Thursday, June 30, 2011

hey, we all give off light now

Tuesday night over the pool.

The Records, Smashes, Crashes, and Near Misses
Raspberries, Fresh
Love & Rockets, Express and Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven
Roddy Doyle, "The Hens" from the forthcoming McSweeney's 38 via the McSweeney's app
The Red Bulletin, (iPad magazine)
Valencia (iPad magazine)
Kevin Brockmeier, The Illumination
Wilco, "I Might" from their website
Crocodiles, Sleep Forever
The Jesus and Mary Chain, Honey's Dead
The Cure, 4:13 Dream

  • Reading: Day bleeds into night into day again with this playlist, the light pouring out of each little laceration like in The Illumination. I'm just into it; I like how he demonstrates how easily we would work into our routine something as shocking like hey, we all give off light now. Weird... Roddy Doyle's story in the forthcoming McSweeney's (available on their app) is a hoot. Is he always like that? I've never read him but am pre-immersing myself in Modern Irish for a trip this Christmas and thought he might be the one to turn to.

  • Publishing: And speaking of reading, the Red Bulletin is trash; exquisite, enthralling trash. Essentially an iPad eMagazine aCronym/a giant Red Bull ad. It is also a hoot. It is the shallow-men's-magazine-you-leaf-through-at-the-barber-shop of the future! And it's free, which I mean, it is a giant Red Bull ad, so there is the spiritual cost...

    Valencia magazine, a breezy lifestyler for Santa Clarita, CA, uses a similar engine with lower production cost/values uses the same engine I think as the Red Bulletin to rather interesting effect. Local magazines of America, including some I write for, you might want to look into something like this. If you are interested enough to download further, they do some interesting and simple things with rich media and I like how the ads all have a pull-down thingie for social media access. Social media hooks should be accessible but hidden away, like cleaning supplies or extra toilet paper; we all know you have them now - no need to leave them on the counter. I dunno; I'm embroiled in a web design project and right now every time I see a little white bird in a rounded square, I want to yell Pull! and have the site chuck it like skeet into the air so I can blow it to bits with a shotgun. Maybe Guns & Ammo has a cool appAzine with that feature.

  • Writing: In this week's Record Crate for 225, I discuss Joe Adaranga, Gillian Welch, Flatbed Honeymoon and bid sweet ol' Teddy's Juke Joint a happy 33rd birthday!  In this month's Country Roads, I dig into the introduction of  molecular gastronomy and modernist cuisine in Baton Rouge's  culinary playing field and talk about my buddy Richard's great YouTube videos about the early days of swamp pop. Here's one:

  • Eating: My wife's beef stroganoff is peerless but when we ate up the noodles and I spooned some onto a piece of oatmeal bread, it rode the shit-on-a-shingle magic carpet all the way up to heaven.

  • Listening: How come y'all never told me about Crocodiles? I mean, a squillion PR people did but they tell me about everything. But from y'all? Nothing. I'm here to tell you: Crocodiles is right on.

    Crocodiles, "Groove is in the Heart"/"California Girls"

    Man, I loved Love & Rockets. One week in 1987 I saw L&R (then my favorite band) with Janes Addiction (then and now my least favorite band) opening at Tipitina's on a Wednesday night and then U2 (then former favorite band but still liked them) in all their Rattle & Hum glory on Thursday, Thanksgiving no less. Still one of the best concert weeks ever.        

    Whoever it was that slipped a drum machine (or drums that sounded like them) into the Jesus & Mary Chain's junk supply should be roundly beaten every November with a worn out copy of Psychocandy. Why not just kill the band rather than give the band the tools to kill themselves? But then, that's how drugs kinda work, I guess.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

power pop consciousness

Yet-DIY'd detail of Rauschenberg's Poster for Peace. 1970. Poster collage of photos and images. Up now at the LSU Union Gallery.

R.E.M., Collapse Into Now
The dB's, Repercussion
Dwight Twilley, The Luck
exhibit at the LSU Union Gallery
Squeeze, The Complete BBC Sessions
  • One of my co-workers is working on his net-casting skills; said when he throws a net it looks like a "sack fulla assholes". If I ever put together a slim volume of edgy, symbolist poetry, I'm taking that for the title.
  • All about Dwight Twilley today. He's one of those guys that lives at the edge of your power pop consciousness if you have one.  Sure, some of his songs sound a little like Ratt, but then I kinda liked Ratt. I came of age in the mid-80's in an uncool place so things were not so cut 'n' dried. I had a B&W Ratt poster on the wall in my teenage bedroom next to the giant R.E.M. one for Lifes Rich Pageant and the lifesize Iggy Pop from Blah Blah Blah. We kinda took what we could get from the Record Bar at the mall. I'm pretty sure I bought both Screaming Blue Messiahs and Coil's The Anal Staircase EP from the same bargain tape bin on one trip. What I'm saying was, I'd've been all into Dwight Twilley too if someone had just put him in my hands.

