Wednesday, March 31, 2010

keep an eye on the t-shirt rack


Big Star - Keep an Eye on the Sky (lala)

The coolest news is that my daughter found an official Daniel Johnston t-shirt in her size at a thrift store in town. She knows Daniel Johnston partially because of the "Hi, How Are You?" DJ-themed iPhone game she likes to play (she's playing it right now) and partially because her dad inundated her with his music while working on an article a couple years back. Months later she asked me, "Can we listen to that old man that sings like a teenager?" which, had it been available for swiping for my article, would've been my best line ever.

Right now I'm inundating her with Big Star for the same reason. I tried to ply her for a perfect line but no dice. I'll keep an eye on the t-shirt rack and maybe there's a Big Star shirt out there in my size (XL, in case you are looking to send me one.)

The second coolest news can be found in this week's Record Crate blog for 225, where I hype the screening of Still Bill, the excellent Bill Withers documentary at the Manship Theatre and the Mud-In celebration of Muddy Waters' birthday out at Teddy's.

Still Bill Trailer from STILL BILL on Vimeo.

the beginning corrupts

Alex Chilton - Like Flies on Sherbert
Pere Ubu with Sarah Jane Morris - "Long Live Père Ubu!" (lala)

I remember Like Flies on Sherbert being kind of a mess of a record at the time, but I think the Rhapsody accidental remix only messes it up further and accentuates the power of dischord. The glitch-blast of jazz disco at the beginning corrupts "Boogie Shoes" just as effectively as does the transformer meltdown guitars. There are other fuck-ups, like a bit of Bach piano showing up in another tune. None of these interruptions pop up on the lala version nor, if memory serves*, on the original. Maybe it's some hacker's joke, since nearly every memorial I've read makes mention of how much Alex Chilton loved Bach and how well he could play it. One hopes.

My outsideleft compatriot and rock writer Joe Ambrose wrote an excellent piece around "My Rival" blasphemously praising Chilton's later records in deference to the Big Star material.
An obituary in London's Guardian suggested that his solo post-Big Star work was second rate. I don't agree with this. I find Big Star's output to be Byrds-like (as opposed to being original) and sprinkled with substandard songs.
Byrds-like is not a dis in my book - the Byrds were excellent tour guides of the 60's and 70's deftly pointing out the beauty and the flaws and the beauty in the flaws, and that is what AC does quite pointedly all over Sherbert - but yes, yes, maybe, I dunno. I am working on my own Big Star re-visitation for elsewhere and am grappling with the actual vs. the revered vs. the third opponent of collective faked nostalgia.

Sherbert made me think of the corrupted pop of Pere Ubu, as did Perfect Sound Forever editor Jason Gross aka @JGrossnas's tweets from the confrontational (both internally and externally) performance of Ubu Roi by the band the other night.
Thomas channeling the real ubu character now, screaming & swearing at band- "I have to do everything myself!" #pereubu
A lot of people are laying down tracks that say Alex Chilton changed their life, and much as I love his music, I am not one of them. Alfred Jarry, the chicken-suit wearing, pistol-toting, asking-for-a-toothpick-on-his-deathbed-and-expiring-when-he-got-one, author of Ubu Roi, and godfather of all deliciously mad Frenchman and those who love them, did.

Pere Ubu the band had a big impact on me too, particularly this song.

* "if memory serves" would be such a better title for this post but I've already had to change it twice because of my scatter-gun metaphoric practices.**
** I warned you the footnotes thing would get out of control once I started reading
Infinite Jest.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My only hope is Kiefer Sutherland


Jónsi - Go (streaming at NPR)
Big Star - Keep an Eye on the Sky (lala)
Sun Ra and His Arkestra - Sun Ra and His Arkestra Playing "Horizon" (via ROOT BLOG)

Media announcements: My interview with justifiable populist darlings Vampire Weekend as well as a short profile about Bonnie 'Prince' Billy and his new album in preparation of his upcoming Preservation Hall appearance are online and in this month's issue of Offbeat.

