Wednesday, December 31, 2003
Thanks to everyone who's stopped by Oh, Manchester in 2003, and especially to those who've taken the time to leave a comment, send me an email, or otherwise let me know how/that I've affected them in some way.
Happy New Year.
Monday, December 29, 2003
Tonight I was talking with Scott about friendships with bloggers. Out of curiousity, I decided to look and see how many bloggers' numbers I have in my cell phone. [For the record: 13 out of 75, about 1/6.] When I grabbed my phone to do so, I saw I'd missed two calls while we were having dinner.
Both of them were from bloggers.
Saturday, Stumpy came by, and we embarked on our "history tour" of both of our hometowns. In Warsaw we stopped by our old place of employment, while North Manchester saw us walking around the campus of our alma mater and stopped for alcohol and jukebox fun at The Inn, our old college drinking post (and bizarrely, they still had Ween's "Voodoo Lady" amidst all the Toby Keith and southern rock on the jukebox!). We then made our way down to Indianapolis, which is much prettier than I'd remembered - especially the Monon Trail, which Stump and I walked a couple miles of through Broad Ripple yesterday. Today will feature the obligatory visit to Luna, quite possibly still the greatest I-want-more-than-I-can-find-at-Sam-fucking-Goody-and-a-knowledgeable-staff-as-well record sto', evah. And who knows what else? We're purposely keeping an unplanned vibe going throughout the week. Oh, and tonight I have dinner with recovering-from-the-flu Scott and Jay, yay. Blogger meets = good. Long vacation = even better.
Thomas Inskeep, your votes have been recorded.
Your Pazz & Jop albums ballot was submitted as follows:
1. Basement Jaxx - Kish Kash - XL/Astralwerks (17 points)
2. Postal Service - Give Up - Sub Pop (13 points)
3. Soilwork - Figure Number Five - Nuclear Blast (12 points)
4. DJ/rupture - Minesweeper Suite - tigerbeat6 (11 points)
5. Dizzee Rascal - Boy in Da Corner - XL (UK) (10 points)
6. Led Zeppelin - How the West Was Won - Atlantic (10 points)
7. Erykah Badu - Worldwide Underground - Motown (9 points)
8. Various Artists - Music from the Motion Picture Camp - Decca/UMG Soundtracks (8 points)
9. Richard X - Presents His X Factor Volume 1 - Astralwerks (5 points)
10. OutKast - Speakerboxxx/The Love Below - Arista (5 points)
Your Pazz & Jop singles ballot has been recorded as follows:
1. Beyonce f/Jay-Z - "Crazy In Love" - Sony
2. Johnny Cash - "Hurt" - Lost Highway
3. R. Kelly - "Ignition Remix" - Jive
4. Justin Timberlake - "Rock Your Body" - Jive
5. Electric Six - "Dance Commander" - XL/Beggars Banquet
6. Freeway f/Jay-Z and Beanie Siegel - "What We Do..." - Roc-A-Fella
7. Dizzee Rascal - "Fix Up, Look Sharp" - XL (UK)
8. Panjabi MC - "Mundian to Bach Ke" - Sequence
9. Basement Jaxx f/Dizzee Rascal - "Lucky Star" - XL/Astralwerks
10. 50 Cent - "In Da Club" - Shady/Aftermath
Wednesday night, after leaving my Dad's Christmas Eve service (he's a pastor, yo), my parents ask me, in unison, "So, what did you think of C?" C was a guy who sang a solo during the service. I ask, "What do you mean?" "Well, is he gay?"
You coulda knocked me over... my parents asking me if a guy is gay? Now, mind you, while he was singing, all I could think of was how much I wanted to bite his nipples - he was wearing a sweater, perfectly draped across his perfect chest. But this I didn't expect.
"Well, how old is he?"
[Thinking to myself, "17'll get you 20." Dammit, dammit, dammit.]
"What's he do in school?" [I was looking for a reference to show choir here.]
"He's a diver." [...]
"He's really into horses, equestrian stuff."
"Yeah, he's gay."
Saturday, December 27, 2003
Wednesday, December 24, 2003
"Happy Xmas (War Is Over)"
Yoko Ono & John Lennon
(Happy Xmas Kyoko
Happy Xmas Julian)
So this is Xmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Xmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young
Have a very Merry Xmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear
And so this is Xmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The world is so wrong
And so happy Xmas
For black and for white
For yellow and red ones
Let's stop all the fight
Have a very Merry Xmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear
And so this is Xmas
And what have we done
Another year over
A new one just begun
And so happy Xmas
We hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young
A very Merry Xmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear
War is over, if you want it
War is over now
Happy holidays, everyone.
Tuesday, December 23, 2003
Good Lord, just listen to how loud the drums are on John Mellencamp's "Rain on the Scarecrow." Especially during the song's intro, when Kenny Aronoff sounds as if he's about to bash through your speaker heads.
A pair of new tracks are online over at Go Home Productions. [I haven't yet heard 'em, but bet they're corkers, especially the Brit/Mads/PiL mashup.] Mark's had a phenomenal year, and promises that '04 "will be massive." Whatcha wanna bet he crosses over next year? I'll be standing to applaud when he does so; Mark's clearly one of the most creative minds in contempo music these days.
My #1 album and single of the year should come as a surprise to absolutely no one: Basement Jaxx's Kish Kash and "Crazy In Love" by Beyonce featuring Jay-Z.
I'm not even remotely a Paul Simon fan - I can't even stand Simon & Garfunkel - and I'm not a big fan of Graceland overall, either. But only a pigfucker could not love "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes," thanks not nearly as much to Rhymin' Simon as to the marvelousness of Ladysmith Black Mambazo. I really need to track down a copy of The Indestructible Beat of Soweto, too...
Can you woo woo woo?
Monday, December 22, 2003
Who's a member of the Stones, and who runs a Middle Eastern country? It's so hard to tell these days...
Speaking of sad, in case you still haven't seen it, here's hard-and-fast black-and-white evidence that Sully is a hypocritical pig. Responsibility, Andy? Yeah, fuck off. [SullyWatch: indispensible. I praise Waremouse daily for introducing it to me.]
Speaking of good indications, after Purdue's (frankly) embarassing 60-59 loss to SMU yesterday in their own Boilermaker Invitational, here's what head coach Gene Keady had to say:
"This team, right now, can go either way... we can either be a real bad team in March or a real fun team. It's going to be a nice test to see how we respond."
