Sunday, February 08, 2009

red carpet brings this woman into perspective

Somehow, despite being a voting member of the Academy, I forgot that tonight is the Grammy Awards. It's a bit too late to find company for the local NARAS chapter awards telecast (complete w/ open bar...a good recouping of my annual dues), so I'll watch at home instead. While watching the red carpet show on E, there was an amusing exchange between singer Duffy and E host Ryan Seacrest. The entire interview was very flirty (not just in the obsequious butt-kissing way of celeb interviews...Duffy was totally hitting on him), and at the end, while talking about her dress, she asks him "would you like to tap it", and he gave an eager reply of "yes". Hard to tell who was more surprised at the double entendre, her or him. She seemed to have meant to do it, it took him an extra beat to get it. And I laughed.

I forget who I voted for, but I know I'm looking foward to seeing Radiohead and the USC Marching Band perform together. Glad to see Radiohead breaking new ground, using a college marching band is a very origina--- oh...,wait.

Monday, February 02, 2009

if you're so entertaining, then why are you on your own tonight?

via a google chat link from EC..speed-dating for smiths fans in new york. apparently, the women vastly outnumbered the men. the social-scientist/statistician in me suspects sampling error, as the population of single morrissey-loving guys ae either too gay, too celibate, or too reclusive to go to an event like this in numbers comparable to women. and funny how the comments section got thread-jacked by gwar fans.

EC also wants all bay area folks to demand that morrissey play here before or after coachella.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

and now it's morning and we are the sleepyheads

a few random thoughts as i'm home on a sick day. after three or four good fights against colds, one finally got to me.

* sad news that hershey's is closing the scharffen-berger plant in berkeley. no word yet on the cafe and gift shop, but you have to assume that there won't be any more factory tours since there won't be a factory. if you haven't taken the tour, do so asap. it's worth it for no other reason than the chocolate smell overload you get when walking into the factory (the pic to the right is from when i took the tour back in november, 2006...more here). note that hershey is doing this as they report better-than-expected earnings for the 4thQ of 2008 and projected growth in 2009. suffice to say, i won't be buying hershey's products if i can help it. not that i've bought their flagship bars lately anyway, as they are to chocolate like bud light is to beer.

* i left a comment on a muni diaries post about poop-flinging passengers that the editors thought enough of to turn into an anonymous guest post. a warning that the link to my post contains a pic that's probably nsfw.

* the secret to my fighting off colds this year? using a neti-pot at the first hint of a stuffed up sinus. it's lessened the sinus-related severity of this one (relative to how my colds usually go...though hasn't helped the fatigue or sore throat) and i'm pretty sure it helped me avoid the colds earlier in the season.

* finally, some good live music this week. first, friends the matinees and invisible cities (along with love is chemicals, who i hear great things about) play the rickshaw stop this thursday to celebrate the release of the new matinees record. if i'm in better shape tomorrow night i'll definitely be there. tonight i'd like to be but won't be at the knockout for the sleepover disaster's record release show. they played with my band a few months ago, and are good guys and a good band.

Monday, December 29, 2008

don't it feel like something from a dream

At the risk of losing what few cool points I might have, I'm gonna own up to long-time like of Tom Petty. As such I was able to sit through twice the 2007 documentary Runnin' Down a Dream, directed by Peter Bogdonavich (short clip below).



One big thing that comes out in the film is the sincerity and decency of Petty and his band. They come across as genuinely nice people who are trying to do nothing but make good music while keeping their souls in a business that can eat people up (something I know from direct experience). And that's something that's always (for me, anyway) come through in his songs. His songs by-and-large aren't complex on the surface, but he's always had a great sense of melody (which makes sense given that he notes that Elvis, The Beatles, The Byrds (listen to the riff from "The Waiting"), The Kinks and the Stones are major influences). But there are more than a few songs where the lyrics have much more going on than is first evident. I've always admired his ability to say the simple things without making them sound trite or cliche. Even better is that the Heartbreakers are an excellent band. Mike Campbell is in particular an unsung rock guitar hero, something that is acknowledged by Petty and others on camera.