In this month's Country Roads Magazine, I visit the Richard Sale Barn, an old cattle auction barn turned roots music venue in Arnaudville. It is one of the coolest places I've ever been. The photo above, of the Fellini poster next to the cow skull right by where I was sitting, is a perfect metaphoric talisman for this place. Here is a video of former Howlin' Wolf pianist Henry Gray performing "Little Red Rooster" on the stage where the auctioneer used to stand.

24 is the only show that only I in the house like, and I don't even really like it that much. It is the weak mongrel child of Wild, Wild West and a decade of cell phone commercials but it is still big fun. What is more fun is how my daughter has a running gag about trying to convince me that it is not running on any given Monday night. She'll try to trick me into missing it by saying the Olympics are on again, or instead there's "a show about man-eating babies" which I said sounded pretty good to me. I think she was more crestfallen than I was that it got canceled. My only hope is Kiefer Sutherland will "go rogue" to see the mission through in the space between television and life.

The Jónsi record is a jittery, twittery wonder of a thing, like a breathtaking surprise ending to the Neverending Story. When did NPR get hipper than us all? I have heard more good new music first from them in the past year than through my carefully maintained underground channels. Those guys should do a radio show!

Monday, March 29, 2010

the point of inquiry

Erykah Badu - "Window Seat" (video, NSFW, click on the ankh)
Breaking Bad (website)
David Foster Wallace - Infinite Jest (Amazon)
The Fall - Your Future, Our Clutter (out soon)

The new Erykah Badu video is at the node connecting Maya Deren, historical appropriation, Shawn of the Dead, fine-assedness of the booty, and quick draw conceptualism. In other words, a few of my favorite things. The Fall is that mangy, barking dog that makes my hair stand on end no matter how many times I pass that yard. On the fence of that yard hangs one of Badu's discarded garments.

I'm guessing no one watches Breaking Bad because it either looks boring (it does a little but it isn't AT ALL) or you don't want to bone everybody on there (anybody) or you hate everybody on the show (you're supposed to) or you don't watch TV (good for you) but it is the best thing on TV right now, occupying a similar node of high art, camp, and mirror sharpness that I can't quite get my metaphor around.

I should put all this into a spreadsheet like I suggested most of the science fair kids do with their projects this afternoon. The good ones realize that the point of inquiry is not to know but to find out what else you find out.

Infinite Jest took a surprising turn toward the sweet around page 190-something, which kinda saved me from putting it down. It was starting to seem like a elaborate and artful scaffold around the Emptiness Inside, but no, there is life squirming around in there.

Edited to add: There's a ballad on the new Fall album, like a convincing one. That is a surprising turn toward sweetness.

I want to be Dee D. Jackson's backup singer.

Dee D. Jackson - "Automatic Lover"

20 SciFi Disco Videos That Were Made By Insane People (link)

I want to be Dee D. Jackson's backup singer and watch her fly around like a dove from within my robotic shell. You say insane, I say visionary. For instance, this is what's it gonna be like in my house all the time in the future, applause included.

The Droids - "The Force'

And if you want to know how I stay so fit...

Koto - "Jabdah"

OK I'll stop. It does bring me once again to the greatest all-time synthesizer medley from the 1985 Grammys featuring Thomas Dolby, Howard Jones, Stevie Wonder, and Herbie Hancock. I do plan, in the future, to control things with touch pad portables while wearing an Amadeus wig, along side Stevie Wonder if he's down.