Whatcha wanna bet that Gene won't be handing out Christmas gifts to Kenny Lowe and company this week? The Boilers host Evansville on Saturday before hitting the road for games at Colorado State and Baylor; Purdue opens its Big Ten campaign 1/7 at Iowa.
Oh, and one other hoops query: what the fuck happened to Kansas last night, losing 75-61 at Nevada?!
Busy, short week. I'm flying out Wednesday morning, but beforehand I've got to do a ton of laundry, get a haircut, pack, do some cleaning at home (augmenting what the roomie's already done), and of course burn vacation CDs. Apart from one thing I've gotta pick up over lunch today, gifts are done (well, except for his, but really, isn't 8 days of my company the greatest gift of all? LOL). I will be blogging some on vacation; am thinking of doing some sort of travelogue-type thing during my stay in the Hoosier state, along with some of the usual stuff (and getting "best of '03" posted?). How ironic that I'll likely be posting more from Stump's place than he will...
For those wondering what's going on with GIBS, well, your guess is as good as mine.
I finished C700 Go!: 1986: You Must Have Heard the Cautionary Tale this weekend, and it's almost ready to send out, once I fix a couple of CDR-burning glitches. It'll get blogged eventually, too. I would have to be doing all these music projects-to-be-blogged around the holidays, wouldn't I? Oh, and who knows where I came up with the title? It's a lyric from one of the songs on the disc.
C700 Go!: 1986: You Must Have Heard the Cautionary Tale Contest. First person to leave a comment telling me (no cheating!) what motion picture soundtrack Michael McDonald's "Sweet Freedom" is from (it's an '86 film, natch) - and who its two stars were - gets a copy of the disc. [You're ineligible, but you're getting one anyway.]
Sunday, December 21, 2003
It's not the Pop Idols, whose predictably crap cover of John and Yoko's "Happy Xmas" - the bookies' favorite - slunk in at #5.
It's not Bo Selecta, whose bizarre, oh so British novelty record "Proper Chrimbo" features the best lyric of any of the contenders: "Ho, ho, ho, I'm a bad mofo!" He's at #4. [That record, btw, was Dizzee Rascal' favorite for the prize.]
Thank heavens it's not Ozzy and Kelly Osbourne. Now, I'm thrilled that Ozzy finally got a UK #1 last week. But did it have to be a duet with his entirely talentless daughter on a butchered rewrite of Black Sabbath's "Changes"? Disheartening, and down two to #3.
And rather surprisingly, it's not The Darkness, who were the favorites all week, once the first-day sales figures were announced. "Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End)" is a charmingly metallic holiday record, but really, not much better than Slade's ol' warhorse "Merry Christmas Everybody." And Darkness singer Justin's whining all month about how "ours is a proper Christmas record" got seriously grating.
So the Christmas #1 for 2003 is from, of all places, the 2001 motion picture Donnie Darko! It's a fine cover of Tears for Fears' "Mad World" done by Michael Andrews featuring Gary Jules - albeit a real pass-the-barbituates kind of holiday tune. Gorgeous record, though.
For those non-Brits wondering what all the fuss is about, "Mad World" and "Christmas Time" have been added to the Christmas downloads section to your right. Please form an orderly queue.
The other you may not know; it's one of a small library of New Year's Eve-themed records, this one from 1980 and by, yes, Dan Fogelberg, the man who made James Taylor seem ballsy. My Mom was a big fan of his, and played his Greatest Hits record over and over, to the point at which most of its contents are indelibly imprinted on my brain. But "Another Auld Lang Syne" is actually good. Probably because it's a pretty, sad song, a bit schmaltzy but still with a slight amount of bite. Give it a go, why don't you?
Saturday, December 20, 2003
Friday, December 19, 2003
Why do I love OutKast's "The Way You Move" more than "Hey Ya!"? Because "Move" is salsatastic.
Why is Blogger having such issues with "ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â©" of late? Anyone? [It's supposed to be an accented "e," pronounced "ay."]
After a three-week absence, I'm back to posting over at Rock Me Tonight; as promised, today I've finished working my way through 1982's charttoppers. 1983, a/k/a the year of Thriller, awaits.
Oy. Not only did I oversleep this morning - I guess that'll happen, eventually, when you're up till 1am almost every weeknight (for no good reason, I might add) - but then, about halfway to work, I tripped on the sidewalk and fell, knees-first, into a lovely muddy front lawn. Which of course meant that I had to turn around, go back home, and change clothes (and go). Yeah, I made it into the office circa 945am - only 1:15 later than I'm supposed to be here. The one and only saving grace? The boss is on vacation today, thank goodness.
Thursday, December 18, 2003
"I remember house when house was soul music and R&B."
- Blaze, "Do You Remember House" (Spiritually Speaking, West End, 2003)
And on a related note, last night a local TV weatherman - referring to rainy streets - used the ill-advised phrase "areas of wetness." Funny, that phrase does not bring rainy streets to my mind...
Wednesday, December 17, 2003
54.58937% - Super Music Nerd
on The Music Nerd Test. [I prefer the term "music geek," myself. Link via Nate's livejournal - and like him, I'm frankly surprised by how low my score was.]
Speaking of being a Music Nerd-slash-Geek, no, I haven't abandoned my newest baby, Rock Me Tonight; have just gotten caught up in other things, and needed a brief break. Lately, any time I've had a minute to work on it, something has come up almost instantaneously. Hopefully, before week's end, I'll get back to it, and wrap up 1982.
And, I've decided which year I'm going to do a C700 Go! on: 1986. It will not be the same mix as this one, I'm assuming (I got the link, but didn't cheat and look at it).
Finally got my hands on a copy of the Pluramon record last night, Dreams Top Rock (Marcello's #1 album of 2003, natch) (thanks Paul), and first listen results in a response somewhere in the neighborhood of "wowza!" More thoughts as they come, but this is really good shit, kids.
New adds to the blog-and-linkroll (that sounds like a hot dog...) include the return of my roommate's blog, now titled My Little Corner of the Web World, Scott Woods (a/k/a Mr. Rockcritics)'s weddings, parties, everything (how did I not know he has a blog?!), the fabulously-designed and -written LEE TV (not a blog, more a website, for what it's worth), and Obliquity, an gay, newsy, information-overload blog which I neglected to welcome over the weekend and have taken quite a shining to.