    Dwight Twilley, "Remedies"

  • I always wonder with interactive pieces like Rauschenberg poster up there: does anyone ever takes the artist up on his or her offer to add to a work? I bought a poster from Howard Finster while he was still alive. He recommended I color it in and of course I haven't done that. I've instead let it grow brittle unframed in a closet, ruining a perfectly good piece of art in a manner befitting my own personal aesthetic.
  • This collaborative piece was also at the LSU Union Gallery. Super obvious, badly lit, but still effective.

    Brad Jensen, Untitled. 2009. Acrylic paint on wooden door + Marc Fresh, Untitled. 2009. Acrylic paint on wooden door + Jonathan Mayers, Untitled. 2009. Oil paint on wooden door.

    Jensen is the local Shepard Fairey with his ICON brand and befezzed Capt. Kangaroo guy. I think I've seen some graffiti by Fresh; I register that big pink face as such, but my favorite part of the whole thing is the black/blue star with the eye in it. It's like the mark of the Ghetto Masons, which might not be too bad of a band name. I'm unfamiliar with Mayers' work but admire how he was willing to de-exquisitize the corpse a little by utilizing a different medium and not sticking so heavily to the script. Those three black lumps against the red at the bottom of his panel make me think of the silhouetted seats in Mystery Science 3000; in fact that penis/plant cropping out of one of them could be a robot. If that's what it is, bravo! MST3K is an excellent reference on the nature of collaboration.
  • Would John McIvor be offended if his Le Promenade made me think of bubblegum angrily smeared on a picture of flowers; an innocent's quick revenge against tyranny? Would Squeeze be offended if I said the same of their 1977 material on The Complete BBC Sessions? I mean both in the best possible way.

    John McIvor, Le Promenade. 1960. Oil on canvas.

    Squeeze, "The Knack"

Monday, June 27, 2011

Sputnik noises

Joe Adranga and Lee Barbier at Haven Gallery, Baton Rouge
Louis Maistros, Anti-Requiem: New Orleans Stories
Brigitte Fontaine, Brigitte Fontaine Est...
Saliva Staib's paintings at the Glassell Gallery
Mood Rings of Saturn at the Hartley Vey Studio, Baton Rouge
Clash of the Titans
Belle & Sebastian, The Life PursuitThe Byrds, Younger Than Yesterday
Flowered Up, "Weekender"

The Charlatans UK, Up to Our Hips
Gillian Welch, The Harrow & the Harvest (twice) and Time: The Revelator
  • I forgot about this one. I like the Sputnik noises. In general.

    The Byrds, "C.T.A.-102"

  • Nobody remembers Flowered Up except my friend Lee who remembers everything. We were talking about 80's bands that had a guy that just danced, like Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Happy Mondays and the Blue Aeroplanes. It's a trend that should be revived, I think, except do people really "have bands" in the same sense as they did then? Maybe if they had a guy that danced, a band would form around him like a reverse oyster/pearl dynamic.
  • I can't bring myself to listen to the whole of the new Bon Iver, especially when there is now a new Gillian Welch record around. Bon Iver clears the air the way one of those expensive Japanese ionizer things does; Gillian Welch does it in the manner of a spring breeze coming across a graveyard.
  • Plus, Say you wanna see my blue jeans hangin' on your ol' clothesline on Welch's "That's the Way The Whole Thing Ends." I'm not given to swooning over come-hither lyrics, but that one does it for me.
  • I never make it to "Acts of the Apostle II" on The Life Pursuit despite it being maybe my favorite pop record of the last 10 years. 

Friday, June 24, 2011


The jalapeño "kolache", technically a klobasnek, from Thee Heavenly Donut.