sausage, dinosaurs, and the scientific method

(1) My official birthday portrait from Maya. (2) I broke out the infinite boogie machine from its case (3) to pry open my third eye on the eve of my 41st birthday. There is no quibbling allowed as to when things start now; I am officially in my forties, which is fine by me. I can't wait until I can start wearing those kick-ass cable knit sweaters and loafers all the time. Fortified by a sausage, cheese, and jalapeño kolache from Ambrosia (4) ,we high-tailed to the Audubon Zoo, that place where famously you were "aks'd" for by all, and almost got eaten by awesome animatronic dinosaurs (5). We flaunt our geographic privilege and new car by hopping over to New Orleans two days in a row. Then back home for (6) homemade goat cheese and sausage pizza and (7) a stellar strawberry cake also from Ambrosia. Today, on the real day, I get to perform my favorite ansillary work task, judge the state science fair (8). It is a lucky man whose life is filled so richly filled with sausage, dinosaurs, and the scientific method.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The gravy on the fries is the same roast beef


Suicide - The First Album (lala)
Alex Robinson - Too Cool to be Forgotten (Amazon)
Uncle Tupelo - Anodyne (lala)
Wilco - A.M. (lala)

To all, but particularly Lori, poutine queen of Los Angeles, behold! The fries with gravy at Parkway Bakery & Tavern in New Orleans, with the equally mindbending roast beef poboy behind it. This meal quickly becomes a crime scene. The gravy on the fries is the same roast beef. Repeat that sentence as your new mantra. Jerri and I set out on a day of museum-going, but after this we decided to motor back on the belly of this wondrous carnage.

Underneath are the farmer's market bounty of near-translucent creole and grape tomatoes and an orgy of strawberries.

I walked the dog to Suicide this morning and thought a John Waters-suburbia fetish video would be perfect for this music. Mink Stole taking out the trash. Patty Hearst walking a terrier.

I'm sure a million others share this sentiment for a million reasons: Uncle Tupelo should have never broken up. They could have grown apart/together in the stupid auspices of a stupid band and pushed and pulled in their own directions. My wife rightly points out they sound like angels on Anodyne.

Not that Wilco is exactly a slouch band in my opinion. I salute their nebulous expansion, but man, nothing sounds as good as their first record on the highway.

To the careful reader that sent me the little balls of jasmine green tea, thanks! Your taste, like the tea, is impeccable!

Friday, March 26, 2010

good ideas

Sigur Rós' Jónsi performing "go do" with Nico Muhly (above, via Pitchfork)
Gorillaz - Plastic Beach (lala)
The prospect of Joe Bonomo's blog
Efterklang - Magic Chairs (lala)
Brainticket - Adventure (lala)

The pairing of baritone ukulele and minimalist keyboards are among the many good ideas I came across this afternoon. Have a good weekend.

Happy Birthday, Miss Nell!

In the endless list of why I love it here, this is the second staff birthday party I've stumbled onto at Zeeland Street Market in the last month. In order: the birthday girl about to add my contribution to her birthday money, right after shouting "Put some music on! It's a party!"; the cake and balloons; the sign outside; and the grilled black drum with mango salsa, cornbread and black eyed peas. Zeeland's happens to have the best lunch plates in town, but I'd eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich just to bask in the presence of Stephanie and Stacy and Miss Nell and the rest of the fine soul-food-cookin' women up in that place.

You should do the work

David Foster Wallace - Infinite Jest (Amazon)
eighth blackbird performing Rzeweki's Coming Together
(lala, via aworks)
Big Star - Keep and Eye on the Sky (lala)

Ooh, I like Coming Together.

There is something about declarative, dramatic text repeated over undulating chamber music that turns on the warm light in the back of my head. I've never heard this piece before but am quite familiar with the other two of aworks Robert's repeated text trinity. Come Out might just make you sprout tentacles if listened to in the right circumstances.

One day I hope to unearth the cassette containing the version of Lucier's I Am Sitting In a Room that I did with a couple of those old portable tape recorders in an apartment bedroom so long ago. My version did no go as smoothly as Lucier's, whose scientific acoustic poetry is as even and perfect as the sine waves off his oscillators. Mine stayed a mush of slightly muddier re-recordings through about 10 iterations until either my frustration took physical form or the feedback of the room finally took hold. The noise came in a sudden rush, overtaking my variation on his words and my shoddy interpretation of his methods to become the cosmos' hum. It was a beautiful thing.

