head.]

"Dad, you don't have so much hair."

[Rubbing beard.]

"How do your spikes get colors? Do you dye them?"

"Nope, it just happens."

"Well, I haven't heard much about that."

Posted by Sasha at 08:24 AM | TrackBack

April 26, 2005



If you're in Germany, go see Jeff Wall here. If you're here, look up. (You can see that large transparency at MOMA.)

Posted by Sasha at 02:28 PM | TrackBack



Click here and sign.

Posted by Sasha at 11:30 AM | TrackBack

April 25, 2005



Julianne writes (the above joke is hers) and points out that with this song, Cuban Link and Mya have given us "Around The Way Girl '05." No possible way to be mad at that, unless you are a completely, fully-committed, allatime totes crazy person.

Posted by Sasha at 04:51 PM | TrackBack



Out goes "Beck Is Back," and in comes "Mixed Blessings," a Pop Note about the Got That Purp mixtape.

Posted by Sasha at 12:05 PM | TrackBack



Does anybody have a copy of The For Carnation's Marshmallows they want to sell me? (No, I don't need a guitar or a guitar or an amp or a road case.) I do need that CD, though.

Posted by Sasha at 11:38 AM | TrackBack

April 24, 2005



Chris Payne's photos of the city's substations.

Posted by Sasha at 06:08 PM | TrackBack

April 23, 2005



More HoJo R.I.P.

Posted by Sasha at 03:20 PM | TrackBack

April 22, 2005



Go buy this t-shirt, which is real pretty and somehow related to Jeff Chang's book (I don't know how) and is also $25, which is kind of wack, but it was purty enough to hook this magpie. And it has to do something with Jeff, which sort of makes everything better by transitive law.

Even though it is raining here in New York, we are going to get summer "started" with this Flacco remix of Aerial M's Wedding Song. Flacco is/was Tim Goldsworthy of D*A. The album it's from has a name like Global Music. Post-Global Music. I think. It makes me feel like I am drinking at a boutique hotel on expenses and reading an airport novel. But I am not doing any of that. I am at home, listening to "Blue Orchid" by The White Stripes and trying, with little success, to make out the lyrics. Oh, wait—the web. They'll know.

Posted by Sasha at 05:40 PM | TrackBack



I taped a segment for Steve Earle's radio show, "The Revolution Starts...Now," yesterday. The playlist:

"Random," Lady Sovereign
"Mama Don't," John Doe
"Country Rock and Rap," The Disco Four
"Good Morning, Captain," Slint
"The Corner," Common, Kanye, Last Poets
"Still Tippin'," Slim Thug, Mike Jones, Paul Wall

No idea when it will air. I didn't talk much (thank god) because: a) Steve talks a lot and b) I defer, as a rule, to anyone who can begin a sentence by saying "After I got out of jail..."

Mark Morris last night was pure pleasure. Dude is so pro-pop, in the repetition and legibility of his moves. The opening turn—involving Morris himself, faux flamenco and boozing as slapstick—was tight and funny. Later, dancers Lauren Grant and Julie Worden did a trig, pitch-perfect duet in their underwear. Somebody yelled "yeah" at the end of the show, rock-style. I love it when people wild out in proscenium theaters.

Philip Sherburne sent me a funk MP3, "Rema-Rema," by Bonde do Vinho. Unless I am missing something, this song has no relation to the early 4AD band, whose theme song Big Black covered. The song does have a relationship to George Benson and is making me crazy like papist in a room of trannies. It is deeply right. (UPDATE: Philip says the song is a few years old.)