Tom Franklin, Cooked Letter, Crooked Letter
Owl City, All Things Bright and Beautiful
The Dixie Dregs, Night of the Living Dregs
Yo-Yo Ma,  Appalachian Journey
Can, Saw Delight
Talking Heads, Stop Making Sense
  • There are some jarring aggro moments among the brilliantly polished 'n' smoothed corners on the new Owl City record. I addressed Owl City on this as I drove Maya to art camp. I said, "OK, Owl City, I don't know if that's really you with all that shoutin'." and Maya added, "I know! You're more of a let's-go-to-the-ice-cream-store-and-then-go-get-hot-dogs guy, Owl City, not a crazy, 'Helter Skelter' shouty guy." The Force is strong in this one.

    Owl City, "Kamikaze"

  • I always have it in my head that the Dixie Dregs are Southern Rock par excellante when they instead are more of a Yes, y'all, fusion chamber wonk cabal. There's a part right here that sounds like Bernie Worrell's synth lines for Talking Heads' Stop Making Sense.  And now, a few minutes later, it's all a pissing-match fiddle/guitar hoedown battle for the Kountry Kozmos. Like that Yo-Yo Ma Appalachian record 'cept more co-caine.
  • Tom Franklin is so subtly good in Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter. Like at first, I felt this was like Mark Richard or Breece D'J Pancake without the lyrical high-wire (which was the best facet of Franklin's Smonk. I've kinda forgetten some of the plot points but will lug around some of those phrases for years to come.) until I realized it was 1:30 in the morning and I still wanted to keep reading. It's like standing up and finding out your body is drunker than your brain is and weaving around the debate over ordering just one more.
  • I have been listening to Can's Saw Delight off-and-on for two decades now and just got the joke in the title.

    Can, "Don't Say No"

  • It's been a while since I searched for myself on YouTube.

    Here I am winning the BBC Young Composers award for my piece "Owl, Hunting"

    and here I am dancing in the gym.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

burnin' 'n' doin'

Boom! Blew yr mind!

Neil Young (& the International Harvesters), A Treasure
The Grateful Dead, Dick's Picks Vol. 26: Electric Theater, Chicago, IL, 4/26/1969 & Labor Temple, Minneapolis, MN, 4/27/1969
The Flaming Lips, Embryonic
  • Yes shit, Sherlock! Totally into the new modern day BBC Sherlock Holmes franchise. I like how they are making Tim from The Office basically play Dr. Watson like he's Sting circa 1984. Remember when Sting was so serious? Like you believed he was that dude from that famous book by Nabokov that you hadn't read? Also how did they find a guy with an even more intensely Engerlish a name of Benedict Cumberbatch to play Sherlock Holmes? He's great at it, like a post-sexual awakening Matthew Gray Gubler from Criminal Minds, but still, BBC, you couldn't find a Sir Nigel Teakettle Wellington, third Earl of Gryffindor to plug into the cast?
  • Contrary to the likely unfair associations I project onto listening to the Grateful Dead, I am getting a shit-ton of work done with Dick's Picks Vol. 26 patchouli burnin' 'n' doin' that little spin-dance the background. A question to you Deadheads out there: don't you generally just want them to shut up when they start singing? Or does The Thing About Them soar past simple performance for you, and complaining about the singing is like saying you won't take the red one because you don't like how the capsule tastes?
  • I didn't like Embryonic the first time around but boxcarred in right after the Dead - isn't that pretty much how life works anyway, a train on which the departed precedes us on the tracks and the yet-born is linked to our rear coupler? - wait! I think I understand string theory now! I'm going to hold onto this moment before it passes...
  • OK, what I was going to say is that I didn't really like Embryonic that much the first time around even though it fits perfectly with the True Band Nature the Flaming Lips has attained at this point, and I like that nature, but not the manifestation of the nature. It's like being really into wolves until one gets in your house. But after the massive Picks of Dick collection, Embryonic is right on time - isn't that pretty much how life... this post is becoming a link to itself.

The Flaming Lips, "The Ego's Last Stand"

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

We should all hope for such a future

Super 8
Radiohead, Amnesiac
David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas
John Digweed, Structures Two
Faust, From the Frozen South
Sapat, Mortise and Tenon
Monoshock, Walk to the Fire
Acid Mothers Temple, Mantra of Love
Sunn O))), Black One
  • Super 8 is great! I hate movies and I love this one, so I don't know what that says exactly. You see it all coming, it is a shameless reshuffle of past Spielberg themes and tricks, down to floating bicycles. It is emotionally manipulative, laden with jaw-dropping effects - like I looked over at Maya during one stretch and her jaw was actually dropped. Total triumph of movie-going.
  • I feel the kinda the same about Cloud Atlas. See my Goodreads review
  • I missed my deadline for the Record Crate this week so, Baton Rouge: go see Rodney Crowell at the Red Dragon on Saturday, and maybe the singer-songwriter gods will time it so you can go see James McMurtry at the Spanish Moon later that evening.

