do you have a ring to put on it?
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Hoo boy... this could be tough. Having the privilege of hearing all of the new music that comes into the radio station means that an album's got to be positively, absolutely 100% standout from the get-go. One of those albums so far was Jaga Jazzist's (yagga yass-ist) "One Armed Bandit", which came out early in the year. It's a tremendous blend of jazz, rock and electronica and there's a fierce momentum driving from one cut to the next.
I think it's really easy for electronic elements to be obtrusively, but OAB is mixed really well so the synthesizers are very complementary. Plus, the orchestration of it all is brilliant to begin with (to get an idea an idea of what JJ's working with, check out the title track live here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ws25EyTGdTg). With a broad and compelling overall sound, the tight horn and wind arrangements over a killer rhythm section make for a great listen-straight-through album... repeatedly.
Wish I'd known about these dudes earlier.Play
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
If you had to lose all of your senses, one by one, in what order would you choose to have them go? (you can include sixth sense, if you have it)
[ORIGINALLY POSTED ON FORMSPRING]
Yeah, so first of all, sorry for waiting for 3 months to get to this one. I hope that my answer is everything you had hoped it would be and more.
Right... so, my first instinct is to go with the abandoning of sensations that I can deal with, or at least mentally or emotionally simulate, by putting my memory to work. For instance, I could probably go with losing Smell first. This is tough, because smell is a powerful and unpredictable sense that has the ability to bring me pack to very specific moments in time... the smell of my week in Cancun is very intense... for whatever reason, Cancun is always what I think of first... but the smell is definitely not hard to reproduce... spilled & drying beer, sweat, bodily fluids, and all the wrong perfumes and colognes clashing = not what I'd call a pleasant smell, but it brings up fond memories that I could just as easily recall from my pictures. DOWNSIDE: I'll really miss personal smells... Mom's classic perfume, for instance.
Okay, second to go: Taste. I probably won't be the first to admit that food is, you know, good for you, but I'm wild foodie and I've been such a picky eater that my nutrition's probably suffered because of it (hooray for vitamins). Doing away with Taste could only help in the health arena as I'd be eating for sustenance and not for pleasure. This could also mean an exciting foray into the world of eating gross things for money. Okay, you know what? I'm changing my mind and losing Taste to begin with. I don't have too many memories tied to Taste anyway. If you're paying attention, Taste, then Smell.
This is where things get a bit more challenging... between Sight, Hearing and Touch, I think I'd opt to lose Sight next. Even though there are some impressive strides in technology that can tie Taste and Sight together, I can ignore that factor because A) I've already lost Sight, B) I assume that the point of this exercise is to assume that the senses are gone regardless of the advancement of tech and medicine and C) there are plenty of blind folks doing amazing things out there in the world. I'm sure I'd get a handle on it, too. Is it a bit of a bummer that I'll never "see" my newborn's face or a pod of whales leaping out of the sea in Arctic waters, but hey, there's a good chance that I'll get realllllly good at sculpting, like the girl from the Lionel Richie video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDZcqBgCS74 ...toward the end, if you're impatient).
Next gone... hmm, Touch. Touch is tricky because there's the real practical, real-life side of Touch, necessary when working with a musical instrument or delicate origami or a baby animal, and then there's the neurological side of touch that tells me that I'm in pain because my ass is on fire. Sports philosophy aside, pain is a biological damage report. So... I'd hate to lose that. Without Touch, I guess I'd need injuries to be horribly grievous so that I could tell that I was close to being "not alive". But then there's this interesting psychological side of Touch... how much mental fortuity does it take to break through the absence of functioning neuroreceptors to allow me to be capable of enjoying a simple hug? A kiss and beyond? Is it even possible? I've had a numb face from local anesthesia before, and numb legs from sitting cross-legged for too long, but what is full-body numbness like? Is the absence of Touch like that at all? However it plays out, I want to be left with my ears.