Among the things I didn't know before but makes sense when it's presented in the film is that when they broke, in the late 1970s. they were lumped in with new wave artists because what they were doing - stripped-down rock, shorter songs with a bit of an edge - actually does fit in with songwriters like Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello and others. His thing, though, was much more American and southern and bluesy so it's not that obvious how his early records fit in there at the time. And coming to know of later it's easy to see him pegged as nothing more than an FM-radio-ready artist, mainly because as producer Jimmy Iovine says in the movie, every song from Damn the Torpedoes sounds great on the radio. And that's not a bad thing.

What I'm realizing now is that the only thing separating him from Aussie songwriter Paul Kelly is the fact that one's from Gainesville, FL and one's from Adelaide, NSW Australia. Both are excellent songwriters who make the simple seem profound and have always surrounded themselves with crack musicians who've made the songs that much better. It's also remarkable the range of artists who like Petty...everyone from Johnny Cash (who were supported by the Heartbreakers on his Unchained album and who later recorded a version of "I Won't Back Down" that Petty thought was better than his on version) to Stevie Nicks (who apparently lobbied intensely to join the band circa "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around") and Dave Grohl (who sat in on drums on SNL right after original drummer Stan Lynch left) to Johnny Depp (who appeared in the "Into the Great Wide Open" video).

It's really remarkable that Petty's kept the core of the band together for so long. One thing that seems to have helped (despite the occasional tensions) is when they started branching out and playing with other people like Dylan, Jeff Lynne and others. Kind of like a married couple who see other people for a spell and come back energized about the relationship. There's actually a quote from Mike Campbell where he mentioned that the band were "quite bored with each other". Clearly that's a dicier thing to do in a romantic relationship (I wouldn't do it), but it certainly makes musical sense if there's a commitment (as there clearly is between Petty and the band) to keep the thing running for as long as possible.

It's also a very music-focused film - there's next to nothing about the personal lives of the band. I don't think Petty's first wife has any more than a cursory few mentions - his second wife has more screen time. Besides Howie Epstein's drug issues, substance-abuse issues are barely touched on and only Petty gets under the relationship microscope for a segment that covers his divorce.

Some other things I didn't know...

* They broke big in England well before the US, in part because people associated them with he new music scene more than the tired, bloated music of the time.

* No surprise that Petty's first record deal was a bad one, where he got next to no royalties and not knowing any better signed away his publishing. He fought that (and later the almost anti-trust-like concerted rise in LP prices that the record companies tried to foist on the people back in the early 1980s) with a real ballsy attitude, taking on the record companies

* Howie Epstein's had a bad drug problem that ended his life.

One thing I do know that was notably not mentioned was how Petty got some well-deserved flak for stealing the "rebel without a clue" line (from "Into the Great Wide Open") from the Replacements' song "I'll Be You".

The most striking scene in the film is a bit shot in the studio when Petty was working on a record by Roger McGuinn and shot down a song submitted for the record by the company A&R people, calling the song for the crap is evidently was, and saying on camera (in the interview shot for the film) of how the A&R guys had no idea of the depth of the artist (McGuinn) with whom they were working.

It's almost four hours in length, but it's well worth seeing. In particular, the early footage is interesting, and you really see how they were essentially earnest punk rockers who just happened to be from the south and as such seemed more cracker than punk. But really they were flying in the face of what was going on at the time, and were happy to spit in the eye of the business and go about doing their own thing in their own way.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

2+2=5

One of the benefits of long plane rides is the opportunity to read for long stretches of time without too much distraction. For a recent cross-country jaunt to visit the parents and meet my 10-month old nephew, I decided to take on Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.

When I subscribed to The Nation I read her column, and I've seen and heard her on various talk shows and other appearences (including her amazing speech at University of Chicago, home of Milton Friedman, the lead character in Shock Doctrine).

The Shock Doctrine, all 460 pages (plus footnotes) was read pretty much on the flights and in the airports. It was as captivating as the press for it made it out to be. Rather than rehash the main points (as has been done in many reviews), I wanted to highlight a couple of other points that stood out.