  • Here is McMurtry's "Choctaw Bingo", the greatest song ever written.
  • The photo at the top of this post is of a photo on the wall of Jay's Bar-B-Q. We should all hope for such a future. And I would normally tell you to get the pork po-boy but I had a bite of the club sandwich and, dude. Club sandwich.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Goo Vader

Happy Father's Day from Goo Vader. Maya made goo at Harry Potter Camp and dug out the Star Wars pancake molds from a birthday long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away. I don't think she had any conscious context going here, but surely this isn't the first projection of Darth Vader imagery onto Father's Day.

Yesterday we waited for an hour to sunburn the holy hell out of ourselves at the new water park. They have a "lazy river" running through it, though a fella can pick up a fair speed on an out-of-control innertube and end up accidentally sticking ones feet on countless teenagers and moms conned into taking a bunch of kids to the water park. One Larry David moment after another. Once you ditch the innertubes and acquiesce to teeming humanity and the suns rage against out tender flesh, it's pretty fun. Killer snack shop. For real, much better than a local parks commission water park could get away with being.

Shit got real at the Quidditch match during the TWO AND ONE HALH HOUR closing ceremonies of Harry Potter Camp. I was afraid Stonedragon was gonna go all Vancouver on us if they'd lost. This was their seventh and last year - I guess it was one per book (tidy!) - and there were plays and wizard dueling battles and lots of heartfelt speeches. Harry Potter Camp is sweet as hell. I suppose I felt as strongly about Star Wars as kids feel about Harry Potter + there is a Nerd Power aspect to it that Star Wars eschews for tried-and-true Disney princess business, so cool. Two and a half hours, though.

Goo Yoda. Friday afternoon at the office I had to explain to someone who the Yardbirds were.

The Yardbirds, Five Live
The Who, Live at Leeds
Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Unknown Mortal Orchestra
David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas
Finding Bigfoot

We are, as a family, all about Finding Bigfoot on Animal Panet. Pulling for Bobo, Rusty and Ranae to get their squatch. Cloud Atlas is a dizzying pyramid of a novel withe a giant Illuminati/Sauron eyeball watching as you reach each summit and stare unbelieving at the climb to the next. Fatherhood is a little like all that.

Friday, June 17, 2011

talk "epiphany"

Nico Muhly, Seeing is Believing streaming at NPR
James Joyce, Ulysses
French soldier picking flowers during the Phoney War.

  • I started reading the free Project Gutenberg Ulysses today because it is Bloomsday, just like when I started it last year. And next year. I liked it better this year, if that counts for anything.
  • The best thing I read today, though, was about the Phoney War, a six-month period at the beginning of WWII where war was declared but fighting had yet to commence. The Germans called it der Sitzkreig. Oh, war puns.
  • I ate an insane gourmet foie gras "PB&J" for dinner as part of a story and ate a real PB&J for lunch. They both cast their own epiphanies.
  • An unrelated epiphany is that sometimes I hate writing, and then I do it and then I don't hate it as and then I write some more and hate it even less and sometimes I get to where I love it, and sometimes it's a zero-sum game.
  • We are supposed to talk "epiphany" when we talk Ulysses, right? Is that what it's about? Truth be told, I am more into the deep gibberish of Finnegans Wake and the perfect language of "The Dead" - I have a crow to pluck with you. That's a line that runs riverrun around everything else.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


This person was right by me! I wonder if they remember the skinny kid pressed against the rail separating the floor from the seats - he had FRANKLY in marker on his shirtless, skinny chest, MR. SHANKLY on his back. We gave him a tattered gladiola tossed our way from the stage.

Gillian Welch, Time (The Revelator)
Kim Richey, Glimmer
Emmylou Harris, Pieces of the Sky
Ryan Adams, Heartbreaker
Morrissey, Bona Drag and Your Arsenal

Wow, it's been a while since I've listened to Pieces of the Sky. Emmylou Harris wears "For No One" like a stolen raincoat in a downpour.

Media: The vinyl-obsessed, Fucked Up, And Heartless Bastards in this week's Record Crate blog for 225.

Transcribing. Evidently, I start every interview with "uh... OK!" like I just woke up to suddenly register my subject on the other end of the conversation.