I had an idea about writing a small book partially about Alvin Lucier, still have the idea actually. I wrote the composer to inquire about his interest in participating and he responded with one of the best suggestions I've ever gotten:
Dear Alex, I have lost interest in being interviewed for books and articles. It seems to me that you could study my work and write something more interesting that I could relay to you. You should do the work. I never say anything that seems complete and true.
Cordially, Alvin Lucier
Speaking of iterations and diminishing returns, my first day is Infinite Jest resulted in my reading 107 pages, which is a lot for my slow ass. Last night I only got through 30 more and felt confused and a little Sisyphean considering there are 900 more to go. The bell curve on that small sample of data points requires a near-infinite scope for Infinite Jest. But I do want to read it, partially because I want to read David Lipsky's Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace (Amazon) after, about traveling with DFW on the last leg of the Infinite Jest promotional tour, as detailed by The Awl. It sounds like a hoot, or what I might think of as a hoot.

Keep an Eye on the Sky is continually revelatory, like their live version of the Flying Burrito Brother's "Hot Burrito #2" which manages to slightly unravel what two different mythologized legends are all about a little.

The camellias are on their way out for the year; better catch them while they're here.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

50's postcard pretty

Mose Allison - Back Country Suite (lala)
Drive-By Truckers - The Big To-Do (lala)
Titus Andronicus - The Monitor (lala)

I get that his deal is a tug-o-war between the formal and rustic, but the songs on the new Mose Allison record, at an eagle's view, seem like the sort of thing a Mose Allison could dash off in a laugh, and maybe that's the point and I either want the point sharper or blunter than it is. I'm putting down this No. 2 pencil and drawing some ink from the source to work it out. On their new record, Drive-By Truckers cut that tug-o-war rope and tie it to that sourapple tree from which Robert E. Lee is hung on the Titus Andronicus record so they can swing out from the bank and go flying into the river.

Or maybe it's just too 50's postcard pretty here in the bottom part of these United States to really put much thought into records. Or anything.

llamas are the universal symbol of confident tastemakers

The Bird & the Bee - Interpreting the Masters Volume 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates (lala)
The High Llamas - Snowbug

This Hall & Oates rehash record is the kind of record I tend to hate from the conceptual level up, hate even more upon listening and that some key Tipping Point tastemakers in my circle latch onto and love and make everybody else love it and after hating it for so long I'm finally worn down into being into it. Like the masters say, "I don't wanna play, don't wanna play those games no more, no" so I tear down the walls of hate and open the gates of acquiescence. And I just listened to the whole thing. Plus what's-her-face, the Bird (I guess) sounds hot in this kind of Casio Karaoke environment.

The magnolia tree depicted above is in a circle of it's own. In the very back, by the house, you can see the ceramic llama in these people's yard. Ceramic is "soft rock" in a way and everybody knows llamas are the universal symbol of confident tastemakers, so that ties everything up in a tidy little circle.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

pushing the blues agenda

Various Artists - The Road to New Orleans Blues Vol. 2 (lala)

In the foreground, the jerk chicken special at Zeeland Street Market; in the back, the chicken and dumplings. In either can redemption be found, as can in Champion Jack Dupree and the Shreveport Home Wreckers.

I have been on a blues and death kick lately, perhaps because both are in the air come spring, along with the pollen, flower petals, the color green and the hormonal groan of the earth. In this week's 225 blog I briefly mention the passing of Alex Chilton and Marva Wright but focus my attention (ant try to focus yours) on the blues of now and the blues of the future, and push the agenda a little. I dig the Baton Rouge Blues Festival poster this year.


Marva Wright - Glitter Queen
Johnny Ace - The Complete Duke Recordings (lala)

Sometimes the light and the flowers and the walk and the tiny lens all cross hairs on something spectral and wondrous.