Audition, unlike most of the other senses, is a sense that one can really get a lot mileage out of. I say this because there's an awful lot in this world that makes noise, and generally speaking, noise is cheap and easily reproduced, but noise is precious. What do we obsess over in the early life our children? Their first word. It really makes them human to us (which is why people are weirded out and fascinated by feral jungle kids). What tells us that our car is acting up? Well, the fact that instead of revving up and running smoothly, it wheezes and belts wail and something "doesn't quite sound right". What allows one audiobook narrator to deliver a line and another audiobook narrator to deliver a line convincingly to elicit an emotional response from the listener? Vocal inflection! Noise is such an information-rich medium that's taken for granted... and I'm not just making that point under the assumption that it's the last form of information available to me in this hypothetical situation. Noise ---> Sound ---> Music. To be terribly, Bjorky, or at least Bjork as portrayed on Saturday Night Live, everything is music. I wouldn't want to live in a world without.Play
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
In the office, when a colleague's birthday card gets passed around to be signed, you know it's your time to make them feel special, y'dig? One can only receive so many "Hope you have a great birthday!" messages before they stop reading, frown on the inside, and slip the card back into the envelope in disappointment. Quite honestly, I think this sentiment goes for the recipient of any card signed by a congregation of people. The writer's got to come up with something new. Something memorable. Something to make the recipient tingle inside.
For example, in a "HEY, YOU'RE HAVING A BABY" card with a drawing of baby on a front, reading a book, entitled "Rules for Raising Babies", I wrote:
"Rule #3,352,530: Remember not to put the new baby in a paintmixer and play 'Mercury Astronaut'"Sure, the card came with its own pre-printed punchline, but you'd be hard pressed to find a person out there who's concerned with post-natal safety to argue with that advice... and how funny/cute/absurd is the concept of a baby astronaut?! A baby would NEVER be able activate orbital thrusters! Stupid babies!
In recent days, I've abandoned my off-kilter card messages (go figure, Shaken Baby Syndrome never gets a laugh... maybe by those twisted Edward Gorey fans) and begun drawing instead. Signed, once-off birthday sketches? It doesn't get much more special than that and I like to think the birthday boy or girl gets that, even if they're repulsed by the image (Example #2: I made a pop-up Tubgirl card for a dear friend's birthday. He hated it, but appreciated the craftsmanship. If you have the stomach for it, I'll be glad to share.)
Anyway, is my Cyrillic legible? I'm such a perfectionist!
Sunday, May 9, 2010
1. When I was in 3rd grade, I was written up on the school bus about 5 or 6 times... I was quite the little shit. But I swear, one of the times was for being punched... by a much older, much larger girl! I was the victim! Where's the justice?
2. I'm a sentimental packrat who's doing his best to be less materialistic.
3. If I wake up in the middle of a dream, I can go back to sleep and pick up where I left off. It's awesome!
4. Last year, I was assigned orthodontia -- a biteguard for my nocturnal jaw grinding. Apparently I carry stress in my jaw.
5. I admire his ability and talent, but I honestly think that people who say they like Stevie Wonder are just trying to be polite. I think that if people really liked blind musicians as much as they said they did, the blues would be much bigger.
6. I love the energy of a live show, regardless of the performer/act/band (which might explain why I'm in one).
7. I'm a movie buff who generally prefers to go to the theater on my lonesome. Yes -- I LIKE TO GO TO THE MOVIES BY MYSELF (so if you're invited, you must be pretty special).
8. Some people dread it, but I look forward to exercise. It's a great chance to have some time to think things out... and the way the world seems so still and silent afterward is hard to capture otherwise.
9. I'm always grossed out when people chew on straws, but if you saw how badly I gnaw on pens.... multiple incidences of exploding pens have proven that I haven't learned my lesson.
10. When I get nervous about public performance, I don't get nauseous or even antsy -- I get drowsy.
11. My long-term memory is impeccable and I can remember things from before kindergarten, but I usually forget why I'm at the grocery store once I get there. I'm also really bad with lyrical recall.
12. Despite feeling very open about myself, even my very best friends declare that I'm one of the most mysterious people they know.