Posted by Sasha at 10:46 AM | TrackBack

April 20, 2005



An obvious comment, not that I object to an excellent album getting free publicity: Having spoken to Fiona's manager, Jon Brion's manager and several people at Sony, all of whom have taken the fifth, I get the feeling maybe this extraordinary album hasn't been any kind of shelved. Having seen Fiona's capability for unchecked self-expression, don't you think she'd have something to say if her album was really getting the Wilco? There are about one hundred obstacles that can hold up the release of an album, some of them legitimate, some of them legally-binding, and some of them both. Unless someone can dig up a copy of Ms. Apple's contract and get her to talk, the only hard "data" are one Jon Brion interview and one, not unprecedented, delayed release date. Everything else is just speculation.

Grouching out!

Posted by Sasha at 04:30 PM | TrackBack



A man named Ben Fasman emailed me last week and said he'd played this Uilab remix at a party and it had gone over big. That felt extra good. I worked super hard on that track and thought, at the time, "Wow, this will be THEE BURNER FOR 1997," mostly because I am not very realistic. It did not become THEE BURNER, and one of many reasons is that it should have been mastered about twelve times louder. It isn't Mingus—squash that shit, Mr. Engineer!

I just sold all the gear I used to make this remix, so it feels approrpriate to be hearing—or hearing about—the song coming around the mountain again. Maybe it can become a gay crunk anthem, or rate a mention in an academic paper about "Failed Comic Routines Using Timestretching." (Homes, there was a paper on poop in Cobain songs, so don't giggle.) It needs to be played extra loud to really work. I am at your mercy, MP3DJs.

If you are ready to roam this town and get away from the screen, go see our friend McArthur Binion's work and get ready for the Situationist Film Weekend, April 28 to May 1 at Anthology Film Archives.

Posted by Sasha at 04:14 PM | TrackBack



Pre-order The Hat, which features the hat and a team of poets as strong as Dipset. Do not be the third on your block—go now.

Posted by Sasha at 03:55 PM | TrackBack



EMP? Only a few things to say, but I'll start with the free stuff:

I moderated the "Hip-Hop Is Everywhere" panel and made the ultimate nerd blunder. I added an uninvited footnote to someone else's paper, and got it wrong! Fire!

Jon Caramanica spoke about country and hip-hop crossfire, and when he was done, I added that the Crash Crew had released a hip-hop song in 1980 that sampled the banjo from the weirdo cult record Black Grass. Laying in bed last night, I realized that this statement was wrong. The song was the Disco Four's "Country Rock and Rap," which came out in 1980, I am pretty sure. There are no samples here—the gear wasn't ready. Pumpkin and friends replayed what I am fairly sure is a bit from the Black Grass record, though I am doubting myself now. (Rap nerds—please help me if you can can.)

None of this will matter now, because that link right there is to an MPthree of the song and it is wonderful enough to dissolve all these facts. It is hard to imagine hearing this song in 1980 and not predicting that hip-hop would become an institution.

Posted by Sasha at 02:39 PM | TrackBack



We woke up to find three versions of the same question in our inbox. Here is our favorite iteration, from Alex Ross: "Timbaland didn't produce "Lose Control"? Whoever did is the next Timbaland."

Who produced it, aside from credited producer Missy, is Juan Atkins and Richard Davis a.k.a. 3070, who released a song called "Clear" in 1983 under the name of Cybotron. Because, I am guessing, somebody asked Missy what song she'd sampled for "Lose Control," and she said "'Planet Rock,'" Atlantic's current set of album credits lists the sample as "Planet Rock." Any record nerd could tell you that it is not "Planet Rock." We may not be of much use, but we can tell you to take a left at Die Mensch Maschine and keep going till you hit Detroit.

So, the answer is: the first Timbaland of many was motherfucking Juan Atkins. And pointing this out does not mean we play Monopoly™, Genius Version. Never. Missy and Ciara and Fat Man Scoop yelling over "Clear" is pretty hot. But it isn't "Clear," which is still not "Planet Rock."

It also isn't "Almighty Father," by Sunship and Warrior Queen, which is kinda like Missy, but not really.