Per her request, I'll be posting an mp3 of Jeff Foxworthy's "Redneck 12 Days of Christmas" this evening.
Not reading a lot lately, book-wise. My local library has ordered Felice Picano's Men Who Loved Me and A House on the Ocean, A House on the Bay, but they're not in yet. Grrr. Patience is a virtue I tend to live without.
My top 10 albums of 2003 are done and ranked. Not sure when I'll start posting/writing about them yet, but I will tell you that the list includes 2 records which can easily be referred to as metal, but oddly, no hip-hop. The singles list will take longer.
Last night's Queer Eye holiday party episode was divine - and served to further drive home the point that I really need the Fab 5 to work their homo magic on me. [I'd like to work some homo magic with Ted, too, but that's of another variety...]
The first of the remaining two is "Fairytale of New York," by the Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl. It's the finest moment of Shane MacGowan's crew of merry men, on which they reign themselves in to take on the tale of a relationship. You know this isn't your traditional holiday fare when you hear the first line: "It was Christmas Eve, babe, in the drunk tank... ." No sleigh bells to be found here, just trad Irish folk instrumentation, with MacGowan's vocals intertwining perfectly with MacColl's (she was always his finest foil - R.I.P., Kirsty). "Fairytale" goes from nice to nasty to nice in the space of 4:35, and ultimately is a (!) heartwarming record, immensely more emotionally satisfying than a thousand renditions of "White Christmas."
And then there's the all-time-classic hand-me-the-Stoli-and-nembutal Christmas record, Prince's "Another Lonely Christmas." As the Purple One goes through the song's verses, it sounds to be a "why'd you leave, baby?" record, a standard theme done uniquely by Prince, 'cause (back in '84 at least) he's not capable of doing otherwise. But then, in the last verse, he throws a hard left straight into your solar plexus: the reason that "every Christmas night for seven years now" he's been drinking banana daquiris 'till he's blind is because his girl didn't leave him - at least not in the traditional sense; she died. Also features the greatest guitar solo ever in a holiday record, and a typically Princean freak-out coda. Added bonus: "Another" was half of one of the greatest 12" singles of all time, the b-side to the extended version of Purple Rain's fourth single, "I Would Die 4 U." And by "extended," I mean it goes from 2:48 (in its single edit) to over 10 minutes, and you know it's not just looped up; it's Prince and the Revolution jamming the fuck outta the song. "Another" is a towering triumph of sadness, and superbly counterpoints phony seasonal sentiment like a Ginsu knife through butter.
Christmas downloads will remain online until the end of the year. Coming soon: the best New Year's Eve single ever (it's not by Guy Lombardo), and Bob Geldof's reminder that nothing goes better with the holidays than guilt.
Tuesday, December 16, 2003
How fucking incredible is Timmy Thomas' 1972 single "Why Can't We Live Together?" And why had I never heard it until yesterday?! It was covered by Sade on their '85 debut, Diamond Life, but don't let that put you off (love me some Sade, can't stand the cover). For 1972, this is, I'm increasingly thinking, an incredibly avant-garde record - it's so freaking minimalist! A rhythm track which sounds like a proto-Casio preset, some organ riffing, and Timmy's sad, plaintive voice giving us a simple "why can't we all just get along?" sentiment 20 years before L.A. burned. Amazing.
Timmy Thomas pops up on Joss Stone's phenomenal debut, The Soul Sessions, as well, which this 16-year-old from Devon, England recorded with and under the auspices of most of the old T.K. Records posse (including, most notably, Betty Wright). Thomas plays organ on the record, but the reason to stand up and cheer is the voice Stone possesses, along with her sheer confidence. She already knows not to sing five notes when one will do just as fine. Marcello's said she's the best British soul singer since Dusty Springfield, and he may well be right - and she might yet be even (shock and awe) better. The song featured here is her gender-flipped cover of the White Stripes, retitled "Fell In Love with a Boy." Stone takes it from a dirty Detroit garage to the Stax studio circa '69, and the transformation is truly impressive.
look better wrapped around a cock?
I think so, too.
"What he said is demeaning and bigoted," Morton told The Kansas City Star. ... "It's totally unacceptable. I have gay friends, and I don't even joke around with them like that."
An NFL player on a big-time team stating unequivocably to the media that he has gay friends, and won't stand for such "bigoted" language? Now, that's impressive. Thank you, Johnnie.
Monday, December 15, 2003
"They say that who your idols are can tell you a lot about yourself... ."
Well, certainly. And mine are, and have for years been, Casey Kasem and Robert Christgau (XGau since I was about 18, Kasem since, oh, 10 or so). Going with Tin Man's line of thinking - which I find a fine one - I'm working on the XGau half of it, right here, and as far as the Kasem half, well, it's time to dive back into radio, innit? I don't care a whit about fame; I just need to follow my heart.
BTW, I discovered an amazing resource today for anyone with a love of top 40 radio and what it used to be (i.e. before the Clear Channel slaughter of originality in radio): the Reel Top 40 Radio Repository. They've got airchecks and huge, unedited chunks of DJs from the glory days of radio, including such giants as Wolfman Jack, Larry Lujack, and Rick Dees. AND they've got some chunks of American Top 40 - with the complete songs and all of Casey's trivia included! Here's an hour from 10/28/72 (the first 15 minutes alone include Alice Cooper's "Elected" and James Brown's "Good Foot (Part 1)," along with a newscast from WCFL Chicago with news on Nixon's reelection campaign), the first hour from 3/10/73, and the top 13 from 1/20/73.
And speaking of radio, I discovered another website today, this one devoted to Virginia radio & television news, VARTV - with an emphasis on Hampton Roads. It's apparently an adjunct of the DC-area site DCRTV. Both rock hard.
"I want so badly to believe
That there is truth, that love is real
And I want life in every word
To the extent that it's absurd."