RIP Marva Wright, blues queen of New Orleans who I've had the pleasure of seeing a couple times over the years and though its been over 50 years, RIP Johnny Ace, whose death is of dubious legend. From witness Curtis Tillman's own obituary in Real Blues Magazine:
Curtis got somewhat exasperated when the ridiculous ‘Russian Roulette’ story was brought up and despite both his and Big Mama Thornton’s eyewitness accounts of the shooting the Major Media still promotes the erroneous demise of the Great Johnny Ace. “I will tell you exactly what happened! Johnny Ace had been drinking and he had this little pistol he was waving around the table and someone said ‘Be careful with that thing…’ and he said ‘It’s o.k.! Gun’s not loaded…see?’ and pointed it at himself with a smile on his face and ‘Bang!’ – sad, sad thing. Big Mama ran outta that dressing room yelling ‘Johnny Ace just killed hisself!”

A co-worker just sent around a notice that St. Mark, the guy that picked up our deliveries to and from the printers, passed away and said "May the souls of the faithfully departed rest in peace" which is lovely way to put it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Harry Nilsson tidbit

Maybe y'all all knew this Harry Nilsson tidbit: both Mama Cass and Keith Moon died four years apart in the same room in his London apartment. From Wikipedia:

London flat

Nilsson's 1970s London flat in the building at 12 Curzon Street on the edge of Mayfair, was a two-bedroom apartment decorated by the design company that ex-Beatle Ringo Starr and Robin Cruikshank owned at that time. Nilsson cumulatively spent several years at the flat, which was located near Apple Records, the Playboy Club, Tramps disco and the homes of friends and business associates. Nilsson's work and interests took him to the U.S. for extended periods, and while he was away he lent his place to numerous musician friends. During one of his absences, ex-Mamas and Papas singer Cass Elliot and a few members of her tour group stayed at the flat while she performed solo at the London Palladium, headlining with her Torch Songs and "Don't Call Me Mama Anymore." Following a strenuous performance with encores, Elliot returned to the flat to relax and sleep and was discovered in one of the bedrooms, dead of heart failure, on July 29, 1974.[1]

On September 7, 1978, The Who's drummer Keith Moon returned to the same room in the flat after a night out, and died from an overdose of chlormethiazole, a prescribed anti-alcohol drug.[1] Nilsson, distraught over another friend's death in his flat, and having little need for the property, sold it to Moon's bandmate Pete Townshend and consolidated his life in Los Angeles.

Here is the Google Street View. (Address provided by the Shady Old Lady of Old London)

View Larger Map

Interior photo ganked from Another Nickel in the Machine. Click to delve further into Swinging, NSFW London.

trash truck basking in the sun

Serena-Maneesh - S-M2:Abyss In B Minor (out 3/23)
Drive-By Truckers - The Big To-Do (lala)
Brother Tyrone - Mindbender

I can't decide if Serena-Maneesh are the mildly delinquent children of post-ABBA or The Jesus and My Yo La Bloody Tengotine. Maybe it's Zombie Bacharach vs. Stereolab, winner gets an IKEA shopping spree. Like the above photo, it is a trash truck basking in the sun. I like it very much. Official and useful hyperbole about DBT and Brother Tyrone forthcoming.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Swirling complexities

Various Artists - Fihavanana – A Collection Of Field Recordings And Photography From Madagasikara – Mississippi Records #061 (ROOT BLOG)
Pere Ubu - "Ubu Overture" (ANABlog)
Oneida - Oneida: March 19, 2010 Knitting Factory (NYCTaper)

The rippling strum of this Madagasikara music, with the light, almost listless then suddenly hyperkinetic singing (on sides C and D) over it is as sublime as possible. Oneida deals in an effect-pedal-art-student-jam-rock similar. Pere Ubu deals strictly in Ubu matters. Swirling complexities one and all. My swirling laundry is above.