We all need to be reminded of how good "To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High)" is.

I nearly deafened myself listening to tinny-ass Your Arsenal twice in a row, tinnier-assed by some knock-off earbuds on the downward slide, but so glorious. Mouthed every word in the bus. I saw Morrissey on this tour in the ruins of the State Palace Theatre and he was gladiola-smashing, Fat Elvis, rock ogre mesmerizing. It was all I could do to not tweet every line of "Glamourous Glue" in all-caps, @JennyHolzer style. WHERE IS THE MAN YOU RESPECT? AND WHERE IS THE WOMAN YOU LOVE? and LONDON IS DEAD! LONDON IS DEAD! LONDON IS DEAD!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas
Shape Shift HD
How I Met Your Mother
Fucked Up, David Comes to Life
The Byrds, Greatest Hits
Owl City, All Things Bright and Beautiful
Paul McCartney, Paul McCartney II
Morton Feldman, Neither

Charlemagne Palestine, Voxorgachitectronumputer

Cloud Atlas mentions the word amanuensis: certain persons performing a function by hand, either writing down the words of another or performing manual labour.

I've never watched Mother before some marathon running in the background last night while I finished up some articles and sure, I'm off the wavelength of the contemporary sitcom, instead tuned into bad reality TV and barely following HBO history/drama - I can better delineate the nuances among the clans of Real Housewives than I can the seven Kingdoms of Game of Thrones, though who isn't thrilled that Peter Dinklage gets a great role that is more about his voice than his height, and shit, when are the ladies all just going to be thankful to Luann for taking them to Morrocco - but, man, Mother is awful. Willow, Doogie, Andropolis - how can you do this? to us? to yourselves? You all once had a sense of how to do TV. Makes me glad I've never watched an episode of Three and a Half Men so Ducky can remain Ducky in my mind.

Trying to channel Maya's river of love for the Beatles into suitable tributaries is like waving those little orange directional cones at an approaching glacier. Go Left! No! Left!. Pointless. Whatever, the Byrds are so lovely and they came up in one of her Beatles books, so here it is.

"5D" is so good and it gets better when it gets cooking.

Has Los Lobos ever done a version of "So You Wanna Be a Rock 'n' Roll Star?" If not, may this utterance conjure it.

While getting my hair cut, the biker lady that does it and I were talking about cancer because that's what it's come too, talking about cancer at the beauty parlor, and the biker lady said, "It's a shame when the self no longer recognizes the self." Chew on that while you conduct the passage of ice floes and dream about being rock stars.

Morton Feldman's Neither, with text by Samuel Beckett

Sunday, June 12, 2011

5 images and quotes about Ana Mendieta and Carl Andre

  • Carl Andre, Lever, 1966, firebricks. Image from the National Gallery of Canada's website.

    "All I am doing," says Andre, "is putting Brancusi's Endless Column on the ground instead of in the sky. Most sculpture is priapic with the male organ in the air. In my work, Priapus is down on the floor. The engaged position is to run along the earth." Rhetoric aside, he denies emphatically that his work has even implicit sexual meaning. But as originally planned, Lever was not without sexual connotations, coursing through the doorway like a 34 1/2 foot erection. (Gregory Battcock, Minimal Art: A Critical Anthology.)

  • Ana Mendieta, 1972, from here.
    Carl Andre broke up with Ana Mendieta in a fury when she refused to turn down the Prix de Rome in sculpture and its yearlong residency in 1983. They got back together when he came to visit her in Italy. When she “went out the window” in 1985, Carl Andre showed the police officer who came to the apartment a catalogue of his work. He said to the officer, “Maybe I was wrong. She wanted to go to bed. I wanted to watch TV… I don’t know, maybe I should have gone to bed with her, if that’s what she wanted. In that sense, maybe I did kill her.” No one had asked if he killed her. He said, “You see, I am a very successful artist and she wasn’t. Maybe that got to her, and in that case, maybe I did kill her.” (Elizabeth Bachner, "June Again" from Bookslut.)

  • Ana Mendieta, Untitled (Body Tracks), 1974, Lifetime color photograph, 10 x 8 inches (25.4 x 20.3 cm);.Copyright of The Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection, courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York, NY. Image from here.
    It was through the gallery that Mendieta first came to know Carl Andre, when he served on a panel entitled, "How has women's art practices affected male artist social attitudes?" According to Griefen, many associated with the gallery at the time believed that as her relationship with Andre developed, her relationship with the gallery suffered, a feeling that culminated with her resignation in 1982. (Gillian Sneed, "The Case of Ana Mendieta" from Art in America.)