Posted by Sasha at 10:20 AM | TrackBack

April 19, 2005



Why is the least interesting MC on the most interesting hip-hop track of the moment (and several other moments) the artist of name for the song? Does Swishahouse make everyone arm wrestle for titles?

The good news: The excitement police prevented Nikka from dropping a dud. When you hear about a record company delaying an artist's album and "interfering" with their vision, don't take sides too quickly.

The bad news: Only two of the sixteen tracks on Missy's forthcoming album The Cookbook were produced by Timbaland. That's right. Two. (The first two.) The good news, within that, is that the one Neptunes track, "On and On," is zhivago enough to maybe compensate for three of these absences. But not fourteen.

The ? news: Reprise has signed a screamo version of Radiohead called Idiot Pilot.

Posted by Sasha at 05:13 PM | TrackBack



Everyone wanted to say it, but only one did.

When they came for Peep-O-Rama, I said nothing. When they started selling Nathan's Famous hot dogs in airports, I said nothing. But now that some hideous person is taking away the Howard Johnson's where I had my twelfth birthday, I cannot be quiet. If you work in the Times Squarea, go there every day. Eat fried clams. Drink martinis. Try to guess the gender of various wait-staff members. Don't let it die quietly.

I found this stuck to my building's nasty-ass front door, proving even downtown Manhattan can keep it country. (Where, you have to ask, are these beetles? At Moss?)

Posted by Sasha at 04:50 PM | TrackBack

April 11, 2005



For real, rollercoasters used to terrify me. Then I had kids, and they were interested in rollercoasters. So I had to change my position: my boys are too little to ride by themselve. Two kids riding means two adults riding. It's not so bad if you make sounds like EEEEKEKEEKEEKEKEEWEKEKE.

Heather Kitty Mak of Keetologue interviewed me via email, and the results are now up.

Posted by Sasha at 11:34 PM | TrackBack

April 10, 2005



"Mom, someone's stealing our car!"

"No, that's not ours."

"How can you tell?"

Posted by Sasha at 11:50 PM | TrackBack



Updates to this post: The Ui MP3 is up, and Jacob, the webmaster for Calabash Music, just sent us this note. (We haven't checked their site to verify any of this.):

"Regarding your critique of the site: I think you are absolutely right. I apologize for the current state of affairs. We launched about two weeks earlier than I would have liked to, due to Thomas Mapfumo's release. Things are very hectic, and after a week of all-nighters, we released something that was less than adequate. We fixed the speed issue and are currently working on the post-purchase help and playlist support."

Calabash looks potentially great. I look forward to speedy downloads and all the Mapfumo I can stand.

Posted by Sasha at 11:30 PM | TrackBack

April 09, 2005


Chinese Maria.JPG

Correspondent Katharine Mitchell concludes with this update and photo:

"This photo is from my school's 120th Anniversary Celebration. The writer Pearl S. Buck (The Good Earth) lived and worked at my school way back when, and I'm supposedly "continuing her legacy" and "building friendship bridges." I'm not sure how lipsynching the English words to a Chinese version of "Do Re Mi" qualifies as building bridges, but there I was dorking out as an American Maria with Chinese schoolgirls."

Posted by Sasha at 02:45 PM | TrackBack

April 08, 2005



There won't be many (or any) updates to the site between today and the 18th. When we get back, we hope to drop the following exclusives:

• Institutional Racism and Billy Squier's New Best-Of.

• The Centralized Job Retraining Program and Laurie Anderson.

• The Most Best Living Dancer, Monica Bill Barnes.

• Big Black and How To Succeed With Women.

• Racist Cab Drivers in Westport, Connecticut.

• Sprint's Digital Asset Expiry Period.

• A Child's Primer on Racial Politics and The Jewfro.

• Joe Carducci's Unfuckwitable Captions.

• Lice and Christo: Difference?

Please bug me about these items. You sit through a lot of crappy ephemera and deserve something decent.