- The Postal Service, "Clark Gable" (Give Up, Sub Pop, 2003)
An out-and-out stunner from the New York Film Critics Circle today, as this independently-minded group of crix, who normally go for the arthouse princes and kings in their voting, named The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King as their best picture of 2003. This is a group that just four years ago crowned Topsy-Turvy the best film of 1999. This is huge, and potentially changes the complexity of the Oscar race, already on a fast track because of its having been moved up a month this year (to February 29th). Last week, the National Board of Review "officially" launched the Oscar race by awarding Mystic River its top prize and bestowing lead acting honors on Sean Penn (21 Grams and Mystic River) and Diane Keaton (current box-office champ Something's Gotta Give). The NBR also gave best director to The Last Samurai's Ed Zwick - and they've been about the only crix org, thus far, to go against the tide carrying Lost in Translation's Sofia Coppola (who, if Oscar nommed, would be only the third woman to do so, the others being Lina Wertmuller in '76 for Seven Beauties and The Piano's Jane Campion in '93). The NYFCC, Boston, and NY Film Critics Online have all gone with Coppola, with the SanFran crix going with Peter Jackson for LOTR. Lost star Bill Murray's doing even better, getting the lead acting award from everyone except the NBR thus far - NYFCC, Boston, SF, and NYFCO have all gone his way. The race for Best Actress is a tighter one; SF and NYFCO went with Monster's Charlize Theron, Boston with Lost's Scarlett Johansson (who's reportedly being pushed by Focus in Supporting Actress), and NYFCC gave it to Hope Davis for The Secret Lives of Dentists and American Splendor. This is just starting to get good, y'all...
On a related note, our local public radio station, WHRO, is hosting a benefit screening Thursday night, the area premiere of Cold Mountain, which is of course Miramax's annual Oscar-bait movie. It's at the Naro, just around the corner, so you know I've already got my tickets. [Fellow film buff Chas will be joining me.] Which means that either Thursday night or Friday morning, I'll post my review of the Jude-Nicole-Renée epic.
1. Stop recording "The Christmas Song." Accept that Nat "King" Cole recorded the definitive version, and move on. There are plenty of other Christmas songs for you to cover. Black artists, however, may cover "The Christmas Song" if promising not to touch Donny Hathaway's "This Christmas."
2. Adding scatalogical humor, your pornographic fantasies, and/or a gratuitous "fuck" or "shit" to your Christmas song does not make it funny, except to those who purchase CDs released by "morning zoo" DJs. Bob Rivers, please accept that you're a talentless loser and preheat that gas oven.
3. Try something different for a change; cover a lesser-known song, or write your own. Think about it: many of the Christmas songs we most often hear during December, especially on the radio, are originals, from Macca's "Wonderful Christmastime" (we'll allow painfully dated production in the spirit of the season) to the mighty colossus that is "Christmas In Hollis" by Run-D.M.C.. Of course, different does not necessarily = good: when Reverend Run made his second appearance on a Very Special Christmas album, putting together a conglomeration of late-'90s hip-hop stars to "cover" "Santa Baby," he made the unfortunate decision to include Onyx. Funny, being shouted at somehow doesn't put me in the holiday spirit.
4. Rappers, more of you should cut Christmas songs. But please, put the cursing on hold for just this once, okay? We know you're "hard," really. [Addendum: this does not apply to DMX, who should never, ever attempt a Christmas record.]
5. Gospel artists, pick up a copy of Kirk Franklin and the Family's Christmas, go home, and listen to it. Enjoy it. And realize that you'll likely never top it. Anyone who can make a song titled "Jesus Is the Reason for the Season" as funky as Franklin and company did deserves a medal, or something.
6. Christmas is not an excuse to pile on the gloppy, overdone production. Josh Groban, Celine Dion ("buy my new par-fem and smell like a French-Canadian whore!"), and anyone associated with American Idol (especially the insufferably dweebish Gay - I mean, Clay - Aiken), are you listening to me? However, this does not mean you can't use superstar producers for the season, as TLC proved when they had Dallas Austin helm their "Sleigh Ride," which still sounds so fresh and so clean. Chad and Pharrell, please - the library of Christmas songs needs you.
7. For proof that not all rock Christmas records have to end up like Slade's "Merry Christmas Everybody," I present the cover of "Run Run Rudolph" by Keith Richards. And the original by Chuck Berry. Take notes.
8. The only perfect-from-start-to-finish Christmas album ever released is A Charlie Brown Christmas by the Vince Guaraldi Trio. Period. Though the one Phil Spector helmed comes oh so close. And the worst, or at least most unnecessary? Undoubtedly Christmas on Death Row, not a comp of killers and rapists warbling holiday cheer, but Suge Knight's cabal of artists circa '95, redeemed only by Snoop Dogg's take on "Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto."
Forthcoming: my guide to the definitive Christmas songs. And yes, it most certainly does include Wham!. And at least two other Christmas-not-Christmas songs from 1984 (a good year for such records). As well as the only great Christmas song to include the word "faggot." [Who knows which one that is? C'mon, it's easy! The "comment" box awaits your response(s)...]
Sunday, December 14, 2003
Proof that we're living in a very different world than we have in the past: Target is using Lene Lovich's "New Toy" in their Christmas television ads. Lene Lovich?!?! You mean this Lene Lovich? Wow. If that won't put you in a jolly, seasonal mood, nothing will, huh? "New Toy," written by Thomas Dolby, is splendid, outré new wave. Target needs to give their advertising agency really big Christmas bonuses - not only is this ad great, but their TV campaign really hasn't missed its mark in some two years.
One of my all-time favorite Christmas songs isn't actually about Christmas at all, but was released as a Christmas single back in '84. It's Wham!'s "Last Christmas," which was a double a-side with "Everything She Wants," and was only kept from being the UK's Christmas number one by the then-fastest-selling single of all time, Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas." Wham! had to settle for five weeks in the runner-up position with this, a gorgeous, lushly produced record about a painful breakup. Nothing whatsoever to do with the holiday, but because of its title (and its sleigh bells, natch), it gets played every December like clockwork. And that's a good thing, mind. As a bonus (it's the holidays!), I'm also offering a cover of "Last Christmas" this week by Jimmy Eat World. This 2001 recording shows them in a much more poppy mindset than much of their oeuvre; that's a good thing, too.
And yes, of course I'm working on a C700 Go! Christmas mix, with some really fun rarities included. I'll let y'all know when it's done.
Saturday, December 13, 2003
Whoa! Not only is Ang Lee set to direct the film adaptation of E. Annie Proulx's astounding short story "Brokeback Mountain" (that's a link to the entire story, which you really should read, about a pair of Wyoming cowboys who fall in love in 1961), but now comes word from Obliquity (just added to the blogroll) that Joaquin Phoenix is in talks to star.
CMT.com's Chet Flippo has some thoughts on the RIAA's hiring of the newly-retired director of the ATF to run their anti-piracy unit in this week's "Nashville Skyline" (best line: "What's next: jackbooted agents kicking down your door in the middle of the night and seizing your hard drive?" If they thought they could get away with it...).