Party at The Munsters' house (in Spanish)

The Standells - The Live Ones
The Hold Steady - "Hurricane J" (Pitchfork)
The Delta 72 - The Soul of a New Machine
The Who - The Who Sell Out! (lala)

The Standells playing "Come On and Ringo" at a party at The Munsters' house (in Spanish)

The Delta 72 - "Up in the High Numbers"

The Who - "Hall of the Mountain King"

star-eyed children of the Rocket Age

Breaking Bad (official site)
Harry Nilsson - Knnillssonn (lala)

We have National Geographic maps and inserts up all over the house. The one above hangs in a window allowing the astronauts and star-eyed children of the Rocket Age (of which I am one) to peer back through the earth from moon. The most profound result of arguable folly is perspective. It looks like one of those dense Rauschenberg Stoned Moon prints, among his best work in my opinion.

Robert Rauschenberg, Local Means, via the Kemper Art Museum

Harry Nilsson similarly peered back at the world through a stoned moon.

I'm going to go out on a limb and be optimistic about the health care bill. I don't believe it will immediately fix things and in fact it will likely jack some things up in the interim before it does but, man, it feels like we actually live in a democracy. America dared to do something! Something controversial! Maybe even short-sighted and reckless, maybe it will save us all. It's a great moment for everybody to feel the wind in their sails, even if you are using your heart as a rudder and your faith as a compass and a blanket for a sail. Harry Nilsson and all of us moon children approve.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

5 things about Infinite Jest

I'm on page 95, not yet remembering to put the Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment on checks, so I imagine plenty will be revealed. Here are a few impressions.

• So much more readable than I thought it would be. Also funnier.
• He will footnote the life out of abused prescription drugs, but not anti-depressnts. Some drugs are boring medicine and some medicines are covetable drugs.
• I wonder the meaning of single quotes as the primary voicing mark. DFW was, from what I gather, into the precision of syntax so maybe the enormity is being related by an unseen conversationalist as opposed to an omniscient narrator.
• Big surprise that a 1000+ page book, so far, revolves largely around pot.
• I started this out on Kindle/iPhone and thought the hyperlinking of footnotes and the favorable weight ratio btw my phone and a 1000+ page book would make it a great candidate for e-media, but it's better on paper with the fussiness of two bookmarks and the pretentious gusto of its heft.

I don't know if it's related, but just as I started reading the paper and ink version, I'm suddenly again into the Damient Hirst-themed teapot I got on sale at Urban Outfitters last year.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Future

I caught these two looking at The Future while leaving the grocery store last night.

Those same two are among those in The Distance.

All of us are out here behind the camera in The Velocity.

Friday, March 19, 2010

that particular what

Buddy Guy & Junior Wells Blues Band - Live from Newport Folk Festival, 1968 (Wolfgang's Vault)
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy & the Cairo Gang - The Whole Show of the World (out 3/23)
The Unthanks - Here's the Tender Coming (also out 3/23)
Various Artists - Mississippi Records Tape TLC Vol. 1: Men With Broken Hearts (ROOT BLOG)

All the above is top notch, especially that Buddy Guy/Junior Well concert, but Mississippi Records Tapes are what it's all about. That particular what is obscured, but they are nonetheless all about it. This edition is comprised of country music at the unknowing verge of Monty Python arrived at by the dustiest of psychic trails. Happy Friday, fellow cowpokes of the abyss! Accept any of the hangtooth hardlegs depicted above your avatar and yodel your heart into those starry skies that do nothing but take and take and then disappear.

check out the "begats"

The Magnetic Fields - Realism (lala)
Adam Green - Minor Love (lala)
McSweeney's The San Fransisco Panorama (their site)
R. Crumb - The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb (Amazon)
Dinner at Herbsaint
Spoon @ the Republic, New Orleans
Drive-By Truckers - The Big To-Do (lala)
Director Series Vol. 1: The Work of Director Spike Jonze (Amazon)
The Sugarcubes - Life's Too Good (lala)

Not a bad night at all. Spoon was good as they always are but the Republic still has those crazy Y-posts it had back in their days as the Howlin' Wolf, when you couldn't see a damn thing. The shocker was arriving at 11 or so expecting the rock o'clock opening act of Deerhunter to be just winding down but no, Britt Daniels was putting his camera on, a sign things were approaching encore territory. Evidently the Republic gets the nasty business of musicians with instruments out of the way by midnight so that it may go dance party which is A-OK fine with me. Let the masses wanting to embrace their inner and outer Jersey Shores have the witching hours. The thrill of coming back from a 2-3 AM finish in New Orleans is gone for this concertgoer.