To hold you, some sentences. The following two were written by Jay Babcock. The parenthetical made our week:

"Royal Trux was Jennifer Herrema and Neil Hagerty. They've split and tonight, it's Jennifer on her own with four musicians as "RTX" (he got the vowels)."

The following was written by one of our staff writers:

“’Kindergarten’ sounds like a boat in a harbor to me and ‘Bertucci’s' and 'Massachusetts’ sound like mail and ‘complicated’ sounds like a hook and ladder going through a tiny forest.”

(Also check over at Sticker Shock for treats.)

Posted by Sasha at 05:49 PM | TrackBack



I am glad that Pharrell is George Benson. I always liked that "On Broadway" song.

One of my musical heroes, Thomas Mapfumo, is going straight to the digital street with a new MP3-only album, Rise Up. I had a little trouble navigating the site, but I think I bought something. (UPDATE: The site is really slow and badly designed. I have no idea if I can actually access the files I bought. Sucky!)

A little to the east, reader Kataharine Mitchell writes from China, proving crunk is a universal state of mind:

"Now, every Sunday afternoon, I watch Peking opera in a cold, smoky theater no bigger than a Pentecostal chuch. The place is packed with old people—all Mao blue caps and quilted jackets—slurping tea from mason jars, smoking the Double Happiness, and spitting sunflower seed shells on the cool, concrete floor. The smells alone are intoxicating: struck matches, mandarin oranges, and the thick, colorful make-up best associated with Chinese opera and glam. The pipa player might doze off in the corner, but then a gong or erhu wakes him up. The old folks around me argue, in Chinese, whether or not I can understand the high-pitched warbling lyrics being sung by men dressed as women, or women as men. When loyal fans wave ten or twenty yuan notes, the performers adjust their elaborate wigs, or skillfully manipulate the long river sleeves of their exquisite silk robes to conceal their small fortune."

Or you can just stay home and ride to "808," by Big Boi, Bun B, Big Gee and Gee Rock, a track that didn't make it onto Speakerboxxx, did make it onto Got That Purp, and might make it onto Bun B's album, the lattermost tip courtesy of Joseph "Filmin' Sideways" Patel.

In 1997, Ui staged a meeting between an actual 808 and a fake Mapfumo. We called it "Blood In The Air." (Thanks to Nina Hale for the MP3.)

Posted by Sasha at 11:15 AM | TrackBack

April 07, 2005



1. Five tracks into a charity album that is nothing but covers of Bjork's "Army Of Me" and I am not bored.

2. The re-debut comeback Backstreet Boys single, "Incomplete," is a ballad. Have they ceded R&B entirely to Timberlake? R&B and pop? Are they going full-on AC to pre-adjust their demographic and end up closer to Elton, and further away from Mario, who they cannot defeat? Or are they saving a Rich Harrison track for pole position? How many were on Broadway? Did one of them kill somebody?

3. This new Benjamin Diamond album is good. Or, it's one of those albums that gets enough right it will take me a long time to realize I don't actually like it. Either way, taking the slow bits of Pink Floyd and the slow bits of England Dan & John Ford Coley (ed: Did either have any fast bits?) and then getting all exclusive bougie disco about it seems to work. That doesn't sound very appealing, does it?

Posted by Sasha at 05:09 PM | TrackBack



Subject line of an email I just received from a publicist: "There's no ignoring the John Butler Trio and Embrace!"

Posted by Sasha at 03:19 PM | TrackBack



My wife has had an interesting week:

MONDAY: Lost her purse in the morning on the W train. It was returned, cash and cards intact, later that day.

TUESDAY: Found an inch-long nail in her soup.

WEDNESDAY: Nothing much.

I have big hopes for today.


I thought yesterday's weather felt like what Elephant Man's "Yuh Nuh Badmind" sounds like. I don't know what that word is, but it's a synonym for "torqued up beyond happy to weightless." Also, when you get to the end of the song, it's not clear if Elephant Man has pulled off the Kenny Loggins sample, or simply bluffed his way through. When it comes to a pop song, is there a difference between the two?

