Tuesday, September 30, 2003

I'm back from Kansas. I'll tell you about it tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

One more thing: my love of tiny Ocracoke Island is no secret to any regular visitor here (that's enough from you, Michael, and the rest of the peanut gallery, LOL). The island, always remote, has been made even moreso by the aftermath of Isabel. Here is an amazing journal and collection of photos from Ocracoke before, during, and after the storm, with links to a number of other resources. I also recommend this article from Monday's Washington Post.

Haven't blogged the last two days because I haven't had anything I've felt a burning need to write about. Last night I vegged out, watching TV (including a sublimely hilarious Queer Eye and part of the Frasier premiere, which was quite good) and (finally!) burning CDs (thank you, Windows Media Player). Tonight I've been packing. Why? 'Cause tomorrow I'm flying to Kansas for 6 days. Make your own assumptions, as I'm sure you will anyway. Back on the blog Tuesday. Enjoy your weekend.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

R.I.P., Mr. Carlson. I hope your secretary in heaven is as good as Jennifer, big guy.

Monday, September 22, 2003

Odds & ends, all sports edition:

Could Florida State QB Chris Rix be any dumber?

How 'bout my 3-0 Colts, giving the AFC something to talk about?

How 'bout my 2-1 Boilermakers, back in black and back on defense and offense? And for that matter, how 'bout upset Saturday shaking up the rankings? Go MAC!

I'm sorry, am I supposed to care about the Women's World Cup? I must have been napping.

Meanwhile, less than a month away from Midnight Madness, Vitale's already busy picking his Super Sophs, baby. Yeah.

"We still haven't been renewed, so this feels wonderful," producer Jerry Bruckheimer said backstage. "Are you watching, CBS?"

Bruckheimer on the surprise Emmy win by The Amazing Race in the new reality/competition program category last night - one of the few awards which Emmy voters got right. I mean, tired old West Wing winning best drama for a fourth consecutive year? All the trophies showered on Everybody Loves Raymond? Who, tell me, loves Raymond? [ELR = The Cosby Show x The Honeymooners - humor.] Even though I think Will & Grace is largely unwatchable (I hear it's bouncing back a bit, so I may give it another try this season), I was glad to see that Debra Messing finally won (all 4 leads have now one at least one Emmy for their work on the show) - and for those needing a reminder how good the series used to be, its first season is now out on DVD. The wins by The Daily Show with Jon Stewart were certainly much-deserved. And as far as I'm concerned, that was about it. [Don't even get me started on the lack of nods for Buffy and Angel, the Showtime pic Soldier's Girl, and the seeming refusal by the Academy to reward Six Feet Under for anything.]

The show itself, however, was snooze-ville. Shandling was kind of funny, if awfully shambling, and Ellen and Jon Stewart were great. But I shut the set off mid-broadcast, I was so bored. The Emmys are unquestionably the least interesting of the four major awards shows (Oscars, Grammys, and Tonys being the other three), and this year was no exception.

Isabel cleanup continues around me. Lots of folks still don't have power, including at least two coworkers, and Dominion Power is saying it could be a while. Their workers (and those they've brought in from other states) are working their proverbial asses off, but in many locations, they have to actually rebuild power lines and transformers. I heard today that one particular hold-up is that they're waiting on more poles from which to hang the power lines.

A new friend who recently relocated here from the southwest kinda freaked out yesterday. He only moved here within the last month, leaving his friends and family back home, and within the space of the last week a) his car broke down (and at last report, is still in a Taco Bell parking lot in Chesapeake), and b) Isabel came a-calling. He's having a rough time of it, understandably. I've simply encouraged him to keep on keepin' on; retreat should never be an option. His power came back on Saturday, and then he lost it again Sunday morning, so he's justifiably frustrated. I've invited him over if need be, for some ice, air conditioning, and electricity (and cable).

The devastation, frankly, is amazing, shocking, and truly awesome in the simplest sense of the word - just look at this photo of a new inlet on Hatteras Island, or this one of the flooded Midtown Tunnel, which it's now being said could be closed for at least a month.

Of course, I'm overjoyed that Isabel's path of destruction resulted in a photo op for the Prez. And what the fuck was Tom Ridge doing here this weekend? How the hell does a hurricane fall under the rubric of the Dep't of Homeland Security? Nothing like hollow promises... I was out at the Chesapeake Department of Social Services today for work, and heard plenty of people, trying to get emergency food stamps, asking "why isn't the President here [instead of Richmond, where he visited]?" Good question.

Funny how a hurricane makes you realize how lucky you are - yeah, we were out of power for two days, but that ultimately amounts to a nasty inconvenience, not a life-threatening situation. We had plenty of food, water, candles, batteries, friends around, et cetera. Poor Bob is still sans power, but fortunately, he's got his second home available - and more importantly, his friends to help him out when necessary. Amongst my friends, there was some (not a ton of) property damage, but no injuries nor loss of life. That's what's important.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

The return of Seal makes me happy indeed. His new album, Seal IV (on the heels of Seal, Seal [different album, same title], and the aberration, title-wise, Human Beings - he's apparently subscribing to the Peter Gabriel method of album titles) is starting strong out of the blocks, entering the Billboard 200 at #3 this week, and the UK album chart at #4, hurrah! I've been a fan since he released the first Seal back in 1991 - in fact, funny story: at the time, I was reading NME (back when it actually meant something) and Melody Maker (R.I.P.) religiously, and had heard a lot about Seal without ever actually having heard his music. But I knew I was interested: dance pedigree (thanks to his vocals on his first UK #1, Adamski's "Killer"), Trevor Horn production, striking looks, and creamy pop-soul hooks? I was so ready for him. I walked into my local record store in Bloomington, Indiana on its U.S. release date - mind you, this was before "Crazy" had started to take off at radio - and eagerly asked if they'd gotten any copies of Seal in. "Yeah, we got one," said the bemused clerk. "I didn't know anyone knew who he was."

I'm not cool like dat, I'm geeky like dat - and always have been, see?

I've heard a couple of tracks from Seal IV. I like the single "Waiting for You" quite a bit - it's classic, warm, pop-soulful Seal; the shame is that that means he's now a natural only for the Adult Contemporary format. I don't care much for "Get It Together," too much of a confused song in what it wants to be and what it is (it doesn't know, really). That's in its original album version. However, there are remixes, which in fact have thrust Seal to the top of the Billboard Dance Club/Play Chart this week - and there's one which is a corker, folks. For the second time this year (after his beautiful "Beautiful" remix), Peter Rauhofer has hit one clear out of the park, on his Classic Club Mix of "Keep It Together." It's uplifting as the best remixes are, smooth and deep - not just machine-cranked mix-o-matic, but one which clearly had plenty of thought and effort put into it. As far as commercially-inclined remixers go these days, Rauhofer's at the top of his game. And Seal's is a stunning, singular voice which cries out for great arrangements; here, it all comes together in one gorgeously gift-wrapped package.

Some random notes on tracks listed below which I haven't yet mentioned:

The Strokes' "12:51" will not change the world ("Last Nite" didn't, either). But it's awfully tasty - really, the first Strokes single to hook me, very Cars-ian with a dash of U2 circa their first trio of albums.

"Darshan" by B21 is from the Bend It Like Beckham soundtrack. It's splendid bhangra, Panjabi MC minus the rapping, with more of a "Join in the Chant" tribal feel to it (I mean that in a percussive sense, not a heavy-duty Teutonic industrial sense).

Gareth Gates finally proves that winners of televised musical talent competitions can make lovely pop records (are you listening, Kelly? Ruben? Fucking Clay?). Gareth won the first Pop Idol over in the U.K., and has until now largely released a string of saccharine-sweet, crap ballads designed for grandmothers. On "Sunshine," however, his production's beefed up a bit, with a white-boy-gets-slightly-funky feel to it. It's perfecto (not Perfecto - is that label even still around?) late-summer-into-autumn listening.

My ever-evolving "best of 2003" Winamp playlist currently looks like this:

128 tracks in playlist, average track length: 4:22
Playlist length: 9 hours 19 minutes 57 seconds

Playlist files:

1. 50 Cent - In Da Club (4:01)
2. 50 Cent/Lil' Mo - 21 Questions & Answers (Gee Money Remix) (6:42)
3. Alana Allen; Anna Kendrick - The Ladies Who Lunch (3:29)
4. Alcazar - Sexual Guarantee (3:36)
5. Allen Anthony - Alright (5:27)
6. B21 - Darshan (5:03)
7. Bangles - Something That You Said (4:11)
8. Basement Jaxx - Cish Cash (Feat Siouxsie Sioux) (4:18)
9. Basement Jaxx - Feels Like Home (Feat Me'shell Ndegéocello) (7:26)
10. Basement Jaxx - Good Luck (Feat Lisa Kekaula) (4:42)
11. Basement Jaxx - If I Ever Recover (3:22)
12. Basement Jaxx - Lucky Star (Feat Dizzee Rascal) (4:31)
13. Basement Jaxx - Plug It In (f/JC Chasez) (4:51)
14. Basement Jaxx - Right Here's The Spot (Feat Me'Shell Ndegéocello) (4:24)
15. Ben Watt - Lone Cat (7:18)
16. Beyonce - Crazy In Love (f/Jay-Z) (4:08)
17. Beyonce - Signs (f/Missy Elliot) (4:58)
18. Beyoncé - Baby Boy (f/Sean Paul) (4:04)
19. Beyoncé - Summertime (Remix f/Ghostface Killah) (4:08)
20. Busta Rhymes - Light Your Ass on Fire (f/Pharrell) (3:40)
21. Catherine Zeta-Jones and Company - Cell Block Tango (7:22)
22. Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renee Zellweger and Taye Diggs - Overture/And All That Jazz (6:04)
23. Christina Aguilera - Beautiful (Peter Rauhofer Remix) (10:32)
24. Christina Aguilera - Fighter (4:05)
25. Company - The Want of a Nail (4:29)
26. Company; Sasha Allen; Steven Cutts - How Shall I See You Through My Tears (3:52)
27. Company; Tiffany Taylor - Here's Where I Stand (4:56)
28. Daryl Hall - Cab Driver (5:22)
29. Dirt McGirt - Pop Shit (f/Pharrell) (3:38)
30. Dizzee Rascal - Fix Up, Look Sharp (3:44)
31. Dolly Parton - I'm Gone (5:10)
32. Electric Six - Danger! High Voltage! (3:49)
33. Electric Six - Gay Bar (1:51)
34. Elton John - Are You Ready For Love (8:23)
35. Elvis vs. Oakenfold - Rubberneckin' 2003 (3:26)
36. Erykah Badu - Back In The Day (Puff) (f/Lenny Kravitz) (4:47)
37. Erykah Badu - Bump It (f/Zap Mama & Caron Wheeler) (8:49)
38. Erykah Badu - Danger (Block on Lock) (4:24)
39. Erykah Badu - I Want You (10:53)
40. Erykah Badu - Love Of My Life Worldwide (f/Queen Latifah, Angie Stone & Bahamadia) (5:26)
41. Erykah Badu - Think Twice (f/Roy Hargrove) (3:02)
42. Erykah Badu - Woo (3:14)
43. Fischerspooner - Emerge (4:46)
44. Freeway - What We Do... (f/Jay-Z and Beanie Siegel) (3:50)
45. Gareth Gates - Sunshine (3:39)
46. Go Home Productions - Dirrty Magic (4:12)
47. Go Home Productions - Sly Beyonce Walks Like A Nerd (3:19)
48. Houston - Dumb Rock 2 (3:32)
49. Jane's Addiction - Just Because (3:55)
50. Jason Nevins presents UKNY - I'm In Heaven (f/Holly James) (3:52)
51. Jay-Z - Excuse Me Miss (4:41)
52. Jennifer Lopez - I'm Glad (3:42)
53. Johnny Cash - Hurt (3:38)
54. Junior Senior - Move Your Feet (3:01)
55. Justin Timberlake - Cry Me A River (4:50)
56. Justin Timberlake - Rock Your Body (Paul Oakenfold Mix) (5:34)
57. Justin Timberlake - Rock Your Body (Video Version) (4:55)
58. Justin Timberlake - Senorita (4:56)
59. Keith Urban - Raining On Sunday (4:46)
60. Kurtis Mantronik Presents Chamonix - How Did You Know (77 Strings) (6:21)
61. Liam Lynch - United States Of Whatever (1:30)
62. Linkin Park - Faint (2:42)
63. Linkin Park - Somewhere I Belong (3:33)
64. Lucinda Williams - Righteously (4:41)
65. Ludacris - It Wasn't Us (f/I-20) (3:39)
66. Luomo - The Present Lover (9:13)
67. Mandy Moore - Breaking Us in Two (4:26)
68. Mandy Moore - Can We Still Be Friends (3:37)
69. Mandy Moore - Drop The Pilot (3:43)
70. Mandy Moore - Have A Little Faith In Me (4:02)
71. Mandy Moore - Help Me (3:29)
72. Mandy Moore - One Way or Another (3:31)
73. Mandy Moore - Whole of the Moon (5:01)
74. Marilyn Manson - mOBSCENE (3:27)
75. Memphis Bleek - Everything's A Go (f/Jay-Z) (3:34)
76. Michael Bublé - Kissing A Fool (4:30)
77. Minus the Bear - Absinthe Party at the Fly Honey Warehouse (5:24)
78. Mya - My Love Is Like... Wo (3:29)
79. N*E*R*D - Loser (f/Clipse) (3:15)
80. Nelly - If (3:44)
81. Nickel Creek - Smoothie Song (3:20)
82. Nivea - Laundromat (f/R. Kelly) (4:26)
83. Outkast - Ghettomusick (3:55)
84. Outkast - She Lives In My Lap (f/Rosario Dawson) (4:25)
85. Panjabi MC - Mundian To Bach Ke (Beware of the Boys) (3:57)
86. Pharrell - Frontin' (f/Jay-Z) (4:01)
87. Queens Of The Stone Age - Go With The Flow (3:07)
88. R. Kelly - Ignition Remix (3:09)
89. Radiohead - There There (5:24)
90. Raveonettes - That Great Love Sound (3:23)
91. Reba McEntire - I'm Gonna Take That Mountain (3:22)
92. Rebecca Lynn Howard - Forgive (3:58)
93. Renee Zellweger - Roxie (3:22)
94. Richard X - Into You (f/Jarvis Cocker and Hope Sandoval) (5:28)
95. Richard X - Lemon/Lime (f/Deborah Evans-Stickland) (3:14)
96. Richard X - Mark One (f/Mark Goodier) (0:19)
97. Richard X - Rock Jacket (4:25)
98. Richard X - Walk on by (f/Deborah Evans-Stickland) (3:00)
99. Richard X - You (Better Let Me Love You x4) Tonight (f/Tiga) (5:39)
100. Richard X Vs Kelis - Finest Dreams (4:05)
101. Richard X vs Liberty X - Being Nobody (3:23)
102. Rishi Rich Project - Dance With You (f/Jay Sean and Juggy D) (2:43)
103. Seal - Get It Together (Peter Rauhofer Classic Club Mix) (10:07)
104. Seal - Waiting For You (3:38)
105. Sean Paul - Get Busy (3:34)
106. Shania Twain - Forever And For Always (w/Alison Krauss + Union Station) (live) (4:14)
107. Shania Twain - Nah! (Green) (4:13)
108. Shania Twain - She's Not Just A Pretty Face (3:49)
109. Shania Twain - Waiter! Bring Me Water! (Blue) (3:37)
110. Snoop Dogg - It Blows My Mind (5:03)
111. Soilwork - Overload (3:44)
112. Soilwork - Rejection Role (3:34)
113. Sophie Ellis Bextor - Mixed-Up World (3:47)
114. Sting - Send Your Love (3:34)
115. t.A.T.u. - All The Things She Said (3:34)
116. Terri Clark - Three Mississippi (3:59)
117. The Ataris - The Boys of Summer (4:18)
118. The Bad Plus - Flim (4:05)
119. The Police - Once Upon a Daydream (3:31)
120. The Postal Service - Clark Gable (4:54)
121. The Postal Service - Natural Anthem (5:07)
122. The Postal Service - Such Great Heights (4:26)
123. The Postal Service - The District Sleeps Alone Tonight (4:45)
124. The Strokes - 12:51 (2:11)
125. Triple 8 - Knockout (3:20)
126. Vanessa Marquez - Good Girl (4:14)
127. Vince Gill - Next Big Thing (3:25)
128. Wayne Wonder - No Letting Go (3:33)

"Crazy In Love" is still the single to beat, though.

Maybe I should just bag the whole "top 50" thing and make an mp3 disc, a la Matos and Nate? Hell, I've got three-plus months to mull it over, so I ain't worried. And this shit is some good listenin', ah yeah.

Good Lord, Britain: I generally love, respect and admire your musical taste. But what is with this bizarre love you as a nation seem to have for The Darkness? They sound like a bad parody of Spinal Tap. How wretched. [Of course, I suppose every nation deserves their own Creed - the Darkness just have louder guitars and wardrobes seemingly stolen from Mud by way of Stryper.]

I'd agree with Marcello that, based on what I've heard thus far, the Big Boi disc of OutKast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below sounds rather, ahem, undercooked in comparison with the Sign "O" the Times future-funk freakiness of André 3000's disc. I'd also agree with the good Mr. Carlin that regarding Big Boi's sole collabo with his partner in crime, "Ghettomusick," "its electroclash/d&b collision/collusion is superb" (I'd also add mention of its clear affinity for southern bounce, perfectly fitting here but so disappointing elsewhere - what, I ask you, is the entirely dull and horridly untalented Lil' Jon doing on an OutKast album?!). Interesting to note that "Ghettomusick" is apparently the first single over in the U.K. - more proof to me that the Brits seem to be able to more willingly handle the outré in their pop than do us Yanks, as it appears "Hey Ya" is the first American single, which makes sense, since (unfortunately) it's a fairly straightforward, fairly pedestrian guitar-bass-drums track, largely absent of the usual funk I, at least, look to OutKast records for (amongst many other things). "Ghettomusick" also has to be the first major-label hip-hop track to reference Pedro Almodovar (if I'm wrong, please correct me), and has a wondrous screeching-brakes halt - twice - mid-song, pausing for a brief but languorous interlude (the U.S. doesn't like its mainstream hip-hop so, well, proto-avant garde). For my money, the best track I've yet heard off Speakerboxxx/The Love Below is still undoubtedly the brilliantly "The Ballad of Dorothy Parker"-influenced "She Lives In My Lap" (of course it's André 3000's) featuring Rosario friggin' Dawson (talking, not singing - reminds me of her debut in Kids, unexpectedly) - and don't overlook its sample from "Mind Playing Tricks On Me"! Oh, and until I saw lyrics printed, I kept thinking André 3000 was singing "forever my Beyoncé"; the actual line is "forever my fiancé." And now I've clearly exceeded my limit for the number of "é"s to appear in a single paragraph.