There’s a sub-story in the book, one that doesn’t get as much (if any) attention – the interconnected web of unintended consequences and the complete divorce of the policy-makers from these unexpected results. A couple of examples....

* the shock-treatment in Russia results in the expatriation of a million Russian Jews to Israel, which then results in a new pool of cheap labor and occupied-territory settlers, which then results in the ability of the Israeli government to shut-out the Palestinians from coming to Israel to work which results in more poverty among the Palestinians which then contributes to more suicide bombings and other terrorism.

* the trumped-up Asian money crisis results in massive unemployment and poverty, which then results in a rise in human-trafficking, sending thousands of young women into forced prostitution (and generates dozens of treacly columns by Nicholas Kristoff...by no means as awful as the human trafficking but worth a mention nonetheless)

* the fragile cease-fire between the government and the Tamil Tigers is derailed by the post-tsunami beach-front land-grab in Sri Lanka.

The reconstruction and reclaimation efforts detailed at the very end are the true free, democratic market -- not the rigged system set up by the IMF, World Bank, multinational corporations, politically-connected oligarchs and the military-backed dictators who prop them all up. People deciding for themselves how to run their affairs, taking back the land that the government-business oligarchs are trying to steal from them. Whether in Sri Lanka, Thailand or New Orleans, it was heartening to see people refuse to give into the disaster capitalists.

It really is a stunning book by virtue of its giving the reader a truly trans-global perspective, both at 30,000 feet and at ground level.

It also reminds me that I need to be careful in my work-life of how I use the term “globalization”. We sometimes use it when talking about how it’s a legitimate imperative to increase the number of international students on campus…that is to give all students a broader perspective in a period of globalization. But clearly the term is quite loaded to people who come from countries where “globalization” is another term for the multinational corporate appropriation of domestic resources, a term that moreso signifies crony capitalism designed to benefit a select few.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

i often dream of trains

It probably has something to do with the fact that I'm going to see Robyn Hitchcock play this week, but a couple of nights ago, I had a dream wherein I was in Hitcock's living room (and I knew it was his living room because I saw it in the documentary Sex, Food, Death...& Insects), with a few other folks, and we were writing and playing songs with Robyn. And at one point he pulls out a toy megaphone and explains how the previous day he'd been playing with it, writing songs with it, singing into it in gibberish-German.

Not sure what it all means, but it was a very vivid dream.

in barlight, she looked alright, in daylight, she looked desperate.

so john mccain...how are you liking sarah palin now? she certainly changed the game alright. we'll see about 2012. or hopefully not.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

didn't anybody tell you, this river's full of lost sharks

Another one for the "I really should have my camera with me all the time" files...Monday evening rush hour, 16th & Valencia, guy is standing in the middle of Valencia holding a McCain/Palin sign. That is mavericky, my friends.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

help save the youth of america

What popped into my head while watching the last debate between Obama and McCain.

Americans are hurting and angry and angry and hurting and hurting and angry.

I wonder how Joe the Plumber feels about being in a tug-of-war betwen Obama and McCain?

McCain scares me when he salivates over using a hatchet and a scalpel.

Didn't McCain vote for most of the Bush budgets that were pork and ear-mark laden?

McCain knows how to save all these billions of $$..which is funny given how much money Charles Keating cost the u.s. taxpayers in large measure thanks to McCain.

Again with the overhead projector!

Americans are hurting and angry at being reminded how hurting and agry they are.

Actually, McCain backslid on the torture thing, so stop giving him credit for it.

Schieffer is letting McCain get the last word much too often so far.

Schieffer is challenging them to get into a vebal pissing match on stage?

Does McCain really want us to believe that he wouldn't have gone negative if Obama had done the town halls? Nice that Obama finally (sort of) called him on that b.s.

Enough with the crocodile tears and the calls for repudiation. Get to something meaningful.

Here we go, ACORN. Forget that they are above board. Forget also, McCain, that YOU went to an ACORN meeting. Obama did a good job countering the ACORN issue.