I was really just calling to say hi, and that we've got our MP3 capability back. Sticker Shock will soon light up like yr gums at the dentist.

Posted by Sasha at 03:14 PM | TrackBack

April 06, 2005



[Music: Brendan Benson's "Spit It Out"]

"Wait, let me guess, Dad. This is The Beatles?"

[I'm not feeling this album, but that is the keeper. Nice one!]

"No, it's a man named Brendan Benson."

"Oh. Then forget it."

[Time passes.]

Oxford Collapse. Man, I love this band. They are so EP; everything sounds like an EP I love: Chronic Town, Signals, Calls and Marches, the 1982 Nightingales EP. All jiggling legs and "Shit! this is cool!" plucking and picking and banging with the windows open, instead of hipster-closed. Go to the "sounds" buffalo icon and download some MP3s, especially from the first July 2002 EP. Please, also, hack into all publications and replace words like "LCD Soundsystem" and "Kaiser Chiefs" with "Oxford Collapse." I want to see them on Cribs.

Posted by Sasha at 07:27 PM | TrackBack



I don't know what foolish thing I was doing on March 27th, but I managed to miss this Genuine Crazy Person piece published in The New York "Super Duper" Times. (I guess the whole "We're not scared of blogs" point has been proven.) And though Waldman's piece is so nutso that you feel like you've already read the parody piece by the time you've finished the original, you still need to read this.

(POT CALLING KETTLE BLACK CLARIFICATION: I can't fault Waldman's narcissism—all bloggers have it bad like that. And as for thinking selfishly, I will not throw the first stone. My reaction was something like what I felt about the Lewinsky blow job: "Damn, do your dirt, Mr. President, but wait until check-in at the Motel 6!" Waldman's decision to publish her particular set of statements in such a ginormous publication simply struck me as a really good way to get everyone mad at you, quick fast. A whopper of a puzzler, I am saying. And when the Times is still running perfect little pieces of straight reporting, all this flesh and first person stuff feels a little like Dad with the lampshade. No shame in being the Grey Lady, guys. You're not gonna trump Belle de Jour. And. That's. O.K.

Branching off, was Lewinsky the beginning of the Bush presidency? Not just as the moment when Gore lost (ask any sane Republicans you know—it just was, hands down) but when Bush conceived the No Shame strategy? "If Bubba can get blown, then impeached, and still carry on tra-la with his bad self, think of what we can do!" The Waldman piece feels of a piece with the No Shame ideology.)

Posted by Sasha at 04:11 PM | TrackBack



Have you been outside? Have you felt that fucking crazy life dust falling all over everything? Have you quit your job yet? God is giving a free concert today, everywhere, ALL OVER THE CITY. Go out—don't settle for the link tomorrow.

Posted by Sasha at 11:11 AM | TrackBack

April 04, 2005



"You will find this pretty interesting. Cotton candy seems to disappear very suddenly."

In 1975, you paid three bucks for a lanyard flashlight that you could spin around your head. The attraction was the little plastic door that flipped open and turned on the light. Everyone could easily hit everyone else in the head. In 2005, you pay eighteen dollars for one of three flashlight models. They spin multicolored bulbs and diodes, doing the anti-gravity work for you. It is almost impossible to hurt yourself, or someone else, with these lights, and they are wicked cool.


Posted by Sasha at 04:22 PM | TrackBack

April 03, 2005



Out with "True Grime," an article about grime and in with "Slow Fade," a column about Slint.

(Of course the Big Black thing isn't done. You expected that. And it's not so much about guitars that sound like table saws. It's mostly about dating.)

Posted by Sasha at 04:02 PM | TrackBack

April 01, 2005



When the Slint piece prints on Monday, I will post here about Wire's The Ideal Copy and answer a question Joe Gross asked me nine months ago:

"As Big Black is One Of The Bands That Changed My Life at the tender age of 14, a good year or so after they’d broken up, I’d always wondered how often Roland went ker-flooey, and what they did when it did."