In lieu of a new D'Angelo record to nicely dovetail with OutKast's, we've thankfully got a new release from the freakiest R&B bitch not named Kelis (her new single "Milkshake" is, frankly, a disappointment coming on the heels of so many splendid collaborations with everyone from P. Diddy & Deep Dish to Richard X and of course, her muses [or is she theirs?] the Neptunes - it's fine, but nothing as special as I was expecting - but I'm still holding out hope for the long-delayed longplayer now titled Tasty, due out next month), Erykah Badu's Worldwide Underground. EP, LP, I don't care; it's 10 tracks if you include the intro and outro, 8 if you don't, most all of them superb, reaching goals Badu set out clearly (but didn't always achieve) on Mama's Gun. The first single, "Danger (Block on Lock)," is like a high-crime sequel to "Otherside of the Game" ("got to flush the yayo"), while on "The Grind" she takes a backseat to Dead Prez, making herself the intelligent Ashanti to their Ja Rule. It doesn't succeed entirely for me, only because I've never fallen in love with Dead Prez; I respect them much more than I enjoy them. "Love of My Life Worldwide" revamps her Brown Sugar cut (originally with paramour Common) with Queen Latifah, Angie Stone, and Bahamadia to fabulous effect and casts it in ever more old-school fashion, interpolating Dr. Dre's "Keep Their Heads Ringin'," which of course itself interpolated P-Funk - while Latifah self-samples "Latifah's Had It Up 2 Here" on her verse (this ain't a remix, it's a remake, y'all, and nothin' but a ladies-first party - and it's utterly superb while it brings up such questions as: Why isn't Stone a superstar on the level of Mary J.? And where the hell has Bahamadia been, and why doesn't she have a major-label deal?). Collabos with jazzbo Roy Hargrove and Zap Mama are perfectly textured, old-soul tracks. The highlight's gotta be "Back in the Day (Puff)," a lazily sumptuous soul confection which could've been an Isleys single in '75, all vibe and vibes. Worldwide Underground is the follow-up we wanted to Baduizm (not that there was anything wrong with Mama's Gun, or her nearly perfect Live record, which gave the world "Tyrone" - but this just fits, puzzle-like, the way Gun, at least, didn't quite). One of 2003's finest R&B releases, and a more than welcome return from Ms. Badu.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Daily Kos is the best damned liberal political blog out there, essential, daily reading for me, and that's more than enough to make it my (much- and Isabel-delayed) new blog of the week.

Hurricane Isabel Journal

20 September 2003

+12:10am: I think Martin Bonhoefer said, "'tis better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." That may be so, but it's hard - and he wasn't used to A/C. Tried to sleep for over an hour, starting ca. 1030pm, but just laid in bed, naked and sweating. Finally got up and saw floodlights on Colley, in front of the Max. Pulled on sandals, a t-shirt and some trunks, and went outside for cool air. And in hopes I'd see Dominion Power working - but alas, no. It was a 13News truck doing a live remote. Annoyed. Then walked a bit, surprised by the few cars I still saw going up & down on Colley. Walked down to Hampton Blvd., and saw lights on near Princess Anne, and in the condos in front of my bus stop. Then, walking back up north on Colley, saw that the traffic light at 21st is on again. Hopeful signs, but we're still in the dark and steamy. Was glad I took a flashlight with me. Back in the apartment now, nearly dripping with sweat. I just wish I could sleep, let alone comfortably... it's got to be at least 80 degrees in here, ugh.

+7:50pm: Actually slept for 6, 6.5 hours. Nice to wake up not sweating - apartment finally cooled of overnight. Still no power, obviously.

Other observations from last night: very quiet - could hear lots of crickets (and the fucking generator from San Antonio Sam's). Also heard lots of police & fire sirens from all over the city, which was a little weird/scary.

Going to head out and see what's open with power. Rite Aid's been running off generator; I assume that means they have cold drinks. Would like to find some hot coffee for Michael, too - this is the first time I've ever seen 7-11s closed.

Hurricane Isabel Journal

19 September 2003

+6:45am: Have been up since 6am. Didn't get to sleep until after midnight, and woke up for a bit for a bit at 230am as well. Couldn't sleep well at all - too hot & humid. The sun's finally coming up. There's still a curfew in effect until 7am for Norfolk & VB. Am listening to FM99, which is still simulcasting WAVY, who've had stellar coverage throughout Isabel's reign of destruction. They've made a point to say both a) they know most people are still listening to their broadcast, as almost everyone's still w/o power, and b) that they'll rebroadcast a lot of pictures of Hampton Roads regains power. Willoughby Spit is majorly flooded. So is Ft. Monroe in Hampton; the Bay's tidal/storm surge flooding really pounded everything along the bayfront.

The [Chesapeake] Bay Bridge/Tunnel and Midtown Tunnels are still closed*, as is the Downtown tunnel eastbound.

Last night, Steve & Jenn called ca. 530pm and said that our weekly dinner was still on. Steve & Bob were going to haul the grill into their utility room and grill chicken & shrimp**; Steve offered to come pick us up in his big butch pickup (they live near Gate 4 of Naval Station Norfolk). So, crazily, we went, finding very few problems on Granby Street, apart from a huge oak down across the street just north of the Lafayette bridge which took power lines with it. We saw a lot more on the way back, ca. 930pm, having to turn around 2x due to downed trees & lines. And it was so eerie - no lights, basically anywhere, including traffic lights. Total pitch blackness. It's 715am now; I'm going to shower and head out to see some of the damage in the early morning light.

+7:30am: Well... our building's out of hot water - no electric water heater. And I'm just not in the mood for a cold shower. Time to head out.

+8:00am: Not a ton of damage around Ghent, though there are a couple of big trees down on side streets off of Colley. 7-11 is still closed - no power. My cell phone's dying. It's getting hot again. Forecast high of 85 today, ew. A lot of people walking around - mostly taking pictures - and a low, but surprising, amount of traffic.

+10:40am: Phone died. Went to G&W Supermarket - open, but nothing cold; their ice melted and slightly refroze in big, unwieldly blocks. I didn't bother, but bought a Pilot. Headline: "Isabel's Rage." Getting warmer; frankly, I'm starting to not smell so good. Very sweaty. Found a little old, freezer-burned ice (is that possible?), which I'm using in cranberry juice. The radio stations have gone back to their Clear Channel-approved shit music, so I'm listening to CDs on my discman.

+11:00am: According to the Pilot, 95% of Hampton Roads is w/o power, and it could be a week before everyone's back. Whoa.

+2:20pm: Napped, fitfully, for about 1.5 hours, but just woke up very sweaty and cranky-feeling. I want a hot shower and some A/C. I know Dominion's doing everything they can, but there are no trees blocking lines in my neighborhood and we're on the same circuit as a bunch of the Colley Ave. businesses, and I want my power back. Now. Grrrr.

+9:30pm: About 4pm, Michael & I decided to venture out - cabin fever, boredom, hot apartment - and pay calls, as they used to say. Went to Chas's, and then with him in tow, went to Jenn & Steve's. Since I'd heard that the Greenbrier (Mall) area had power, we made some calls and ended up making reservations at Pargo's. They had electricity, which meant ice & A/C, woo hoo! Good evening. Parts of VB have power, as do Military Blvd. and Chesapeake Blvd. in Norfolk. Little Creek's still out, however, as is almost all of Hampton Blvd. We still have nothing, in terms of power, and the apartment is very warm. 9pm curfew, second night in a row. We're hoping we'll get power tomorrow (Sat), but I'm honestly not betting on it. Can hope, though. A/C - hot water - charging my cell phone! :(

*=The Midtown Tunnel's going to be closed for at least 2 weeks, it turns out.
**=Dinner was delicious.

Hurricane Isabel Journal

18 September 2003

+9:30am: Power went out about 10 minutes ago. Dominion Power reporting 120K w/o power. This, 10 minutes after I blogged that we still had power...

+10:20am: Our classic rock station is, predictably, playing REO's "Ridin' the Storm Out." This serves to remind me how much I hate REO Speedwagon, and how stupid most classic rock fans are. For the most part, however, this station is simulcasting one of our local TV stations, so I'll deal.

+10:45am: The apartment's already starting to get hot. Grrr. The windows seem to be fine, so far.

+12noon: 300K w/o power [in SE VA/NE NC]. Isabel starting to make landfall between Ocracoke and Cape Lookout. Tornado watch continuing until 8pm. Winds getting a lot stronger here - sustained tropical storm-force winds (over 35mph - maybe nearing 50mph). Isabel's picking up steam, now moving at 20mph, still a Cat 2. High winds expected to continue through the p.m. It's just getting worse. Going to try to head outside and take a few pics. Wish me luck.

+12:20pm: Wow, what a rush! Walked out to the corner of Shirley & Colley - saw a few cars, saw 3 pedestrians, the Max's* canopy is nearly toasted, Sam's* & Kelly's* aren't even boarded up but the Naro is, got some (hopefully) great pics. Wow!

+12:45pm: 430K w/o power. It's worth noting that the TV stations are running totally commerical-free - but the radio stations simulcasting them aren't, which I find incredibly offensive. I want, and need, information - not commercials for Hardee's and car dealerships.

Surprisingly, there was no debris in the street when I went out earlier. WAVY keeps talking about the Sea Ranch 2 hotel in Kill Devil Hills, which it sounds like is about to take a header into the ocean.** It's 7 stories high - and Isabel hasn't even fully hit yet. Once high tide hits along OBX, there's gonna be some even more major damage.

+12:55pm: I wonder how they're doing down at Howard's Pub on Ocracoke?***

+2:30pm: Wind field extending up to DC, according to 'fer. Apartment getting warmer. Roomie napping. Moved my flat-screen monitor from in front of the window, as the winds continue to ramp up - hurricane-force nearing, if not already happening.

+3:30pm: The big ol' fishing piers at Buckroe Beach, Oceanview, and the VB oceanfront**** have all been taken out. Newport News reporting 8" of rain, 5" in Chesapeake, 6" in Norfolk*****. 85-90% of SE VA Dominion customers - over 600K - w/o power.