The Lord of the Rings: The Musical? Be afraid, be very afraid.
For just 3 stamps and a blank CD-R, you too can be the proud owner of a copy of Nate Patrin's C700 Go!: 1982. I'd highly recommend it. I'm working on a similar disc, but I'm not there just yet.
Friday, December 12, 2003
Sasha Frere-Jones is spot-on even when I disagree with him. Especially spot-on? An mp3 he just posted of his instrumental funk track "Landslide" (no, not that one), and his review of Sting's autobio Broken Music from the Washington Post.
Speaking of mp3s (and music geeks), Matthew's been getting hella traffic this week, after posting one of the new LCD Soundsystem single, "Yeah (Stupid Version)" - which the music geek cognoscenti have been going beserk about over here. It's good, of course. It is not, however, superior to "Losing My Edge." God bless him, Mr. Perpetua also gives us a great song sequel this week, in the form of "Ice Cream Part 2" by Raekwon featuring Method Man and Cappadonna. It's fucking great. I certainly hope this augurs well for Raekwon's forthcoming The Lex Diamond Story; he and Ghostface Killah have always been my favorite Wu-bangers. And one more from Matthew: The Onion's Least Essential Albums of 2003. Hi-fucking-larious.
Why does everyone seem to hate on Room 5? Their (UK #1) uber-smash from earlier this year, "Make Luv," is a mighty nice piece of simple, love-filled pop-house, kinda akin to Junior Senior w/o all the cheek. Featured vocalist Oliver Cheatham is the poor man's Alexander O'Neal. [It's likely to make my year-end C700 Go! comp, though not my top 50 singles.] The too-long-in-the-waiting followup, "Music & You" (and by too-long-etc., I mean that it barely limped into the UK Top 40 at #38 a couple weeks back) cleaves to a similar template, only ripping off the Chaka Khan "Fate" guitar riff which propelled Stardust to such immutable greatness, and comes across as a desexualized Alcazar to my ears. Which is, perhaps, its problem? I mean, their mighty Chic-sampling ("My Forbidden Lover," no less! Have you heard this?) "Sexual Guarantee" is a goes-down-easy (read that both ways) monster, and a solid lock for my '03 top 50, trust. Room 5 are alright, they just don't seem to try hard enough.
Why wasn't Elephant Man's "Pon De River Pon De Bank" an international smasheroo the way Sean Paul's "Get Busy" was? Well, besides the fact that Elephant Man's clearly 'ardcore dancehall to Sean Paul's Shaggy-cum-Shabba Ranks-dom. Oh, that's the answer, innit? Where "Get Busy" made me nod my head (but damn if that single doesn't have a killing burn factor), "Pon De River" makes me wanna holler, and hear another three albums' worth of his material.
If 1991 was The Year Punk Broke, obviously 2003 will go down as The Year Crunk Broke. So why all the mad love for bottom-feeders like Lil' Jon and the Eastside Boyz (Lil' Jon 2003 = Luther Campbell 1989) and Ying Yang Twins (the Insane Clown Posse of the genre?!), when the marvelous Field Mob get so unfairly ignored? "Sick of Being Lonely" is one of the year's premiere dirty south singles, mixing great squishy production (Jazze Pha, the red-headed stepchild of hiphop '03, take a bow), a creamily-femme-voxed chorus, and the bizarro no-teeth-thief raps of Boondox and Kalage. There's also a mix adding a fine verse from southern queen supreme Trina, who makes everything better - even records like this, which don't need the boost. Another body-rockin' dirty south record which shoulda been #1 for months? Trina's own "B R Right," featuring king Ludacris. Would someone please lock that dynamic duo in the studio and make them cut a collaborative full-length? Please?! Oh, and don't forget what might well be - aw, fuck it, it is and ya know it - the most gleefully great XXX record of the year, Luda's "P-[ussy]Poppin'" featuring Shawnna and Lil' Fate: "your lips downtown just made some familiar faces" indeed!
For a much more personal musical reminiscence, don't miss Joe's recollection of a late-night drive with The Queen Is Dead.
Yes, their cover of "You Make Me Feel Brand New" is pure excrement. But try as I might, I'm incapable of hating Simply Red's mondo AC hit "Sunrise," and in fact have a secret catch-me-in-the-right-mood love for it. And it's not even the Hall & Oates-jacking (of "I Can't Go For That"); it's the sheer sunlight of the chorus. I mean, love really is "indescribable," isn't it? But boy oh boy, Mick Hucknall's voice has not aged particularly well.
My 2003 listmania probably won't come until the first of the year, BTW, to ensure I make room for the latebreakers (like Floetry's "Say Yes," unknown to me two months ago, now almost a shoo-in for my top 10 singles) and late releases (cf. Jay-Z's The Black Album - maybe).
Wednesday, December 10, 2003
Do need to let you know that both Messrs. Geoffrey and Todd have moved; please make a note of it.
Also need to let you know that I saw Love, Actually Monday night (before my health went even further along the road to Hell) with the Gentleman I've Been Seeing (who will henceforth be referred to as GIBS for short; I've decided to attempt to keep more of my private life just that - I mean, this isn't a dating blog, is it?). He found it overlong and boring, while I thought it was a perfectly lovely British romcom (that's romantic comedy for the uninitiated). Hugh Grant was a perfect choice - the only one, really - to play the Prime Minister, and the entire cast was splendid. A fine, Christmas-y movie.
Tuesday, December 09, 2003
At least whilst my body feels like poo, my heart and mind are gladdened by the news of the Gore endorsement of Gov. Dean for president. This is huge. Huge! Yay, queen!
Monday, December 08, 2003
PADDLE: You have a very strong personality that
often overwhelms your sexual partners. You like
to be in control of everything, but you usually
have a taste for fun as well. You love the
sight of a good ass.