The real stars of the evening were (1) the excellent books always laying around my good friends George and Vassar's place. They are McSweeney oriented and book store connected, so they had the latest issue which is a gorgeously laid out newspaper, complete with magazine, sports page, book review, ads, comics, etc. Totally brilliant idea, and of Louisiana interest, on the first page of the magazine section was a dispatch from Montegut, LA, down the bayou from my home town of Houma. Most folks from Houma don't even go to Montegut unless they are going fishing, so it warms my heart that the tentacles of bookish San Fransiscans managed to reach it.

G&V also had the R. Crumb Genesis which is a thing of obsessive wonder. Just go check out the "begats."

The other star (2) was the housemade spaghetti with guanciale and fried-poached farm egg at Herbsaint, pictured above under Spoon, before and after sullying the egg. Yee-ha, y'all, bring on the small plates revolution if this is what it's like. One of the best things I've eaten in ages.

After the show, there was a wind-down with a DVD of Spike Jonze videos including this one for "It's Oh So Quiet" for Björk (please allow embedding, people) which made me realize I wrote two completely different articles referencing the Icelandic pop star in different contexts. Björk was as omnipresent in my day as was the death of Alex Chilton.. I don't know if Björk ever did a Big Star song - I'd recommend "Kangaroo" if she's into it. Icy loner supergroup This Mortal Coil did it with Gordon Sharp of the long forgotten Cindytalk.

They also did other deceased Big Star-er Chris Bell's "You and Your Sister" with Kim Deal and Tanya Donnelly.

The ride home was bellowed out with the Sugarcubes' first record, which reminded me what rockers they kinda were back then, like we all were.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

reason the Deep Ones have

Van Der Graaf Generator - Still Life (lala)
itsnotyouitsme - Fallen Monuments and Walled Gardens
H. P. Lovecraft - "The Call of Cthulhu"
H. P. Lovecraft and Willis Conover - Lovecraft at Last (Amazon)
Various Artists - Takoma Eclectic Sampler

My phone is taking all goddamn day to sync and I was thereby forced to brave my lunch hour naked, unconnected. It was a tether-be-damned spacewalk. I did, unaided by technology, find an unmolested copy of "The Call of Cthulhu" for whatever reason the Deep Ones have in making me seek it out, as well as a collage-y book from 1975 involving a guy's teenage correspondence with the famed fantasy author. In the forward of Lovecraft at Last, Conover claims to have gotten the idea to write the book after eavesdropping Lovecraft's name from hushed jury duty conversations and regaling his stunned co-jurors with his loose relationship to him. Hm. Leafing through, it's full up with reproductions of lecture programs and the madman of Brooklyn's handwriting and very 1975 redefine-the-book, which is my kind of thing. A pre-blog blog, ego meeting layout on the field who-cares-if-you-care. I do! I'd show you, but my phone is my camera and that sync bar might be moving backwards now.

A Second Date with a Marsalis

These are companion photos to a rare mid-month Country Roads piece I wrote about my night out last week with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.

In order: the Orchestra from the sidelines during rehearsals; the "IberiaBank-tini" (for you mixologists out there: vodka, blueberry juice, vanilla extract, splash of Patron, blueberries); the braised crispy pork belly with lemon preserve, mango chutney and an apple vinegar beet reduction appetizer at Stroube's Chophouse; the grilled tuna served on a warm spinach salad with toasted garlic, lima beans, and cherry tomatoes; the view from my seat, better than this picture implies.

Read on for the gory, deconstructed details.