*=These are all restaurants within a couple hundred yards of our apartment building.
**=I've never heard confirmation either way about this story.
***=Jeffy found a great story from Reuters about the Pub weathering the storm.
****=The VB oceanfront pier lost its first 30 feet, but is still standing, but the Buckroe and Harrison (Oceanview) piers went down.
*****=Norfolk ended up reporting a little over 4" of rain at the airport.

Power came back on about an hour and a half ago. I have lots to tell about Hurricane Isabel (and in fact kept a "Hurricane Journal" I'll be posting today), but first I want a hot shower and a cold drink.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

As of 9:17am EST, winds are blowing sustained at 29 mph, gusting as high as 55mph. It's been raining for hours; currently, it's raining at a rate of 1/2" per hour. We still have power, cable, everything, but word is that over 20,000 people (mostly in VA Beach) are already without power. Looking out the window of my roommate's bedroom, I've only seen one car on Colley Avenue (the main north-south drag, a couple hundred yards from our apartment) in over an hour.

I did buy a Kodak Max Water & Sport disaposable camera this week, and will be taking pics of the storm and its aftermath; hopefully, I'll be able to post those here once I get the film developed in a couple days' time.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Odds & ends:

Yay, queen! The Naro's still open tonight (though they took out all the bulbs from their marquee, which gives it a very odd, abandoned look), and is showing a free sneak of Intolerable Cruelty tonight. Coen Brothers + Clooney + Zeta-Jones? Say no more.

The Democratic National Committee now has its own blog, (hopefully?) titled Kicking Ass. It's been added to the links page for your convenience. [Thanks, Erik.]

Yum yum! [But, uh, someone in corporate needs spellcheck... it's "hearty," not "hardy."]

Longform thoughts on Cash, Jaxx, Neptunes, and Richard X still forthcoming.

316,500 copies? People, people, come now! Sadly, it appears that John Mayer can fool some of the people all of the time...

...at least there's a new Beyoncé album already in the cards. "Crazy In Love" is still the single to beat in '03.

Off work again tomorrow - kind of a no-brainer. As of 2pm, Isabel is still a Cat 2, with sustained winds at 105mph. Still looks like she's going to slam into the NC coast near Morehead City sometime tomorrow afternoon. Stopped by the grocery store this afternoon to pick up some Pepsi (caffeine, very important), extra bread, and Spam (we've got a gas stove, which means one thing: Spamburgers!) Our apartment windows are crosshatched, so I'm not taping them up; we've got all the blinds closed in front of them, as well. And we finally got (quite a bit of) bottled water; I also emptied some 2-liter bottles and filled them up, just in case.

Talked with my buddy Hef today (not Mr. Hefner, in case you're wondering), who lives in Miami and rode out three hurricanes when he was in the Air Force, stationed at Eglin AFB on the Florida panhandle. The biggest storm he had to deal with was Opal, a "marginal" Cat 3 back in 1995. Based on our proximity to water (and most notably, the oceanfront), Hef said that while there'll be quite a bit of wind and rain and flooding, by the time Isabel comes a-callin', she'll essentially resemble a really, really big & bad severe thunderstorm (which we Hoosiers are well accustomed to). He also echoed my thoughts of excitement before the storm - I've got so much adrenalin pumping right now, it's ridiculous - and bets I'll pop my head outside at some point during her stay, just to experience it. [Can you tell this is my first hurricane?]

Had a second date last night - the first one was Saturday - and this was just as lovely as the first. This guy lives in Virginia Beach, not incredibly far from the oceanfront, and voluntarily headed to Richmond this afternoon. I helped him move some furniture around (he's in a little bit of a flood plain), mostly to his second floor, and put bigger stuff (couches) up on cinderblocks, in the event of interior flooding. Brought his patio furniture inside, as well (potential projectiles are bad). You can feel the anticipation in the air everywhere you go, and not just 'cause a lot of homes and businesses are boarded up. The air is nearly crackling.

And for me, as far as Hurricane Isabel goes? Honestly, I feel ready. And pumped.

[For those who want more info on how Isabel could/will effect a metro area of 1 million-plus, the best resource is the Virginian-Pilot's website.]

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Being as I am consumed with Isabelosity, I haven't (obviously) been blogging much else. I'll try to get some things posted tomorrow, ahead of the storm. And of course, I'll be merrily blogging as long as electricity and cable modem allow.

Here she comes. There's a hurricane watch in effect, the Navy's sending about 40 ships and subs out to sea (and about 100 jets to Indiana) to ride out the storm and have put all personnel on voluntary evacuation, all of the Outer Banks of North Carolina are under mandatory evacuation, we're off work tomorrow (and likely Thursday and [fingers crossed] Friday too), and I still don't have any bottled water. But apart from that, I'm ready. Bring it on, bitch.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Odds & ends:

I love this article from MTV.com regarding the Rock Hall nominees, just for calling Prince "the divinely nasty legend" - truer words never spoken, et cetera...

Would anyone really notice if Sisqo went to jail? [There's an obvious thong joke to be made here, but I'm not making it.]

Sad to see that Billy's without a band, again. Maybe time, finally, for that Corgan solo album?

I've gotta think that the Supremes are not going to want to get involved with the California recall - Florida 2K, anyone?

And with all due respect to Julie Foudy, "The impact of the WUSA on women's sports and millions of fans has been extraordinary" is a rather large bit of hyperbole. The impact of the Women's World Cup in 1999? Hell yes. The impact of the WUSA, whose TV deal was with friggin' PAX? Um, that would be a no.

The local news is already all Isabel, all the time - and the forecast models are all still consistent. It ain't gonna be pretty, folks. My beloved island of Ocracoke, NC has started mandatory evacuations already, and Virginia Governor Mark Warner declared a state of emergency today. Evacuations are still possible around here, but unlikely (except for those right on coastal areas).

From an IM with Mike today, as I quoted National Hurricane Center stats and predix left and right:

stebbins: you are such a weather geek
stebbins: have you always been like this, or is isabel just scaring the hell out of you
massive3: Yes and yes.
massive3: Not scaring the hell out of me, per sé, but I'm a hurricane virgin, and all reports make it clear that this bitch means business.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Odds & ends:

Living as I do in coastal Virginia, right now I'm a bit jumpy regarding that nasty bitch Isabel. Her current projected path still has her potentially slamming right into (and over) our area sometime on Thursday, so yeah, I'm gonna grab batteries, candles, canned goods, bottled water, et.al. this week, just in case. I'm hoping we don't take a direct hit, so that a) electricity stays on, and b) I can blog my first hurricane. If it looks really bad, I'm not planning on waiting for an evacuation order, however - it's higher, non-coastal ground for this hurricane virgin.

Margaret Cho blogs. Predictably, it's kick-ass. Thanks for the heads-up to...

Paul, my ever-so-gracious new bloghost. He promises my redesign should be up sometime this week, which I'm little-kid-on-Christmas-morning-excited about. Also coming this week: mp3s. Yay, queen!

Does Richard X's "Rock Jacket" sample Animotion's "Obsession"? Anyone know?

My mini-review of the Raveonettes' Chain Gang of Love, based on having heard three songs: interesting ideas (Paul suggests Jesus & Mary Chain filtered via Buddy Holly, and I'd mostly agree), middling execution. They're good, but not (yet) great. Shame that being a male/female rock duo results in hundred of lazy White Stripes comparisons, though.

A fine football weekend for this transplanted Hoosier: Go Colts, winning with defense! [About time, too.] Go Boilers, on the road no less! Go anyone playing Notre Dame (and whuppin' ass)!

The nominees on the 2004 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ballot have been announced, and of course, they're predictably disappointing. Chic off after one year? ABBA, too? George fucking Harrison as a solo artist?! Jackson Browne I understand - I don't care for him, but I'm not surprised. And the other two new nominees are natural first-balloters: John Mellencamp and Prince. Whether you like them or not, there's no way either of them a) don't deserve to be in, and b) won't get in on first ballot. My predix: besides Mellencamp and Prince, I think this is finally the year Patti Smith makes it in, along with the Sex Pistols. Maybe Harrison (likely because he's a dead Beatle, but I'm hedging). Browne waits at least a year. And then there's the pair of big-ass question marks, Gram Parsons (he basically invented a genre, country-rock or whatever you like to call it) and the Stooges (Iggy. Punk. 'nuff said). Feel free to share your thoughts below; we should hear who's in sometime in December.

Let these words sink in for a moment: Christina Applegate, Emmy winner. Yes, that's the same Applegate who first gained fame as Kelly Bundy - and now she's won an Emmy. I'm very glad to hear the news, actually; I always thought that her work on Married with Children was much better than she ever received credit for, showing quite a knack for broad (and at times, physical) comedy. Due to the series' subject matter (and general, blissful crassness), Applegate was destined never to receive honors of any kind for the show (the same was true for Katey Sagal, a consistantly marvelous actress). Now, thanks to her work on Friends (which was quite fine, and her recurring role will continue this season), she's been awarded an Emmy. Sometimes, things work out the way they should.

News which makes me (mentally) jizz, from MTV.com:

"Mr. Biggs is planning on doing it way big — again. The Isley Brothers plan to put out a remix album early next year, according to their camp. The only name linked to the project so far is King Britt. His spokespeople say he's been enlisted to revamp 'Footsteps in the Dark.'"

An album of remixed Isleys classics?! With King Britt leading the way?! On "Footsteps in the Dark"?! Oh. Good. Lord. [Related: if you don't own the three-disc box It's Your Thing: The Story of the Isley Brothers, you need it more than you know.]