Again, McCain gets the last word!

Nice question about the respective Veep nominees. McCain backed off of the "bridge to nowhere" lie but kept up the gas pipeline lie. And why is he talking about autism when Palin's baby has Downs Synrome? Nice answer by Obama..."she's a capable politician who's excited the base of the Republican party". Says it all in answer to a question about her qualification to be President.

Uh oh, he called the black guy "eloquent".

Nice eye roll by McCain when Obama talked about human rights and labor protections. Says all you need to know about GOP ideology.

And AGAIN McCain gets the last word. Did someone tally this?

And Joe the Plumber gets another shout-out, this time on health care. Again, this needs to be tallied.

McCain still hasn't learned how to smile without looking creepy.

"Senator Government"...funny from a guy who's been in Congress for two+ decades.

How could Obama have voted against Justice Bryer, who was nominated in 1994?

Niiiiice use of the Ledbetter Supreme Court decision and subsequent attempt at legislation.

Why no mention of Joe the Plumber in the Roe v. Wade segment?

"Health of the mother" is just a malleable trope for abortion extremists? Ok.

And AGAIN McCain gets the last word.

Is this the first question about education in any of the three Presidential debates?

Yes! Obama talks about student loan debt.

Sarah Palin's kid is not autisitic? Or at least the baby isn't. Is one of the other kids autistic?

At least Obama got the last word on closing statements.

Nineteen days to go (as of Thursday morning).. The election can't come quick enough.

my mind's gone loose inside the shell

This is the nexus of middle class America, negative political advertising, and an economy that's in the crapper.
The next was a woman, late 50s, Democrat but strongly pro-life. Loved B. and H. Clinton, loved Bush in 2000. "Well, I don't know much about this terrorist group Barack used to be in with that Weather guy but I'm sick of paying for health insurance at work and that's why I'm supporting Barack."
This quote encapsulates how McCain and Palin's associative language trick linking Obama to Ayers has worked in the minds of some voters. It works in much the same way that it worked for Bush in getting people to think that Saddam Hussein was suporting al Queda (link goes to pdf) and might have had something to do with 9/11. All they (McCain/Palin) have been doing is saying that Obama associated with a known terrorist on a non-profit board, and people hear half the words and make the leap to "Obama=terrorist".

And these weren't hard-core conservatives in the focus group. They were "Reagan Dems and Independents. Call them blue-collar plus. Slightly more Target than Walmart."

This is a frighteningly fascinating look into how people process information, and that the skilled rhetoriticians who craft campaign messages know this and (in this case as with Saddam::al Queda) use the power of association to get low-attention voters, outright dimwits or people just looking for a good rationalization to make the link, all while keeping a plausible deniability of being able to say "Hey, we never said Obama is a terrorist". Perhaps the only saving grace is that the economy is bad enough that it even trumps the horribly misguided perception that Obama is some kind of Manchurian Candidate.

It's at once fascinating, disgusting and frightening.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

you made me realise

Random thoughts and observations from an evening featuring excellent Thai food and My Bloody Valentine.

* First, the menu at Basil Thai is good from top to bottom. How do I know? Well, our group of 10 ended up eating most of the menu. Lesson #1 - when leaving the ordering for the table to the one person at the table who is a professional chef, don't be surprised when you have more dishes than people. Given that we had one vegan, a few vegetarians and a non-meat eater who would eat fish or chicken, and well...we needed lots of dishes. I'm pretty sure we had just about everything on the appetizer menu. I know that the spring rolls, curry puffs and potstickers are quite good. Among main courses, a tip of the hat to the wok-fried scallops, the crispy catfish (with quite a spicy kick), the eggplant curry....damn, all of it was good.

* My Bloody Valentine are yet another band who I didn't see when they were first around. Given they've had a layoff of more than a decade, I'm sure nobody going to the show knew what to expect. Well, they might have if they read some of the reviews. In any event, what we got was a sensory overload of noise and lights. The band were sharp and powerful (especially the rhythm section) but they were loud. Real loud.