What kinky [sex] toy are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
Sunday, December 07, 2003
This is Boysterous. They were supposed to be the UK's hot new boyband, but apparently they've already split up, following the release (and underwhelming #53 chart placing) of their first single, "Up & Down." I actually find it to be a decent, if somewhat bland, cheery pop record. But what you really must see is the song's video. [Broadband or 56K, take your pick.] It's so jaw-droppingly good/bad (mostly the latter) that I'm, well, at a loss for words (and we all know that's not a frequent occurence). I'll let the sterling words of Mr. Popjustice take over from here:
"As the video ends, the band are cornered by fans and with a cry of "GERREM OFF!" the fans rip Boysterous' clothes to shreds. From the frenzy the band emerge, now clad only in their boxer shorts [boxerbriefs, actually - Yankee ed.] ... and run down the street. What follows is breathtaking. Should, through some bizarre rift in the fabric of celebrity, any member of this band ever become famous, the shots of Boysterous running towards the camera in their underwear will haunt them forever. Especially the one who's wearing white underwear. Seriously, viewers, the whole lot's on show - 'Up And Down' doesn't even begin to describe it."
Shame about those rooster haircuts, though.
Albums I neglected to mention in this post:
Radiohead, Hail to the Thief - unjustly short-shrifted and ignored, always fascinating. Maybe Kid B+?
OutKast, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below - a true grower, though not 100%. And it's true; Andre 3000's disc wallops Big Boi's.
Fleetwood Mac, Say You Will - too much MOR pop material, but also shows Buckingham flying his freak flag for the first time in far too long. "Come" is his 21st century rewrite of "Tusk" (sans The USC Marching Trojans) and is just as fine.
Peyton Manning? Check. Edgerrin James? Check. Mike Vanderjagt? Check. Colts back atop the AFC South? Check! I'm sorry, Paul, but someone's gotta lose. And twice this season it's been your Titans to my Colts. *Sniff.* His exact words, I believe, postgame: "We've got the wild card locked!" [Seriously, I watched a good 1/3 of this game while on the phone with Mr. Cox, which is always a pleasure. And for those wondering, his blog is back. Kinda-sorta.]
BCS controversy, yay! Not that it'll ever get us a friggin' D-I college football playoff, grumble grumble...
Angels in America tonight on HBO. So very excited.
Based on what I've heard so far of Alicia Keys's The Diary of Alicia Keys - about half of the album - my snap-judgement verdict is: good, not great. Much akin to Songs In A Minor. But boy, "You Don't Know My Name" is a motherfucker of a single. And "Heartburn" is kinda an old-soul live band-sounding take on early '80s R&B, very tasty.
VH-1's "Big in 2003" "awards" show has got to be one of the lamest such things ever. I spent a little time this evening flipping between that and the Pats-Dolphins game, thinking it had to improve. Apart from OutKast's performance, however, no, it didn't. Please God, let them tour in 2004. I saw 'em on the Stankonia tour a couple years back, and they (and their live band) were mind-blowing. I can only imagine how much further their future shit has progressed, live, now.
Actually watched the first 1/2 hour or so of Saturday Night Live last night, with Rev. Al Sharpton hosting. He was, in a word, hilarious. The "Michael Jackson on a rollercoaster" skit, with Sharpton as Johnnie Cochran, was priceless. And no, I most certainly did not stay tuned for fucking Pink.
I really need to get my driver's license. Well, and a car, but the license comes first.
Saturday, December 06, 2003
The other is the current Brooks & Dunn single, "You Can't Take the Honky Tonk Out of the Girl," currently #8 and climbing on Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. AMG's Stephen Thomas Erlewine calls it a "Keith Richards homage" - and you know, he's kinda right. It's got a real "Honky Tonk Woman"/"Brown Sugar" feel to it, spiced with a bit of southern rock a la ZZ Top, rollicking down the road with a horn section, some great female backup singers, and a honkin' tonkin' sax. B&D, in their second decade as a duo, keep progressing and impressing me as songwriters and artists.
Thursday, December 04, 2003
My all-time top 10 hip-hop singles:
1. Public Enemy, "Bring the Noise"
2. Public Enemy, "Fight the Power"
3. Geto Boys, "Mind Playing Tricks On Me"
4. Missy Elliott, "Work It"
5. Craig Mack featuring the Notorious B.I.G., Busta Rhymes, Rampage, and L.L. Cool J, "Flava In Ya Ear (The Bad Boy Remix)"
6. Puff Daddy and the Family featuring the Notorious B.I.G., Lil' Kim, and the LOX, "It's All About the Benjamins (Remix)"
7. A Tribe Called Quest, "Jazz (We've Got)"
8. Missy Elliott, "Get Ur Freak On"
9. Method Man featuring Mary J. Blige, "I'll Be There For You/You're All I Need To Get By (Puff Daddy Remix)"
10. Redman, "Funkorama"
All I've seen so far is the Big 4. Very interesting.
I told you Stripes would be in album - but
Evanescence?! And Missy's LAST album, while not
nomming "Work It" [for Record]?? OutKast are gonna take this,
unless they shock us all and go with J-Tim.
V. surprised that Beyoncé & J-Tim weren't nommed in
New Artist. And, um, Fountains of Wayne? Guess "Stacy"
was just hitting as voters filled out their ballots.
Heather Headley's a typical outta-nowhere R&B nod (I
know her stuff, actually, and she's good - but what?
Guess I should be glad it's not Jason Mraz. On the
other hand, I'd at least like to fuck him). 50 wins
Stunned by the almost total lack of overlap between
Record and Song (only "Lose Yourself" in both). "I'm
With You"? Gag. Not surprised by "Beautiful" or "Dance
with my Father" at all. And, um, "we're sorry you're
dead WARREN ZEVON"?!?! It's gonna be tight between the
XTina and Luther songs. [Unless they give it to the
Oscar-winner, which wouldn't stun me.]
Record: apart from those fucking BEP, can't complain
too much, though I'm surprised "Hurt" was left out,
and "In Da Club." Whatcha wanna bet J-Tim split his
votes here, too? You think OutKast win Album AND
Record, or is the Beyonce too undeniable?
Producer [of the Year] is interesting. Someone actually remembered to nominate the Neptunes this year, and their body of work is undeniable (S=single, A=album, T=track; the artists are in parentheses):
• Beautiful (Snoop Dogg Featuring Pharrell & Uncle Charlie Wilson) (S)
• Come Close (Common Featuring Mary J. Blige) (T)
• Excuse Me Miss (Jay-Z) (S)
• Frontin' (The Neptunes Featuring Pharrell Williams & Jay-Z) (S)
• Justified (Justin Timberlake) (A)
• Luv U Better (LL Cool J Featuring Marc Dorsey) (T)
• The Neptunes Present...Clones (The Neptunes Featuring Various Artists) (A)
• Rock Your Body (Justin Timberlake) (T)
Also nommed were OutKast for producing their own and Killer Mike's albums, Nigel Godrich for Radiohead, The Matrix for Liz Phair and Hilary Duff and friggin' Lillix (did Maddy pay someone off?), and inexplicably - they never won in the '80s, when they should've, but now seem to be nommed every year - Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, who apparently produced Heather Headley's single, The Fighting Temptations soundtrack, and some Mya tracks you've never heard. Barring a complete OutKast sweep, I'll be absolutely stunned if Chad & Hugo don't take this. Won't you?