  • Carl Andre sculpture, image from here.
    She exposed awful truths about the art world in her work and after her life was cut short. She challenged racial and gender contexts by using the most simple materials possible — the ones that the earth provided and her own body. Dirt, mud, leaves — they were all part of how she identified her physical form — her skin, her body, and her self. (Coco, "Badass Ladies of History - Ana Mendieta" from Persephone Magazine.)

  • Ana Mendieta, image from here.
    (As he never applied color, he never had to renounce it.)


Friday, June 10, 2011

you may be right

Call of Atlantis HD
Thomas McGuane, Driving on the Rim
Jimmy Buffett, CMT Presents Jimmy Buffett & Friends: Live from the Gulf Coast

I heard that in years past, pigs were drawn into the slaughterhouses of the Chicago stockyards by hooks attached to their noses. A pig is a smart animal, but this placed the decision elsewhere. It was in this spirit I headed once more to White Sulfur Springs to pay a call on Jocelyn Boyce. (Ch. 14)


Napoleon said that if it weren't for religion the poor would kill the rich. (Ch. 15)

The library's Overdrive system up and deleted Driving on the Rim right out from under me upon the due date, or rather, made me delete it, as if it was teaching me a lesson. I had 4 more chapters to go but I'm OK with letting go at this late point. I felt the protagonist, approaching a trial for an event I kinda don't remember from the beginning of the book, should have likewise let it go and just enjoyed the sweet funny moments as they happened until they didn't happen anymore. Similarly, I loved almost every sentence of the book while feeling ambivalent about the coalescence. I'm thinking that's the theme.

Thomas McGuane, as it turns out, is Jimmy Buffett's brother-in-law. I believe James Claffey, who turned me onto this book to begin with, told me that fact and I'd forgotten it. James has his own new stuff up at The Nervous Breakdown that you should read. James was powerful figure in the little flower patches of a lit scene in Baton Rouge and has wisely upon graduation battened up for a life on an avocado farm in California. You'd be stupid if you didn't. James has a great Irish foghorn of a voice and you should read his words in one.

Anyway, it was Jimmy Buffett Nite at the pool tonight which consisted of a grill full a Cheeseburgers in Paradise and an interminable live concert CD, one that spares nary a second of stage banter, played through twice. I killed off a chapter of Driving on my phone as Jimmy trotted old Jesse Winchester and Allen Toussaint out for a second round.

I ran into friends at a performance of a contemporary folksinger type named Madeline at Vintage Vinyl, meeting up just at the Billy Joel section of the racks, and she of the friends said the best thing about getting older was how the field of what was acceptable in music was so wider now, and took some easy coaxing from me to buy a cheap copy of Glass Houses. You may be right; it's nice to be able to kinda love that dinosaur with impunity but also I'm not sure I'll find a moment on the timeline when I'll be all, "Jimmy Buffett's all right, ya know?" Maya called it "creepy old-person music" and I hope as I get creepier and older, my tastes grow so as well. It might be the pool fatigue talking, I may be crazy, but I kinda wanna write a 33 1/3 book about Glass Houses now. I've had worse ideas.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

one quick snakebite

I cropped out the reason the dog was allowed to be so cavalier with the snake.

Moon Duo, Mazes
My Morning Jacket, Circuital
Thomas McGuane, Driving on the Rim
Fucked Up, David Comes to Life
Oneida, Absolute II

Video Game Design Camp: I'm making teenagers make their own video games, which is like urging narcissists to ground their own mirrors. Some are bogging down in the details, others are attempting to be disruptive, a couple aren't sure if they know what they are doing. The full spectrum of teenaged life. Teaching them this is like saying, here is how your native language, that I don't really understand myself, works. Just as well, their insults are terrible.

I've never read Thomas McGuane before Driving on the Rim. I've read that his early ones, particularly Ninety Degrees in the Shade, are lacerations of America the way folks did it back in the 70's, and that his mid-career ones like Nothing But Blue Skies are lovelier, rhapsodic looks at Bein' Out West. He's also written a nonfiction book names Some Horses which sounds so corny it might just work. I've never read any of those, and I'm starting to feel like I may never finish this one, a book in possession of all these traits. It's one of those books where I'm loving every minute I read it, just not every day that it's taking me.