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Full reviews to come (really, I swear), but the best moments of Richard X's Richard X Presents His X Factor Volume 1 (Astralwerks) and the comp The Neptunes Present Clones (Star Trak/Arista) are some of the best musical moments of the year, oh fuck yes they are. They even make Liberty X and Nelly sound good (separately, that is - though I wonder what that collabo would sound like? It'd probably bring out the worst of both, actually). Cracking, blinding stuff. And Kelis is on both albums!

Did you know that you can watch C-SPAN live online? What a wonderful thing. I watched C-SPAN on television this evening, taking in the Tom Harkin Steak Fry, a Democratic fundraiser/campaigning event now in its 26th year. Things you should know about the Harkin Steak Fry:

1. Whoever plays music between speakers kicks ass. Among other things, I heard both Led Zep's "When the Levee Breaks" and the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army" during today's broadcast.
2. The special guest speaker was President Bill Clinton. He gave a funny, witty, on-point speech, and was ably introduced by Senator Harkin.
3. John Edwards gave a feisty, wonderful speech. If he had a bit more experience under his belt (he's in the midst of his first term in elected office, serving as the senior Senator from North Carolina) and were Governor Howard Dean not running, he'd likely have my vote in the Democratic presidential primary. He's also the cutest of the 9 candidates.
4. Paul Wellstone once said, "The future of American politics is with those who have passion." That's the good doctor Dean. He's filled with passion and spark. He impresses me more and more each time I hear him speak.
5. The chair of the Iowa Dems, whose name I've forgotten, is a rather woofy bear.
6. Senator Harkin pointed out one promise President Bush made which he has kept. He said he'd unite this great nation of ours - and as Harkin said, "I've never seen Democrats so united" as to send Dubya back to Crawford, TX in January, 2005. Amen!

Why wouldn't everyone want to watch this? No one covers elections better than C-SPAN, because they're unfiltered, non-partisan (they followed this coverage with an event honoring Vice President Dan Quayle), live from the campaign trail, period. I love politics, which means I love C-SPAN.

Indiana Governor Frank O'Bannon, dead at 73. R.I.P., Frank. You were a fine statesman and always served with the best interests of the people of Indiana in mind and at heart. Fitting that you were from Corydon, the state's first capital. Say "hi" to Birch for us.

Friday, September 12, 2003

Some sunshine breaking through this depressing day (not only because of all the celebrity deaths, but because it's pouring here and likely will all day): today's Mike's 6th anniversary with his partner, Bob. Whyn't'cha mosey on over and share some happy anniversary wishes?

More happy news in the blogworld comes from Corey and Beau.

The specter of death hangs over Oh, Manchester today. Not only because of the passing of Mr. Cash (CMT.com has a really superb obituary and appreciation of the Man in Black), but I just read a gorgeous piece on Warren Zevon's passing by Eppy, who it turns out works at Artemis - which would be the label which has released the last three Zevon records. There's also the news that Jewel's bassist has died, which is very sad - but there's an upside, which is that Jewel's cancelled her tour. And then, as it would happen, I'm listening to Kings of Rock, a Run-D.M.C. comp I made last December, shortly after the death of Jam Master Jay. Weird day; more thoughts as they come.

Update: the appreciations of Johnny Cash are starting to roll in. Besides CMT.com's fine piece (linked above), here's one from MTV.com, some (as always) fine writing from Erik, and a great review of his career at CNN.com.

Johhny Cash, dead at 71. There are tears in my eyes, and I don't know what to say.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

9/11 is the 800-pound gorilla in my living room today. I don't know what to say, or how I'd even articulate anything I would say, so I'm just waiting for midnight, for the calendar to click over to 9/12, when the gorilla will let himself out.

The one thing I can think of to say isn't my own thought, but is courtesy of the mighty Jaxx. It's directed towards the Bush administration, in (almost) all they've done post-9/11 (or used it as an excuse to do).

Wake up, baby
You're so totally deluded
No more lies
No more lies
No more lies

- Basement Jaxx, "Good Luck" (Kish Kash, Astralwerks, 2003)

Honestly, I didn't even realize that the Dust Brothers were still around.

Now appearing above, you can see what I'm playing (or most recently played) on Winamp 2.91, thanks to Audio Tracker (I "heart" freeware!). Thanks also to Joe for help with my HTML coding problems. Geeks rool, dude!

A word about the first song to show up, which makes me look really, rilly gay: the Peter Rauhofer mix of Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful" is a prime example of how circumstances (can) affect our listening, and our response(s) to music. "Beautiful" is a nice enough song, and its video is a queer triumph, getting boy-on-boy tongue action (and transvestism, which is queer if not gay) all over MTV and TRL. But Rauhofer's remix is devastating - to quote Jay-Hova, it's the [gay] anthem, get ya damn hands up. But it didn't hit me just so until early one Sunday morning at Ziegfield's. It was my first big trip out in DC (with the inimitable 'fer playing tourguide), back in June, and we were at Secrets, drunk and ogling the naked boys. I needed some fresh air, so ventured over to the faux-patio at Ziegfield's (the two clubs are connected). Before I could get a smoke in, though, I heard the siren song of Rauhofer's tribal/house mix of what will likely end up as XTina's definitive song, and was consumed with the need to dance, to commune with my queer brethren, to become part of the mass. There I was, dancing with at least a hundred others, part of a living, writhing beast. It was a moment, one with which I'll forever link this mix - and one which will forever enhance my love and devotion for it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Holy shit, the Pixies are (almost) back. 'Nuff respect to Paul for catching this right away. As he says,

It's the day we've been both longing for and dreading in equal measure. This could be devastatingly bad. And, then again, it could be positively brilliant.

Wow... I never thought I'd see the day, and I won't entirely believe it until I see the quartet on stage, but you can damned well bet I'll be there. This monkey's in heaven already.

And speaking of reunions, I can hardly wait to see Duran Duran back - Blondie pulled it off, so there's no reason D-squared (as I've often called 'em) can't as well (and with just as much fashion and aplomb).

O'Bannon Update: transfer of power begins, but Acting Gov. Kernan still says he won't run for the mansion in '04; everyone from Dubya to Gray Davis sending condolences. A buddy back in Indiana who's got a connection with a state senator says he's heard that the outlook isn't good. All we can do is keep Gov. O'Bannon in our thoughts and prayers.

I like, but don't love, the Streets's Original Pirate Material. Two things about it nag at me.
1. I suspect that in a couple of years, we'll respond to it the way we do to Moby's Play (Pazz & Jop '99 winner): "Well, it's good, but it's not that good/I never listen to it."
2. It's one of those rap-albums-that-(white)-people-who-don't-like-rap-like. Arested Development (Pazz & Jop '92 winner), please come to the white courtesy phone.

Of course, I do like it better than the trio of albums which beat it in this year's Pazz & Jop (Wilco, Beck, Lips). Musically, it's interesting, though not astounding. And what white guy doesn't occasionally enjoy the sound of an other white guy, lazily rapping? But I've gotten to thinking about the Streets again in light of the Mercury Prize nod for, and win last night by, Dizzee Rascal. Frankly, Dizzee makes the Streets look like a rank amateur.

First of all, Dizzee's 18. 18! Secondly, he's weird: for his current single "Fix Up Look Sharp," he built the track around "The Big Beat" by Billy Squier - yes, that Billy fucking Squier. And yeah, Reynolds is right - he's clearly the most exciting, and important, UK MC since Tricky. And the scary thing is, he might be better. [BTW, Simon's got an excerpt from Dizzee's acceptance speech up, in which he big-ups the bloggers!]

Yeah, this post is a bit underdone, 'cause I don't have Boy in Da Corner with me at the moment. May try to flesh it out later.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Chapter 1.2 of my novel-in-progress, 'logical progression,' has been posted, in case you're interested.

Odds & ends:

If you think concert ticket prices are bad in the U.S., just remember: you could be in Mexico.

Is "Fear the Turtle" really the best promotional slogan for a university? Well, the Magic 8 Ball says "Outlook Good," but I'm not so sure...

Opus is coming back. Let's hope "Opus" is more "Bloom County" and less "Outland."

And no surprise that one of the classiest tributes to the late Warren Zevon came from Letterman.

O'Bannon update: Lt. Gov. Kernan temporarily in charge in Indiana; Gov. O'Bannon showing signs of brain damage, extent unknown (this is an excellent, in-depth piece from the Indy Star); Mrs. O'Bannon issues statement. Here are the guidelines for succession from the Indiana Constitution.

It's a shame to me that Leni Riefenstahl will be forever known as "Hitler's filmmaker," as, regardless of your politics, Triumph of the Will and especially Olympia are jaw-droppingly stunning films. Ms. Riefenstahl died last night at the age of 101. Her political views are not important to my appreciation of her art, which was quite superb. We screened part of Olympia in my Film History course in college, and it's a breathtaker, full of vision and clarity like few other films of its era. Her cinematography and direction were amazing. Yes, Riefenstahl's work was used by the Nazi government as propaganda, and yes, she was a fan (if you want to call it that) of Adolf. But to allow those facts to diminish her achievements as an artist is a mistake, I think. [I feel the same way about Eminem, or Richard Wagner (another known Nazi sympathizer).]