* What's sad is that MBV's records feature pretty melodies and layered sonic textures, yet when they play live at bludgeoningly loud levels, they obliterate the interesting subtleties in their music. The only plus to that is you don't just hear the music, you feel it. The bass rattles your midsection, the guitars seems to wash all over you. Combined with the sensory overload of the lights, you can almost leave your body...almost like the waves of noise and light might carry you above the crowd and let you float there. For the first time in a while at a show I zoned out and forgot about everything else...the people I was there with, the crowd of strangers around me, and was just...there. As a friend said in an email, "I felt I was on drugs without taking any - how cool is that!"

* The 20+ minute wall of feedback and noise at the end of "You Made Me Realise" sounded at its apex like a jet plane landing. It also went on about 10 minutes too long.

* The Councourse at the Design Center is a truly awful sonic experience. Really (see the yelp reviews). No band worth a damn should ever allow itself to be booked there again.

* Too funny...their old label head thinks that MBVs loudness is a one-trick pony, a crutch.

* Other things I remember...red, sparkly telecaster, stacks and stacks of Marshall amps, feedback, backlighting, fans in big silvery boots, long lines to go for the bathroom, for people who were going for a smoke, the ticket-takers handing out earplugs.

Monday, September 29, 2008

no woman no cry

Reading this, which reports that Hillary Clinton and Dianne Feinstein will be working with Joe Biden on prep for his debate with Sarah Palin, I wonder if perhaps Tina Fey might be a better debate prep surrogate.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

it's a dirty story of a dirty man...

Irvine Welsh reading from his new novel Crime, this past Saturday at Edinburgh Castle...

"he was stuck in a skanky vortex of his own making"

Friday, September 12, 2008

there's that name again

as i mentioned in this post, my band's got a show upcoming at mr. smiths in san francisco. it's this thursday, september 18. starting at 8pm. it's good music, good films...good times.

we also have a television appearance airing on saturday night september 18 at 11pm. it's a public access show called the collection agency (ignore the band listed as playing for september...it's us, not my first earthquake) and it airs on san francisco public access channel 29.

punchdrunk lovesick singalong

if you have an itunes account,hurry and subscribe to the npr all songs considered podcast.

why?

radiohead, that's why.

there's a 2-hour concert up, taped very recently down in santa barbara. the gloriously obsessed folks at 58hours.com have the set list here.

so yeah, go get it. now.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

my mind is filled with radio cures

this song, telephone (link to mp3) by petracovich just kills me every time i listen to it. so tender, so sad, so direct. there's another mp3 on the website and more music at her myspace page.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

hot soft spots on a hard rock planet.

This was quite a week for music. Eight bands at three events, and while I liked some more than others, none sucked. Which is always good.

Wednesday night, a friend who I hadn't seen in a long time was singing back-up on a few songs at the record release show for Goh Nakamura, so I figured I'd go check it out. A bonus was that Scrabbel were playing as well. I hadn't heard of them until I got the email announcement for the show. So I clicked through their website and was instantly hooked by their infectious pop. The show was as good as I'd hoped. Scrabbel were charming and Goh Nakamaurah was outstanding. His songs are soulful and (especially on the new album Ulysses) you can hear the Beatle influence loud and clear.

Thursday my band hosted (but did not play this time) our monthly Vive le Rock night of indie music at Mr. Smiths. Our guests this month were The French Semester (from LA), Man Versus and The Lag.

The French Semester, friends of our drummer Carter, were outstanding. Crisp, tight, and energetic. The latest record, Open Letter to the Disappeared, is a solid collection of lo-fi, laconic pop that reminded me of their fellow LA bands Irving and (Irving spin-off) Sea Wolf (now with a song in a car commercial!). The theme of the night (for me) was cool instruments, and bassist Gil Disloquez's Hofner bass (strung for his left-handed playing...just like Paul!) made me want one of my own. And for only $349 at Musician's Friend, that just might happen.