The RIAA has some holiday presents to hand out, in the form of 41 more subpoenas. What a bunch of "we will crush you, teenage Britney fan" pigfuckers. I'm all for supporting artists. However, Clive Davis does not need any more of my (or anyone else's) money, and that's who's getting it when I buy CDs. The RIAA doesn't work for artists; Cary Sherman licks corporate ass. There'll be a special place for him in Hades, I trust.
I just noticed last month that Kim Gordon says "say it, don't spray it" in the intro to Sonic Youth's "Teenage Riot." Lovely.
The big event of my day is the impending announcement (in about an hour; it's 830am Pacific time, not Eastern) of this year's Grammy nominees. I've got high hopes for OutKast, J-Tim, and Beyoncé. And that they finally fucking nominate the Neptunes for Producer of the Year. They've only owned pop music (in its broadest sense) for, what, 3 years now? [Of course I'll be posting about the nods later today - as if you had to ask?]
The Big Ten went a dismal 2-7 in this year's ACC/Big Ten Challenge. One of the 2, however, was Purdue, who proved that their Great Alaska Shootout championship was no fluke in topping Clemson 76-64. Hail, hail, old Purdue; we're 5-0 for the first time in 6 years.
Memo to Eminem: Some of your productions are pretty good, but sampling the friggin' Edgar Winter Group to craft a "new" 2Pac/Biggie track ("Runnin'") is not necessarily a good idea. Actually, it's a terrible one. I can't be the only 2Pac fan tired of the endless stream of posthumous records, can I?
In-fucking-deed. As solid as much of Speakerboxxx/The Love Below is, and as much as I love their double-barrel singles attack with "Hey Ya!" and "The Way You Move," I still attest that it's indisputable that OutKast haven't yet topped - and may never top - "B.O.B.," from 2000's Stankonia. This is the sound of Underground Resistance meeting up with P-Funk in a space-age down-south juke joint. This is the future shit, still, even 3 years on. This makes my skull a convertible every time I hear it. This makes a fierce argument for Andre 3000 and Big Boi as some of the most forward-thinkers in music this side of Prince. This ain't the remix. This don't need a remix. This is the widescreen now.
Addendum: Not only have OutKast just ascended to the Billboard Hot 100 throne this week with "Hey Ya!" (up 2-1), with "The Way You Move" hot on its tail (up 4-3), they've got two separate songs both rising in the top 3. The word "unstoppable" comes to mind.
Wednesday, December 03, 2003
You're Avant Garde Indie. You listen to abstract
music like free-jazz and Krautrock. You drink
too much coffee and you scare the fuck out of
the rest of us. We're afraid to call you
pretentious because we know that we all just
don't get it. There are few of you out there,
and most of you will probably die soon.
You Know Yer Indie. Let's Sub-Categorize.
brought to you by Quizilla
Unlike Jerry, I rather liked Jordy's 1992 single "Dur Dur d'être Bébé!" I found it cute, and frankly, hilarious, to hear this 4-year-old French kid singing and, even better, rapping. And it actually made it up to #58 on the Billboard Hot 100, which is downright bizarre. What I don't understand, however, is why anyone would pay $22 for his long out of print debut album. $22?!
I know, I promised my take on Tracks by now. [I'm writing it for Rockcritics Daily.] It's coming, I promise. And I can tell you right now that the verdict's not particularly good.
Ha. One down, three (Clarkson, Aiken, and Studdard) to go.
I very unfortunately neglected to link to Johnny's amazing post last week about his Mom's cousin, gay lines in family trees, and being there for people. I implore you to read this, one of the best pieces of writing the blogworld has seen in 2003.
Five best debut albums of all time, off the top of my head, in order:
+Guns N' Roses, Appetite for Destruction
+Jay-Z, Reasonable Doubt
+The Velvet Underground, The Velvet Underground and Nico
+The Smiths, The Smiths
+The Sex Pistols, Never Mind the Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols/N.W.A., Straight Outta Compton (dueling atom bombs, tied)
I love the smell of Downy.
Al Green's new album, I Can't Stop, isn't a triumph. But its title track is, a slab of '74 Willie Mitchell production that sounds so retro it could only have been made today.
Lou Reed, "The Original Wrapper": This and "I Love You Suzanne" were the first songs of Lou's I knew I knew (I may have heard "Walk on the Wild Side" by this time, '84, but can't be certain). Most consider the early-to-mid-'80s Lou's nadir, but I think that's an unfair summation. Some of the songs on Mistrial - and yes, this was the album he put out circa his Honda scooter ad - are as strong as much of his catalog. Their being cloaked in some of the most blatant pop production of Lou's career likely blinded more than a few folks to their solidity. This sure as hell wasn't VU. "Wrapper"'s an enjoyable trifle, Lou humorously rapping, no more, no less.
Korn, "Thoughtless": I stand by what I wrote of this in my '02 wrap, so I'll excerpt it here:
"Korn is a band I've always admired more than enjoyed; I understand what they're trying to do, and feel that they're honestly trying to push the parameters of the whole nu-rock school, but that they don't succeed as often as they think. "Thoughtless" certainly isn't some bold musical step forward; it's fairly standard Korn - but in this case, the music perfectly pairs up with its lyrics. And where this stands out is lyrically. While the whole Nickelback/Staind school sit and moan about how shitty their teen years were, Korn take a different tack on "Thoughtless," coming across almost more (Marilyn) Manson-like than anything else (think "The Fight Song"). ... When I was a teen, my soundtrack of alienation was the Smiths; were I a teen today, it might well be this. More valuable than the entire recorded output of the Strokes, this is a total triumph."
The Police, "Synchronicity II": Lest you forget, before der Stingle became the unctuous front-of-the-class teacher's pet/asshole we know him as today, he led one of the most downright vital bands of the past quarter-century. One of their best singles, the overlooked fourth single from Synchronicity reels around a fountain of dark memories and darker thoughts.