While composing this entry, Chrisafer and I discussed samesaid subject:

therealsubmeat: [I'm writing an entry] in praise of Leni Riefenstahl.
therealsubmeat: she died this morning, aged 101.
Crisafer: ahh
Crisafer: well, oscar wilde would be proud
therealsubmeat: huh?
Crisafer: you know
Crisafer: how oscar wilde talks about art not being bound by good or bad
Crisafer: in terms of politics
therealsubmeat: oh, ok - yeah
therealsubmeat: same thing with Eminem.
Crisafer: right
therealsubmeat: or Wagner.
Crisafer: see, i think there is something to that
Crisafer: but i also think to divorce that from the effects is false
Crisafer: yes, the battleship potemkin is a wonderful piece of cinema
Crisafer: but to say its politics are irrelevant misses the mark
therealsubmeat: not irrelevent, per sé, but shouldn't upset one's appreciation of the art.
Crisafer: but it often does
Crisafer: like eminem
Crisafer: with me
therealsubmeat: which is a shame, I think.
Crisafer: i can't listen to kim
therealsubmeat: I know - and I find it one of the most stunning recorded songs of the last decade.
Crisafer: sometimes i think that if it weren't so personal it would be easier for me to digest
Crisafer: and that's wrong
Crisafer: but it's true
Crisafer: i remember when "cop killer" came out and all the conservatives were flipping out--meanwhile Ahnuld's character brutally murders like 15 cops in The Terminator, but he's running the president's council on phys. fitness.
therealsubmeat: exactly... and censorship, I ardently believe (as you know), never has a in a democratic, free-thinking society.
Crisafer: i think that's the danger with rap (like poetry) is that the speaker, narrator, rapper, or whatever you want to call it is always assumed to be the artist
Crisafer: which is why Kim troubled me
therealsubmeat: and so very often, they're playing a role, a character - we never hear Cash singing "I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die" and think that Cash himself did that.
Crisafer: but Kim was so autobiographical, violent, and played on all the issues I have with spousal abuse
Crisafer: it's one thing for NWA to say "Fuck the Police" and another for Em to say "I'm going to kill my wife named Kim"
Crisafer: again, I don't believe in censorship, as you well know, but it troubled me to the point where I couldn't even care about its artistic merit
therealsubmeat: and knowing what we do about Marshall's complicated history with her in real life makes it even more difficult for many to draw that line of demarcation.
Crisafer: right
Crisafer: strangely, though, burroughs shooting his wife
Crisafer: less troublesome
therealsubmeat: and the funny thing is, I almost went the reverse direction with "Kim" - its artistic merit is so strong, so truly awesome (in the awe-inspiring sense of the word) that it practically overruled any questions/concerns I might've had
Crisafer: i'm all sorts of contradictory
therealsubmeat: we all are - just like Eminem.
Crisafer: yes
Crisafer: but you know what
therealsubmeat: that's part of what makes him such a great artist, I think.
therealsubmeat: what's that?
Crisafer: if he's so in your face and daring and fuck the world in his use of faggot and bitch
Crisafer: how come he doesn't use the infamous "n" word
Crisafer: is it because he knows he'd get his ass kicked?
Crisafer: fast and hard
therealsubmeat: because he's a businessman, too.
Crisafer: repeatedly?
Crisafer: but see, that's why his defense of using the word faggot
Crisafer: just doesn't cut it
therealsubmeat: and he knows that it's still culturally accepted to use "faggot" and "bitch," but "nigger" is a no-no.
Crisafer: right
therealsubmeat: that's very true.
Crisafer: if he came out swinging and dropped some n bombs, so to speak, i wonder what would happen
Crisafer: picture that
therealsubmeat: the bottom line for me is, I think he's a phenomenal rapper, truly gifted. I won't buy his albums, but I'll praise his art (and his right to say whatever he wants) to the ends of the earth.
therealsubmeat: he'd be banned, completely.
Crisafer: yes
therealsubmeat: but even if he did use the "n"-word, that wouldn't change his talent - but it would impact how we receive it.
Crisafer: right
Crisafer: but isn't that just politics?
therealsubmeat: it is - and living in DC, you should know that better than most.
Crisafer: everything's politics
Crisafer: the personal is political
therealsubmeat: and the political is personal.

Monday, September 08, 2003

It's official; I've moved. I'm over here now (and don't know how long I'll be up at blogger, so please adjust your links accordingly).

I find Indiana Governor Frank O'Bannon's apparent cerebral hemorrhage incredibly disturbing news - not only for the obvious surface reasons, but because as a native Hoosier, I voted for O'Bannon gladly in 1996 (and would have in 2000, had I not already moved to Virginia by then). I think he's done a fine job as governor of my home state, just as he did for the eight years prior as Lieutenant Governor under (now-Senator) Evan Bayh. I also find it awfully ironic that this story on the hits he's currently taking over property teax reassessment (a huge issue in Indiana) ran on the Indiana Associated Press wire this morning. And now, current Lt. Gov. Joe Kernan, who announced last December that he wouldn't run for Governor in '04, is acting governor. Isn't that just a little bit ironic? I think very highly of Kernan, a superb former Mayor of South Bend, who's always been a big supporter of small family farmers, amongst many others. For those interested in more on the story - especially how power is (possibly) transfered to a new governor - the Indianapolis Star has more coverage here and here. [Props to Daily Kos for mentioning the news, too.]

Update: The governor's out of surgery.

Odds & ends (chiefly meta-blogging edition):

I should've known, those fuckers. The MTV News blog was simply a promotional device for the VMAs. Fuckers.

Amazing writing as always over at The Church of Me, where Marcello uses a King Britt remix as a jump-off point for a myriad of other topics (as always). He reviews the Richard X album (which, based on what I've heard, is fairly godlike) for the new Uncut (but why John & Yoko on the cover, again?!).

Donald has excerpts from the 20/20 interview with Macaulay Culkin that should have been (page down to "Baba Wawa").

Tracks from the new Mandy Moore album, Coverage, are starting to pop up online, and they're only whetting my eagerness to buy this record (October 21). The full songs are even better than the clips posted on her site. Here's the tracklisting:
1 Senses Working Overtime
2 The Whole Of The Moon
3 Can We Still Be Friends
4 I Feel The Earth Move
5 Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters
6 Drop The Pilot
7 Moonshadow
8 One Way Or Another
9 Breaking Us In Two
10 Anticipation
11 Help Me
12 Have A Little Faith In Me
Paul (back from vacation!) pointed out in conversation last night that the album cover is reminiscent of Carly Simon's '70s records, and I agree - especially thanks to the record label logo on the upper lefthand corner. Design-wise, it's a triumph. And musically? Marvelous. I think this will likely be one of my ten favorite albums of 2003. Stop hating and Coverage a shot - Mandy's got a great voice, great arrangements, and superb song selection.

There are some frankly fascinating posts about - well, getting fucked - over at Devon the Escort's Diary.

And finally, DC's loss is Durham's gain with Matt's move down I-95.

God bless Willie, Neil, and John (and, newly, Dave) for continuing Farm Aid each and every year. It's the benefit that, since 1985, tends to fly under most folks' collective radar (especially considering there was no TV broadcast this year - what's up with that, CMT?), but it appears that this year's concert was just as superb as all that came before it. As someone who grew up on a small farm (64 acres, about 100 head of cows, and occasionally some pigs as well), I know firsthand how hard it is for independent farmers to make it - we were eternally in debt, barely getting by for all of my youth, and it's a testament to my parents that I never knew, growing up, that we lived under the poverty line (especially for a family of six). Without much publicity, and since it's not a "sexy" cause, Farm Aid can only do so much (in 2001, Farm Aid gave out about $350,000). But every little bit counts, and Misters Nelson, Young, Mellencamp, and Matthews understand the importance of the small family farm in America. I'll always respect them, and every artist who's ever played at a Farm Aid concert (yes, even Trick Pony), for the simple fact that they're trying to do something for those farmers across this great nation of ours.

How pathetically sad is it that "No U.S. Casualties in Iraq for 7 Days" warrants itself as a headline? I guess when Bush's lies and deceit result in, to date, 287 U.S. troops dead, any glimmer of good news is good news. And for the Bush administration to give the rest of the world the middle finger when starting this war-cum-occupation, and then have the gall to go begging to the U.N. just last week ("we need more money and cannon fodder")? Incredible. And no, Bushie, your new request for $87 billion "won't wreck the federal budget" - you've already done that. How are your friends at Haliburton and Enron doing, hmm, Georgie?

Warren Zevon has died at the age of 56, just four days after achieving his highest chart position in almost 25 years, as what everyone (including Zevon) knew would be his last album, The Wind, entered The Billboard 200 at #16. He was so much more than "Werewolves of London," y'all - I recommend starting with his 1987 album Sentimental Hygiene, recorded with R.E.M. (minus Stipe) as his backing band. It's one of the strongest, most assured records of his career. [And The Wind's a fitting swansong, packed with but not overshadowed by guests from Springsteen to Bonnie Raitt, along with some of Zevon's best songs in years.] R.I.P., Warren.

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Your attention, please: effective Tuesday morning (9/09/03), I'm pulling up stakes and moving over to Paul's domain. No ads! And coming soon, a redesign, and downloadable MP3s! As of Tuesday, you can find me here - but not before then. Please make the necessary adjustments, and return your tray tables to their upright and locked position before we begin our descent. Thank you.

My chief book reading at the moment is Ben Tyler's frothy made-to-be-a-beach-read Gay Blades, all (gay) diva clashes and (gay, duh) sex sex sex, set in the world of touring figure skating shows. It's utter fluff, but it's high-quality fluff, with no nasty chemical additive aftertaste. I'm reading it mainly because I needed some (as 'fer suggested when I told him) sorbet to cleanse my palate, as I'm in the midst of a spate of non-fiction books.

Last week I finished Neil Miller's splendid, shocking Sex-Crime Panic, which examines said "panic" (real and perceived) in Sioux City, Iowa in the 1950s. Numerous (at least 35) gay men were institutionalized in a mental hospital to sate the public's fears of "sexual predators" after the appalling murder/molestations of two young children in Sioux City - during a time when over half the states in our (then un)fair union had "sexual psychopath" laws on the books, ostensibly to allow police and prosecutors the freedom to lock up the potential child murderers and rapists among us. In reality, however, most states used said laws as an excuse to toss men who had sex with other men away, damn the consequences. Miller tells his story excellently, exploring every angle possible, reminding us all that such things can and did happen in these United States - and, I'd add, that we should never forget what came before us. Forget your history/doomed to repeat it isn't just a clever adage.