I feel that same way about every Oneida album I've heard, and will probably feel that way about this new one on the bus ride home. Mazes by Moon Duo is my favorite album of 2011. There is almost nothing there except for a glowing, perfect, ember of the campfire of rock and roll. It is like one quick snakebite: succinct.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

the under-the-overpass

My afternoon at Beauvoir Park, a private park owned by my friend Les, fundraising for WHYR. Sure, the photos are a little over-saturated but so perhaps was the photographer. I love how the under-the-overpass is aquarium-colored.

The hobo village under the overpass.

Polly Pry on the deck of the weird house-made-of-windows.

A peek into the bar.

The Front Brusly Swampers. For those not around here, Brusly (pronounced broo-ly) is a rural community across the river, traditionally split into Front Brusly facing the river and Back Brusly behind it.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

smiles await you when you rise

The Beatles, Abbey Road
The Beatles, Hey Jude
Thomas McGuayne, Driving on the Rim

Maya's record player came in. Playing records at the wrong speed is like commanding time, bending the three dimension by the bungee cord of the fourth + it's endlessly hilarious. The second Vintage Vinyl opened we turned $20 of her birthday money (Remember when you got birthday money? Me either.) into Hey Jude and any second now the UPS guy is gonna bring a vinyl copy of Abbey Road to our door. I'm picturing him sauntering up the yard like the boys do on the cover except suddenly finding himself caught in the spider web string between the camellia trees. Again. It is also endlessly hilarious.

You know what is also endlessly hilarious? When Maya and her friend do their impression of the growled smiles await you when you rise part of "Golden Slumbers". They have it down pat, as they should since they've done it straight for a week now, erupting in a cascade of giggles every time. They can't wait to get a hold of the album so they can do the smiles await you when you rise part AT THE WRONG SPEED! Imagine...

I wonder if some quantum event happens when something is endlessly hilarious, when a joke never gets old. Does time stop, or do your three physical dimensions stretch in a commiserate rate with time, kinda like how when two cars are moving at the same speed in the highway, they look like they're standing still? Except if they have spinners on the rims. Then I don't know what dimension that happens in.

I don't know what's up with me and the fourth dimension lately. It's like I got high for the first time and just thought it all out, man.

We went swimming and then to the lonely old Toys-R-Us for bike lights. I understand that most of the Toys-R-Us's in America are shuttered and ours feels like it is going to shut down while you are in the store, like the lights will snap off and the bored cashiers will just walk away and you and the six other people in the store will have to figure out how to get the formerly automatic doors to open. It will be a good practice for when the actual Rapture happens.

Anyway, it's been a while since we lingered in Toys-R-Us. We usually are grabbing something on the way to a birthday party or draining a gift card with something already worked out in advance. They got some weird stuff in there now, like the following:

This tableau re-enacting the gangsta rap/indie rock team-ups of the early 90's? The early struggles with gentrifying the forest to establish Smurf Village? I'm at a loss.

Arbeit macht Smurf.

At least Iggy Pop is not immediately racist, but who in Toys-R-Us wants this? Was Iggy a wrestler for a minute like Mickey Rourke was? They got a bunch of Iggies contorting away next to some forgotten WWE figurines. The record store should be selling these.

Then my wife made some killer chicken soup and we set our little bikes lights to blinking and cut across the golf course even though we're not supposed to and fuck 'em. We'll just bend time around the golf course fuzz if they show up or sic Hitler Smurf and Iggy on them.

Her record player also does 78s, so soon as I have the kind of evening a grown fella devotes to such nerdery, I'm going to make those YouTube videos I love, the ones of just a record spinning playing into the video camera's mic, of those old 78s that belonged to my step-grandmother. I played a couple yesterday afternoon and they sound great. The dusty static is the fourth dimensional connectors crackling suddenly to life, smiling as they rise.

Friday, June 3, 2011

God will notice in His Grand Periphery

Look how sweet the Nature looks reflected off the iPad! It's like Nature is its own app!