Man Versus, who are based down in San Jose, brought out a good crowd and delivered with an excellent set. The most obvious comparison is Mates of State, thanks to the piano-heavy arrangements. MV's sound is more expansive, however. Next to the music, the coolest thing (following my theme for the show) had to be guitarist Jennifer Roye's bad-ass flying-V Gibson (like Gil's bass, strung to be played left handed) which she played through a Marshall head and cabinet. I mention this because you'd think, seeing that gear, that she'd be a total shredding rocker. Turns out a relative is, which is where she got the gear. And while she didn't fire up any 80's hair-metal riffs, her playing was excellent.

Sunday afternoon was the inaugural Rock Make Festival deep in the heart of the Mission. A gaggle of bands were scheduled. I managed to catch French Miami, Rademacher and Man/Miracle. Besides the music, a bunch of area independent artists, jewlery and clothing designers had tables full of good stuff.

You'd think this would be enough to sate me, but in addition to our own rehearsals, there's upcoming shows by Calexico, Spoon, and My Bloody Valentine among others. And this without going to the Outside Lands and Treasure Island Music Festivals.

And of course, the September installment of Vive le Rock, featuring us, The Sleepover Disaster, and short films by Waylon Bacon. September 18 at Mr. Smiths.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

despite all the amputation you could dance to the rock 'n' roll station

The USGS runs a research project where they've put sensor-activated remote-controlled cameras in Glacier National Park.

Go to the page and you can see videos of bear cubs fighting wolves and dancing bears. No, it's got nothing to do with the Grateful Dead or Russian music or the circus. Just bears doing their tree rub thing, which makes it looks like they're dancing.



Try watching it and not smiling. But heed the warning at the end...don't dance with the bears.

big ol' jet airliner

This piece in the New Republic (which I saw via TPM) dicusses how much longer it will be before airline travel becomes too pricey for most of us. The main problem of course is the cost of oil. In fact, the article contains this startling nugget:
Despite recent fluctuations, a growing number of economists are bracing for oil to hit or surpass $200 per barrel in a few years, and most industry analysts agree with Douglas Runte, of RBS Greenwich Capital, who told The Wall Street Journal in June, "Many airline business models cease to work at $135-a-barrel oil prices."
So what happens then? Does the joke commercial from a year or so back, where we have to pay for overhead storage and the bathroom, come true? We already have to pay to check bags on most airlines. The airlines even charge more for exit row seating now. So what's next?

Beyond the prices it's also the experience that has become dismal. Fewer flights means almost all of them are packed, even the red eyes. Packed flights are also more likely to create tense passengers. And going through secrurity becomes more annoying and demoralizing year after year. Shoes off, no liquids in > 3oz containers. This despite any solid evidence that anyone can bring down a plane with a shoe-bomb or a regular sized container of shampoo.

Now there's word that TSA can seize laptops and other data devices *without probable cause*, download the data and can take their sweet time getting the evice back to the owner. And the standards seem to differ at every ariport. At Lihue Airport in Kauai recently, I was asked to remove my digital camera because it looked too much like a video camera (I'll add that the TSA crew there were totally pleasant about it, so no disrespect to them). This was a surprise because I didn't realize video cameras were a problem in and of themselves. It's not that I don't appreciate security measures - I certainly don't want to be blown up mid-air. But please, can we get some sanity back into the process?

Between high prices, deterioriating services and annoying and just plain incomprehensible (and possibly unconstitutional) security processes, it's like the airlines and the government would rather we don't fly at all.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

it's good to see you back in a bar band baby

It's been said often that The Hold Steady, especially singer Craig Finn, look like the guys who work in the cubicle next you. That's certainly true when Finn takes the stage in a short-sleeved polo shirt and khakis. However, Finn has 100x the stage presence of people who try 100x harder to look the part of a rocker.

Last night's Hold Steady show in San Francisco was, as is always the case when they play (or at least the times I've seen them) a loud, unabashedly celebratory, communal event. They are one of those kinds of bands that don't so much play *to* an audience as *with* an audience. There is no fourth wall with them. While some bands, like The National need the fourth wall to make what they do work so well, The Hold Steady need to tear down that wall and get down on the floor with you to celebrate the love of the music.