I'm not sure I ever thought I'd utter these words, but the new Reba McEntire single is sensational. "I'm Gonna Take That Mountain"'s first ten seconds feature sumptuous a cappella harmonies (featuring Union Station's Dan Tyminski!) and fine banjo pickin' - quite a change from her overproduced work of recent years. Lyrically, it's typically good Reba, one of her should-be-patented "triumph over any challenge" songs. And before you suggest that Reba's simply jumping the bluegrass bandwagon, consider this: maybe it's simply the surprising (to some) new-found popularity of the form that's made Reba feel like she's got the freedom to make a single such as this, and still have it be accepted by her fans. [I know, some of y'all will take issue with that like of thinking, too. Have at it.] This might well be the most exciting, nay fresh, Reba single since her late-'80s glory days, circa "Whoever's In New England."

Saw Camp again Friday night, this time by myself, as it just opened for a one-week run at the Naro, just 'round the corner from my place. Loved it even more. The soundtrack is utterly sublime, and I was refreshed to see the crowd such a mix of gay men and musical theater-lovin' teens (mostly girls). Then meandered to the Garage, about a 25-minute walk, 'cause I was just in the mood for a crowd of 'mos and a couple whiskeys, both of which I got. Last night, hung out with my new pal Travis, newly arrived from Vegas, showing him more of the area (I love playing tour guide), stopping by Tony & Darrell's, walking along the oceanfront (and in the rising tide) at 1130pm on a clear, gorgeous Saturday night, and then driving aimlessly to Smithfield ('cause we weren't tired, and because it's there). Good, good weekend. Today's for some cleaning and probably a nice, long walk - but I still wish I had an iPod to accompany me on said journeys 'round the neighborhood.

Go here NOW, as Nate has the complete scoop on the clear Album of the Year, 2003 edition: Basement Jaxx' Kish Kash. Holy sweet motherfucking mother of God. This. Is. The. New. Shit.

My review to come, but for the record, Nate's track-by-tracker is one of the best pieces of rockcrit I've read this year. Personal early faves: opener "Good Luck," which is as impressive an album-opener as I've heard in quite some time (since Daft Punk's initial Discovery salvo "One More Time," at very least), the JC Chasez-featuring "Plug It In" (gets better every time; is it wrong to suggest that with this one appearance he's upped the ante for Justin?), "If I Ever Recover," a slowed down slow-dance house moment, the truly punk-funk "Cish Cash" (the return of Siouxsie Sioux! And she's growling!), both numbers with Me'Shell Ndegéocello, which absolutely drip sex, and of course the first single, "Lucky Star" (featuring possible Man of the Year - or at least new artist - Dizzee Rascal). But through the first 5 listens or so, there's not a weak track to be found at all. Devastating.

Happy Birthday, Corey!

Friday, September 05, 2003

Winamp random 10:

1. Dirty Vegas - Simple Things Part 2 (6:44)
2. Everything But The Girl - Good Cop Bad Cop (4:54)
3. Motley Crue - Looks That Kill (4:31)
4. Martina McBride - Where Would You Be (4:34)
5. k.d. lang - moonglow (2:59)
6. Soulwax - Flat Cold Medina (4:53)
7. Matt O'Neill - tommyknocker (1:52)
8. Outkast Feat. Jay-Z - Flip Flop Rock (3:01)
9. Wookie - Battle (4:50)
10. Tom Robinson Band - Glad To Be Gay (5:04)

Meanwhile, it's good to know that the police in Caddo Valley, Arkansas are keeping the worst criminals off the streets...

Proof that things are very different in Bermuda: when your main concern when preparing for a direct hit from a Category 3 hurricane is "do people have enough beer?"

Hurricanes frighten me. I can deal with blizzards, severe thunderstorms, tornados, even - all common to the midwest, where I grew up. But I've never lived through a hurricane, and they're so unpredictable and pack so many different dangers (high winds, heavy rains, rising tides) that they make me nervous - especially as this is my fourth hurricane season living on the southeastern coast of Virginia, and there hasn't been one make a hit as long as I've lived here. We're overdue, and that concerns me. Mother Nature can be a very nasty bitch when she wants to be.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Johnny Cash Week/2
Which is more interesting: that CMT.com has a story about reactions to Johnny Cash's nominations at last week's VMAs, or their seeming shock at some of the sights on the red carpet ("[Dave Navarro's] arms showing more blue tattoo ink than skin," "curvaceous brunette which ... reached a double letter somewhere between C and E," et.al.)?

I'm still working on my review of Cash's American IV: The Man Comes Around, which reenters the Billboard 200 at #91 this week. Hopefully will have it up sometime this weekend.

I have crushes.

I guess I'm that one-in-a-hundred of gay men. I never had furtive jack-off sessions with other boys at the age of 13, no "accidental" drunken seductions of, or by, straight guys - none of it. I've never really even hit on a straight man. I'm a statistical anomaly. Instead of all that, I have crushes.

The mystery of the heterosexual man is just that to gay men, a mystery. It's one we can't truly crack, just like the fact that however close we are as friends,
they'll never completely understand us. 'Course, if these legions of heteros are truly straight, the difference between us is that they've no attraction to us. We can't all say the same of our feelings towards them. Sexually, the heterosexual man lives in a code, in heiroglyphics. Some of us just want a piece of the code.

There's this guy, Colin, a jock - a basketball player. He's nice. Smart. Definitely hot. I don't even know for certain, 100%, that he's straight. But he's engaged, alas, to a woman. So we could assume that even-if-let's-say he
is gay, he probably isn't dying to start spreading the news. Even-if-let's-say doesn't tend to say much; it signifies, but more, I think, about the messenger. And that would be me. And I'm saying this about Colin... ergo, I've got a crush. On Colin. Have since the first day I saw him. He and I are friendly, casually; we'll occasionally discuss sports in line at the cafeteria, and we had a class together once. So there's a basic relationship there, a proverbial foot in the door, but nothing especially special. And it's not like anything's gonna happen. That's the problem with blasted straight guys - and more often than not, with crushes. Ah, unrequited something-or-other.

This is the first segment of my novel-in-progress, 'logical progression' (version 2.1), which I've decided to post. Not here, mind, but in a new blog titled, go figure, 'logical progression'. I hope to post segments each day or so until I get everything I've written thus far up. Feel free to comment via email and let me know what you think, good, bad, or indifferent. [Happy now, Johnny? *grin*] I'm on a digging-up-old-writing kick of late, as evidenced by the journal entry I posted last night. Expect more of those in the coming weeks, along with (possibly) some other writings from the past, including - if I can find them - some poetry I wrote way back in high school. It's not especially good, I think, but some might find it interesting. I do, as an archeological artifact of who I am/was, if nothing else.

Finally, common sense from the American legal system. I mean, "unconstitutionally establish[ing] a religion of nontheistic beliefs"? What are these people smoking, and where can I get some? As far as the "McDonald's made me fat" argument goes, did Ronald McDonald and the Hamburgler force you to eat all those Big Macs? Um, no. So shut the fuck up, and would you like fries with that? [Mind you, I largely think McDonald's is McNasty, and almost never eat there. I tried one of those weird McGriddles over the weekend. It was interesting. Not great, not awful, just - weird. I think I'll stick with Hardee's for breakfast.]

Say it ain't so, Tim... at least if he does go out, he'll go out on top. And he says he's topped "Work It"? Whoa. Never underestimate, y'all. He's clearly one of the three most important, and influential, producers of the last decade (the others being Dr. Dre and the Neptunes), changing the way music sounds. How many folks can say they've done that?

Me, too:
Vast, and full of adventure, you can't get here by conventional means
Your butt is Alaska: you have to be adventurous to
handle it, and you can't get there by any ordinary means.
What state does your butt resmble?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wait, someone left Guided by Voices? Isn't that, frankly, about as newsworthy as pointing out that Spinal Tap has a new drummer? It seems to happen about as often.

Last night, I started paging through my old journals (see below). Unfortunately, I don't have those dating from my high school years, but do have them dating back to July of 1989. Back then, I put a lot of stuff in my journal, cut-out pictures and the like. I also scotch-taped into the front and back covers those little stickers from cassette covers - they still have them on CDs, these days, the ones that say "featuring the smash hits," et.al. The ones included in this journal, which goes from 7/20/89 to 7/16/90, are:
+Tin Machine ("file under: david bowie or tin machine")
+Soul II Soul, Keep On Movin'
+Public Image Ltd., 9
+Swing Out Sister, Kaleidoscope World
+Danny Wilson, Bebop Moptop
+The Pixies, Doolittle
+Happy Mondays, Bummed
+Melissa Etheridge, Brave and Crazy
+Pop Will Eat Itself, This is the Day... This is the Hour... This is This!
+Swans, The Burning World ("powerful...stark...hauntingly beautiful...")
+Sugarcubes, Here Today, Tomorrow Next Week!
+Soundtrack, Hiding Out
+Liza Minnelli, Results
+Neneh Cherry, Raw Like Sushi
+They Might Be Giants, Flood
+Peter Murphy, Deep
+Lenny Kravitz, Let Love Rule
+Morrissey, "Interesting Drug" maxi-single
+Morrissey, "Ouija Board, Ouija Board" maxi-single
+Morrissey, "November Spawned a Monster" maxi-single
+Public Enemy, Fear of a Black Planet
+Brent Bourgeois, "Dare to Fall in Love" cassingle
+Ryuichi Sakamoto, Beauty
+The Sundays, Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic
+Beats International, Let Them Eat Bingo
+D-Mob, A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That
+The Pursuit of Happiness, One-Sided Story
+Ice-T, The Iceberg/Freedom of Speech... Just Watch What You Say
And on vinyl:
+Terence Trent D'Arby, Neither Fish Nor Flesh
+R.E.M., Green singles box ("four 7" singles with color sleeves" and "color poster")