Thomas McGuayne, Driving on the Rim
The Shadows of Knight, Gloria
The Gurus, The Swing of Things
Hoodoo Gurus, Mars Needs Guitars!
Twilight Singers, Dynamite Steps
Richard Youngs, Airs of the Ear
My Morning Jacket, Circuital

  • iPad + wireless keyboard makes everything all better.
  • If they could just get normal websites worked out it would be even betterer.
  • Though now I'm wondering if I can switch between applications.
  • Typed out using the keyboard with my phone, emailed to myself and then plugged in here with that same keyboard:
    Ok now this is cool that I can do this in my iphone notes. I really could have typed my book on my phone though it would have looked a little ridiculous, though I suppose the future always looks a little ridiculous from the present. Look at those flashy jumpsuits with lightning bolts and and blinking lights and antennae and shit. Stupid, right? Not when you are on a space walk. Not when you are being bombarded by torrents of radioactive particles. Not when you are a talking money (Edited to add: Ha!) monkey,  hubristically augmented so that you can linger at the rim of The Singularity. What hilarious things that monkey is doing, God will notice in His Grand Periphery until He squints and sees His image in that little fishbowl helmet with the blinking lights and the antennae. Then it won't seem that ridiculous. Then Everyone will be All, What have I/they/We done?
  • Using things the way you are supposed to use things is easy. Using them in any other way involves being an expert circus juggler, which looks cool, or being a bumbler who has to learn to juggle right there in front of everybody, which is less cool.

untitled poem for Friday morning, June 3, 2011

Wine is red

Poison is blue

Strychnine is good

For what is ailin' you

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Is that a cucumber on your vine?

Yes, but I'm happy to see you as well!

Robert Pete Williams, Freight Train Blues
Belle and Sebastian, Tigermilk
Lambchop, I Hope You're Sitting Down
Flatbed Honeymoon, The Traveler
Nick Lowe, The Impossible Bird

Media: My interview with Tim Butler of the Psychedelic Furs is in this most recent issue of 225.

I had my 2nd favorite lunch at the Piccadilly - étouffée, only surpassed by the shrimp, okra and tomato stew they do - with my all-time favorite lady, all on the upgrade because Henry Gray (he played in Howlin Wolf's band back when they invented popular music) on the cafeteria's old rickety piano. I did a story on it for Country Roads years ago but it seems to be lost to the ether. When they say things put on the Internet are the forever, they're totally wrong about that. I noticed that now when I instinctually take pictures of my food, it feels exactly like saying grace - autonomic, awkward, thankful. Like protocol.

The new CD from our downstreet neighbors Flatbed Honeymoon was waiting in the mailbox when we popped in at the house to let out the dog for a second and I'm gonna listen to it right now. I heard "Our House" by Madness at the pool the other day and I've been thinking about the other "Our House", the "our house is a very, very, very fine house" one ever since, because I think that about my own house.

An installation piece by Haejung Lee at Baton Rouge Gallery. The tiles are little bags of colored rice.

Now I'm wondering since I've never listened to the CSNY one all that close if it's not a cynical song. I looked, and supposedly Graham Nash wrote it about a scene at his house with Joni Mitchell, after she bought a vase and put flowers in it and made a fire, etc. And that it was a renouncement of the free-lovin' Laurel Canyon swinger scene in favor of the quiet domesticity, now that he's all woven into Joni's fabric. Maybe. I can see it just as easily as bitter Prufrockian irony spat against the frost of the window. I can see why you'd fall deep into Joni Mitchell's well but I can also see where she'd be a giant pain in the ass, even to a guy whose job it was to keep David Crosby and Neil Young's egos in check. Did you know Grahan Nash helped invent digital art prints? Me either.

Another by Lee.

I dared a fellow gallery goer to race me up these steps but she didn't take me up on it. I knew not to ask the drunk one because she would have. I rode my bike over to the opening and it was fun to ride back in the cicada breeze and underlit streets of the neighborhoods between our house and the gallery. I need a light and a milk crate on my bike and probably a million over things too if I thought about it, so I'm not gonna. I'm gonna think about how fine my house is and how fine everyone in it is and listen to this fine CD from the neighbors and pass a side-eye at the clock until it's time for drum practice and the pool and a beer and the bikes and the cicadas and everything and the night.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Media: "Belt-Sander Voiced and Still Slingin' the Bologna", about folk-singer Malcolm Holcombe, in this month's 225 Magazine. I don't have say-so in the headlines for pieces once their turned in and sometimes it's an issue, but I wholly approve this time. Also for 225: Yvette Landry's honky tonkin country, My Morning Jacket's Circuital, and WHYR's Radiopalooza in the Record Crate.

The Twilight Singers, Dynamite Steps
The Beatles, Abbey Road
Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad
Billy Preston, Billy's Bag
James Taylor Quartet, New World
Madeline Peyroux, Bare Bones
Nellie McKay, Home Sweet Mobile Home
Bob Marley & the Wailers, One Love at Studio One