Posted by Sasha at 09:00 PM | TrackBack


stationery neon sign.jpg

Is the instrumental for "Headsprung" in a Caress shower wash ad? Anyway.

Neighborhood update: Roger Rees is filming a film around the corner. A lady from Out Hud works at my kids' pediatrician's office.

There was a woman on the train Tuesday night carrying a platter of bagels home. A morning meeting, you're guessing, and she hung onto the leftovers. But there was no Saran Wrap over the platter, no attempt to make it roadworthy. The big plate was perched on her knee, like she'd taken it directly out of the building, never once thinking that at, like, 6 PM, a lot of people might be jostling her bagel arrangement. I couldn't watch, and got into another car.

The following are neither recent events, nor necessarily from my immediate area, but they feel related:

A man on the R playing a handheld cassette ambiently and writing rhymes in a notebook. (I thought we had machines to do that stuff.)

A pink Vespa with a beige suede seat parked, no lock, outside Subway.

A man biting into a Power Bar with the metal plastic wrapping still on, chewing the whole kit and kaboodle. Didn't see if he swallowed it all.

Woman walking down Thompson Street, watching her own breasts, once, then twice, in a supervisory way.

Posted by Sasha at 08:53 PM | TrackBack



Several friends and strangers have written, asking a variation on one question: "Why do you like that Beck album?" The implication is implicated. My story, though it should not be called that, goes like this: I loved the obviously great records; had more time for Midnite Vultures than my friends; loved "Nobody's Fault But Mine" off Mutations but might not recognize another song from that album; thought Sea Change never got anywhere and, for the most part, forgot dude existed for a couple of years. Then I got the new album, played it, kept playing it, and experienced no dimunition of pleasure. No—I liked it more each time. The sound quality, all by itself, makes the hairs on my neck stand up. I have no theory about his new place viz. his old place or what my opinion says about me or Beck. I am at peace with this.

WTF Deparment Update: "World Wrestling Entertainment® announced that movie superstar Sylvester Stallone will be on hand to induct legendary WWE Superstar Hulk Hogan into the WWE Hall of Fame on Saturday night, April 2, 2005. Stallone first met Hogan when he cast him in the memorable role of “Thunderlips” in Rocky III."

Posted by Sasha at 08:37 PM | TrackBack



Doe's set at Joe's Pub last night was a beautiful shock. I liked the new record, but couldn't tell where it came from. People make records, records make themselves, teams of astronauts make records. See cliché about laws, sausages: you have no idea who's done what. Seeing Doe in person, I got the feeling that the record came right out of his mouth, involuntarily, like he'd stubbed his toe.

Doe was 100% present, on some Danish health shit, just rugged and alive, using all of that gorgeous, wide voice. Sort of standard-setting. Doe is in the game, fully sunk-in, no matter how many movies he makes. Neko Case almost sang on "White Girl," but couldn't get to the stage fast enough. She did get on stage for "Highway Five," and Berry Gordy's "Money," which Doe dedicated to Donald Rumsfeld. Doe/Case disagreement about Doe's suggestion that maybe the wrong musicians have died, referencing the continued and puzzling existence of The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac. Neko thought this was a Stevie Nicks dis, but blog-style beef was averted through the magic of song.

Repaired to The Horseshoe, which was locked at midnight though people were inside eating and drinking (what?), so we went to Lakeside to watch the Conan performance. Learned that The Shirelles fucking rock, and that short women are not to be crossed. (Learned is the wrong word. Reminded, maybe.)

WTF Department: "The Young Gunz new single "Set It Off" will be featured in the next episode of "Desperate Housewives" airing this Sunday April 3rd at 9:00 pm on ABC!"

Posted by Sasha at 02:15 PM | TrackBack