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Taking a page from Matt's book, among others:

January 26, 1990, 10pm
After 3 nights of training
* - I really want to quit now - I'm feeling like total hell my 1st scheduled night. ... Have to call Grandma and Grandpa tomorrow to borrow [money for] February rent. Is my life Murphy's Law? Am I destined to end up in a homeless shelter? God (or someone, maybe no one) only knows. ... But, damn it, the only person who can really help me now is myself. & I'm not doing a very good job. I ache, feel slightly queasy, and might even have a fever. What am I going to do with my miserable life? Help! Maybe I'll just collapse here on my bedroom floor. If I keep going at this rate, none of my friends are going to be supportive after a while. & I can't blame them. It's, like, I want to do suicide ("do" because I don't want to "commit" myself to anything - & therein lies part of my problem), but, yet, I don't want to die. I just don't [want] to go on living like this. & where does it come back to? Me, goddamnit. All I know (& know how to) say anymore is "help" & "I don't know." & I don't. "They" (whoever) say you've got to help yourself before anyone else can. I want to help myself, so why aren't/can't I? If I had the guts/weakness (I'm not sure which one it is) I'd end it all right now. But (surprise, happy fucking surprise!), I don't. So now what?

*I'd just started the worst job I've ever had, "making" doughnuts at a Village Pantry (think 7-Eleven) on weekends, Friday-Sunday, 11pm-7am. The job largely consisted of me dropping frozen doughnuts into a cauldron of 300-degree Crisco, and then icing, frosting, and/or filling them. I'd leave work feeling as if I'd bathed in grease for 8 hours, and then had to walk 20 minutes downhill, into the wind, in the midst of a nasty Indiana winter. Not that it was the reason, but if that wouldn't make anyone suicidal...

I feel ever-so-slightly disingenious posting 33 1/3s and 45s (to your left), 'cause most all of my recent listening (at home, since I'm still sans iPod [but my birthday's 3 months from tomorrow, not-at-all-subtle hint]) is a Winamp playlist of my faves of 2003, which I'm adding to and subtracting from as the needs arise. It's on constant shuffle-play, so the order's completely irrelevant. Its contents:

1. Wayne Wonder - No Letting Go (3:33)
2. Shania Twain - She's Not Just A Pretty Face (3:49)
3. Freeway - What We Do... (f/Jay-Z and Beanie Siegel) (3:50)
4. Justin Timberlake - Rock Your Body (4:29)
5. Erykah Badu - Danger (Block on Lock) (4:24)
6. Justin Timberlake - Rock Your Body (Paul Oakenfold Mix) (5:34)
7. Keith Urban - Raining On Sunday (4:46)
8. Beyoncé - Signs (f/Missy Elliot) (4:58)
9. Shania Twain - Nah! (Green) (4:13)
10. Shania Twain - Forever And For Always (w/Alison Krauss + Union Station) (live) (4:14)
11. Shania Twain - Waiter! Bring Me Water! (Blue) (3:37)
12. Beyoncé - Crazy In Love (f/Jay-Z) (4:08)
13. Marilyn Manson - mOBSCENE (3:27)
14. Rebecca Lynn Howard - Forgive (3:58)
15. Outkast - She Lives In My Lap (f/Rosario Dawson) (4:25)
16. Beyoncé - Baby Boy (f/Sean Paul) (4:04)
17. Vince Gill - Next Big Thing (3:25)
18. Johnny Cash - Hurt (3:38)
19. Electric Six - Danger! High Voltage! (3:49)
20. Elton John - Are You Ready For Love (8:23)
21. R. Kelly - Ignition Remix (3:09)
22. Jane's Addiction - Just Because (3:55)
23. Panjabi MC - Mundian To Bach Ke (Beware of the Boys) (3:57)
24. 50 Cent - In Da Club (4:01)
25. Mya - My Love Is Like... Wo (3:29)
26. Fischerspooner - Emerge (4:46)
27. Go Home Productions - Dirrty Magic (4:12)
28. Alcazar - Sexual Guarantee (3:36)
29. Christina Aguilera - Beautiful (Peter Rauhofer Remix) (10:32)
30. t.A.T.u. - All The Things She Said (3:34)
31. Sean Paul - Get Busy (3:34)
32. The Postal Service - Clark Gable (4:54)
33. Jason Nevins presents UKNY - I'm In Heaven (f/Holly James) (3:52)
34. 50 Cent/Lil' Mo - 21 Questions & Answers (Gee Money Remix) (6:42)
35. Terri Clark - Three Mississippi (3:59)
36. Go Home Productions - Sly Beyonce Walks Like A Nerd (3:19)
37. Soilwork - Overload (3:44)
38. Dizzee Rascal - Fix Up, Look Sharp (3:44)
39. Justin Timberlake - Cry Me A River (4:50)
40. Queens Of The Stone Age - Go With The Flow (3:07)
41. Justin Timberlake - Senorita (4:56)
42. Junior Senior - Move Your Feet (3:01)
43. Soilwork - Rejection Role (3:34)
44. Richard X Vs Kelis - Finest Dreams (4:05)
45. Elton John - Are You Ready For Love 2003 - Radio Edit (3:44)
46. Christina Aguilera - Fighter (4:05)
47. Basement Jaxx - Plug It In (f/JC Chasez) (4:51)

The sixth volume of Gaz's quarterly mix series, Grand Theft Audio, just arrived in my mailbox, and as always, it's a superb mix of obscure indie rock I've never heard of (Houston, Centuar, Canyon) and have (Pernice Brothers, Verbow, ...Trail of Dead [who are indie in spirit and meaning if not by label association]), along with one or two killer tracks from the '80s (this time, it's a Police b-side). Anyone with an interest in new &/or indie rock is highly encouraged to get in the game. And it's free! Just visit the webpage (linked above) and sign up; before you know it, you'll get steaming-hot, fresh mixes on disc in your mail every three months or so. Hurrah!

Why I ride Chrisafer's jock, volume __:

What Rush doesn't see is that if pop stars can't flirt with lesbianism to punch up the sagging sales of their albums then the terrorists have won.

Addendum: 'fer's Screaming Queens pitch is quite possibly - no, it is - the funniest blog post I've seen all summer.

Sweetness and Light: Sam's just starting his junior year of high school, yet writes better than half the peeps in the Voice (he writes for Stylus and their accompanying blog The Turntable). Life is so unfair sometimes, but damn, he's good.

I wish I'd had a blog in high school. And I wish I could read it now.

Oh fuck oh fuck oh motherfuck. Basement Jaxx featuring JC Chasez. "Plug It In." As always, Matthew's got the hook-up, much akin to Master P. To what Eppy, Ned, and the whole lot over at ILX are saying, I'd add the following after my first 10 (or so) listens.

1. Jaxx have now worked with both J-Tim (their genius acid-washed remixes of "Like I Love You") and JC in the past year. Smoke that, pop haterz.
2. This ain't the JC of that frankly horrible "Blowin' Me Up" from Drumline. This is the heretofore largely unseen vision of JC getting his freak on.
3. Add to a Cuisinart everything else the Jaxx have produced or remixed in the last 5 years, a half-dozen electroclash records, the cream of the current pop crop, a couple cases of Cristal, 20 gallons of Juan Valdez-picked Colombian coffee, 10 entire banks of keyboard equipment, and some cum. Press "purée." That's a rough approximation of "Plug It In."
4. To put it more simply, OMG this fucking rocks. To my ears, this is immediately finer than anything from Rooty save possibly the punk funk that is "Where's Your Head At." This. Is. The. Bomb.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

I generally try to avoid posts like this one, but you have no idea how much I want my coworker Sirena to simply SHUT THE FUCK UP. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen. Ever. Maybe one of those jaw-wired-shut diets? Otherwise, my impulses get progressively more violent each day, and the damned thing is that I actually like her; I just want her to occasionally stop talking (especially to her mother on the telephone). Today's fantasy involves her teeth and my foot, in case you're wondering. She actually said to me one day, "I was quiet growing up, so now I'm making up for it." !!!. Ghetto is as ghetto does, no matter how many college degrees you have, sweetie.

Go Home Productions relaunches tomorrow. That's worth noting if you're a music lover, especially of creative, future-shit, boundary-pushing music. Fuck, "I'm a Slave 4 Daft Britney" (which I discoursed upon last December) is still better than most of '03's original productions.

On my way back from DC yesterday, I was listening to a disc I made for Paul months ago, never labeled, and then lost (I found it, I've labeled it, and once I locate your address, Paul, I'll mail it, too), and had a moment of serendipity when the Chemical Brothers' "Star Guitar" came on. The song's incredible video is shot completely from a train window's point of view, and I was listening to it while looking out the window of a train. It was pretty cool, trust; I love moments like that.

Matt's redesigned, folding E/J/J/Y - now linear-t, right? - into The Atelier (according to dictionary.com, an atelier is "a workshop or studio, especially for an artist or designer"). His artworks and writing-cum-blogging (and, sometimes, cum blogging) are now all in one place, and I appreciate all of it quite a bit. Matt pisses a lot of people off, rather easily it often seems, but never fails to provoke and incite me mentally (and sometimes, er, otherwise). And you know what? linear-t is your new blog of the week.

Addendum: I like seeing Matt posting his old journal entries (some written well over a decade in the past), and am contemplating humping that idea myself. But honestly, I'm not sure I'm ready for that, let alone y'all. My old journals - especially the older they are - are not pretty. Which might well be precisely why I should.

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