Finn's songs are full of references to a recurring cast of characters, most of whom would be at Hold Steady shows with the rest of us. At least when they aren't in jail, rehab, on a drug-fueled vision quest in the Sonoma, or hanging out at the banging "camps down by the Mississippi" smoking meth or inhaling nitrous oxide, or getting wasted in Ybor City. They turn up in song after song throughout the band's 4 albums. The newest, Stay Positive, continues the musical integration of keyboard player Franz Nicolay to the point where you can't imagine most of the songs written as they were without his presence. He's almost become as dominating a musical feature of the band as Tad Kubler's guitar or Finn's lyrics.

Though I got to the venue in a bit of a bad mood, I came away from the show in a great mood. The band did a great job of covering all four records in the set. The recurring "Stay Postive" theme would sound corny coming from any other band. But when Finn sings it so earnestly with his band grooving tightly behind him, it's hard not to have his songs be among those certain songs that get scratched into our souls.

Monday, July 28, 2008

if you close the door, the night could last forever

i hate stretches like this, when sleep doesn't come easy. the saving grace perhaps is that while work is busy, it's not as busy as it's going to get come late fall and into winter. also, I'm only 10 real days and 8 working days from vacation.

so since i'm up...

finally got around to watching the velevet underground documentary under review. not great, not bad. long-time fans will learn a little bit, novices will learn a bit more. it suffers from the total lack of lou reed's and john cale's participation, though it was cool to see mo tucker interviewed.

the hold steady are in town this tuesday and i can't wait. i missed them the last two times they were around. once i chose (unwisely) instead to go see voxtrot (liked the record, "eh" on the show, plus it was a second date that probably shouldn't have happened anyway). then last fall i was out of town when they came around, with art brut opening up. i'm really sorry i missed that one. this pitchfork review of the new record, stay positive, sums it up as well as anything else i've read. i expect the show will be the usual celebration of music and friendship and barroom camaraderie.

and how about this new song from the broken west? catchy. looking forward to the new album.

i don't have too many tv addictions, but mad men looks to be one. just now catching up on the first season (thanks to comcast on-demand). will need to dvr and catch up on season 2 asap. also on the horizon is the dvds for last season of the wire. kp and i cranked thru the first 4 seasons in a bunch of marathon sittings. i almost want to stretch out season 5 for a long while, if only so it won't be over too quickly.

damn. seriously, i gotta be up in three hours to go to work. tomorrow (well, later today) is gonna suck. hard. a shot or three on the snooze button may be in my all-too immediate future.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

another uninnocent, elegant fall into the unmagnificent lives of adults

To the loud drunk jackasses outside my window at 1am...

Look, I'm sure you lead a much more interesting life than I do. Well, at least tonight when it seems like all my friends had something to do that didn't involve me. That's fine, I accept that, it happens sometimes. I stayed in, read, watched the movie I just got "A Skin A Night", a documentary about The National as they recorded Boxer.

So yeah, that means I was at home and in bed earlier than I'd like to be while the rest of the city as out carousing.

And yeah I know I live in a neighborhood (Mission/Castro area) where I should expect some night time activity. I get that.

But still..keep your gotdamned voiced down a bit. I mean, you see those buildings that *surround* you as you walk down my street? They are residences. Houses, apartments. People *live* behind those windows. And some of us were trying to get to sleep before you.

To the gaggle of LOUD annoying jackasses? When you walk in a pack of 12 you are going to be loud. Don't try and talk over each other because then you're REALLY GOTDAMNED LOUD. Your voices all echo in the 3-story valley that is my street.

And you drunk girl (who sounded like a bit of a fatass). The neighborhood does not need to hear your cigarette and beer-ravaged voice yell LOUDLY, over and over "first base, first base, first base". I don't care if your two girlfriends are faux making out (or for real). Keep your damned voice down. And to her friend? Your joke about having "first base" as an interest on all your social networking profiles? Not funny. Especially the way you said it, in that annoying hipster cadence/accent.

I know it's the city, but have some fucking common sense and common courtesy.