Whitesnake, "Still of the Night": Ridiculously over-the-top hair metal of the higest order which never fails to bring a smile. David Coverdale was the embodiment of David Lee Roth as a "mature" adult (which he's still never become, but that's another matter entirely), wearing suits yet still so, so deliciously smarmy (two words, actually only one's needed: Tawny).Two things about this track still get me: the 'Snake's use of atmospherics in the song's bridge, and the way they played their guitars with violin bows. Absurd, in a good way. And then at the 3:55 mark, it all goes triple-guitar-attack and sends you to rock'n'roll heaven. Or hell.
The Cult, "Love Removal Machine": Perhaps it's Darwin working in the way Ian Astbury, Billy Duffy and company morphed from psych-rock merchants to a hard, hard rock band, equal parts Zep and Doors. And perhaps it's just unfortunate. This was midway through their transformation; you make the Beach MTV call.
Jane Child, "Don't Wanna Fall In Love": If Chuck Eddy can call Teena Marie "metal," I can call the girl with the metal nose ring (and accompanying chain connecting it to her earring) "rock." One of my favorite one-hit wonders of all time, Child worked heavy, heavy synths into popcraft arrangements with sometimes obtuse, sometimes all-too-sharp lyrics to fine effect. Her Welcome to the Real World debut was solid from start to finish, but this was always clearly the money shot. Where is she now, I wonder?
Skid Row, "Monkey Business": I vividly remember seeing the world premiere of this vid on Headbangers Ball and being stunned: When did Skid Row become a real metal band, I queried? Right here. Their soph effort, Slave to the Grind, stripped them of their pop fluff and left a surprisingly lean, muscular attack to back up Sebastian Bach's vocal histrionics and pomp. From a most unlikely source, one of the early '90s finest (shoulda-been) metal anthems.
Rush, "The Big Money": One of these days, I'm going to finish and post my essay and why I love '80s - not '70s - Rush. The ultimate Canuck power trio dropped some of the prog and added synths in the Reagan years, and pulled it off, drastically improving their songwriting in the process. I'll always love Grace Under Pressure, but '85's Power Windows (from which this is taken) might be their best full-length. The fact that much of it seems a showcase for drummer Neil Peart is, I think, unaccidental. [And on a barely-related note, I always thought the kid on the album cover looked like Anthony Michael Hall.]
Queen, "Hammer To Fall": Like with pizza or The Simpsons (as long as they weren't surrendering to Freddie's balladeering tendencies), even bad Queen was better than most other bands. This isn't bad, just unexceptional, but I'm a sucker for Brian May's slashing quitar licks here. So tasty.
Def Leppard, "Pour Some Sugar On Me": Fucking blinding, period. This is the "Video Version," the one with the chopped-and-spliced "love me like a bomb-b-bomb-b-bomb" intro, and is so easily the defining, crowning moment from the kings of Sheffield, from their white-hot peak with Hysteria. Everything gels here: the guitar attack, Joe Elliot's salacious vocals, Rick Allen's one-armed drumming (which actually sounds better than his two-armed drumming on Pyromania - that's a compliment, as his then-newly-fitted drum set sounded so great), and most of all, the lyrics, especially one of the decade finest couplets: "You've got the peaches/I've got the cream." Do you take sugar?
Tuesday, December 02, 2003
Monday, December 01, 2003
I'll never forget the first time I knew that I knew someone who was HIV+. It was a little over two years ago, and I was on a first date with a friend of a friend, whom I'll call A. I don't remember how the topic came up, but I was telling A that to my knowledge, I'd never known anyone HIV+ or with full-blown AIDS, and how that made me feel somehow like anathema amongst gay men (I was almost 31 at the time). Less than 5 minutes later, A told me that he was HIV+. I felt like a fool, but he told me not to – how could I have known? We ended up dating for three months, and parted romantic ways quite amicably. A's still a friend, and his health is great, thank God.
What I didn't expect, however, was how it affected our sex life. A later admitted to me that part of the reason we only had sex so often/much was because he was worried about his HIV status, and how it could impact me. Interestingly, I had far fewer reservations than he about being involved sexually, because his being poz (and being upfront about it), I felt, made things easier. We knew right away what we could and couldn't do, and that, I felt, was that. But I think that there was always a nagging worry in the back of A's mind, something along the hypothetical lines of tiny oral cuts and microscopic abrasions. For the record, though, he was really good in bed.
Through him I met another (now-)friend, B, who's been diagnosed as poz for 15 years, and thinks he was infected 18 years ago. He's always been very hale and hearty, a veritable mountain man (he's, in fact, from the mountains of western VA), so it came as quite a shock when he came down with pneumocystis carinii earlier this year. In less than a month, B lost 25 pounds, and went from hearty to, well, not hearty (it didn't help that his head was shaved, giving him a profound concentration camp look). I was shaken by B's appearance and by what his partner said about his hospitalization, in part because he just seemed so not-well. His health has since rebounded nicely, but I still consider what might happen. I still remember when I first met C (via A), shortly after an extended hospitalization. C used to be quite the bear, and even made bear porn for a time. When I met him, however, his weight had dropped by nearly half, he walked with a cane, and could barely construct basic sentences. There, right in my face - not on television or in a film - was the reality of AIDS.
I think the biggest reason that HIV infection rates are rising again amongst gay men in the U.S. is, perversely, in part because of successes we've had against the epidemic. When you see ads in magazines such as The Advocate touting how healthy and vibrant you can be with HIV (thanks to new meds), that's not scary. That might even make you think, "well, it's a liveable condition, like diabetes." It's not. Ask A just how much he enjoys taking at least 23 pills per day just to maintain a status quo. Honestly, Larry Kramer (as he so often does) has got it right: we need to start scaring people again. AIDS is not just another "condition." There's still no cure. At this point, if you become infected with HIV, chances are, you will die from it. Thank God for people like GeekSlut, who aren't afraid to talk about the nasty realities of living with AIDS. Listen. And learn. And tell Bush that preaching abstinence won't prevent the spread of HIV. Remember, Silence = Death, still.
To the best of my knowledge, there are no large-scale events scheduled today in Norfolk for World AIDS Day, so I'm lighting a candle and putting it in my window tonight to remember. I encourage you to do the same. The fight is not over.
"Feeling nauseous? That's my rhyme in you."
- Redman, "Funkorama" (Insomnia: The Erick Sermon Compilation, Interscope, 1996)