13. This feels late, but I don't think I had any concept of romantic attraction until 4th grade when I had my first crush (and you know who you are!).
14. Having moved around as much as I did as a youngin', I can't help but feel like it's time for me to get a move on. I'm thinking somewhere warm... and culturally-rich.
15. I've got great fortune when it comes to stumbling upon free or cheap furniture or music gear. I'm a power-Craigslister.
16. And speaking of which, I think it'd be sweet to be the subject of a "Missed Connection" posting
17. I've got a feeling that I'm bound for the public notoriety.
18. I was very close to starting an apprenticeship at a tattoo joint before going off to college.
19. I'm a bit anti-iEmpire... iPhone, iTunes, iEverythingelse and I get mad when I see that little rainbow pinwheel. I'm sitting here, impatiently waiting for a system process.. stop being cute!
20. I had my left nostril pierced for two-ish weeks of parental disapproval, hiding it at work, and constant nocturnal bleeding. Overall, not a pleasant experience.
21. I'm extremely ticklish. Unfortunately for you, one of my reflexes when being tickled is to punch, elbow, bite, or kick.
22. I enjoy practical jokes, although none of my jokes are ever very practical (see Foiling LeMarbe http://www.youtube.com/wat
23. I don't like using the phone so this can make me very hard to reach. I like text-based communication. Yes, I realize we could've had that conversation in 20 seconds if we'd just talked instead of the 3 minutes it took to type. Yes, I know it cost you 10 cents. Yes, I got your message; I'll call you... eventually.
24. I have a biological sister floating around somewhere out there.
25. Letters... inspired by volumes of Dr. Gonzo's correspondences, I find that I really enjoy sitting down and writing someone (again, text based communiques). It gives me a great excuse to bust out the pen and ink set or typewriter. Now putting out a call for penpals!
Friday, April 30, 2010
"...Additional prohibited items for this commencement include ALL bottles and containers, Leatherman-type tools, air horns, and umbrel--"
Wait.... just.... a minute....
"Leatherman-type tools?" Do they mean Leatherman like this guy (R.I.P., by the way, you old bear)?
Well sorry, Gram. Sorry, Gramps. Leave the ball gag and ol' cat o' nine tails at home. We've got presidential safety to think about.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Monday, April 5, 2010
I went home for Easter this past weekend -- a nice family affair with my parents, sister, and her husband and kids. Earlier in week, I'd dragged my Lowrey organ from the house I'd been moving out of and found some fine real estate in my parents' living room. It's been with me for a thousand miles and then some, and I suspect it will probably follow me for a thousand more, just like the decorated oil drum I picked up from a performance of thirteen sweaty Frenchmen pounding with pickax handles and shouting on a cool November night in Florida nearly ten years ago. You don't pick up souvenirs like that at the merch booth... you drive around back to the theatre loading dock after the show and grab one while the gettin's good.
Cameron, being the dumb man that he is, was indifferent to L-65 taking up space in his kingdom of recreation, that is, until I rocked the POWER switch to one side and struck a high C. Cautiously, he waddled over and I put his little hand on the lower keyboard and a wet, toothy smile brightened his face when he made the connection between his clumsy paws and the strange, new racket coming from the box.
The two of us must have jammed on the organ for a solid ten minutes before I had to start moving some of my things into the basement. Every time I'd reappear, he'd make a beeline for the organ and I, ever the obliging uncle, especially for a budding musician, would turn it on, and play some complimentary chords to his oblivious banging. This cycle repeated about five times, and by the third time around, Cameron had discovered the pedals... which he deftly pounded with his hands. He eventually stumbled onto Williams' Jaws Theme and collapsed like a sack of dirty laundry on the lower pedals, jammed between the leg of the organ and the speakerbox. What I think he was doing was exploring musical minimalism. You know, some heavy La Monte Young drone stuff. I played a repeating chord pattern over his drone and he started bobbing his head to the beat of my progression and stared off into the distance, completely entranced, as I imagined peering into his head and being able to watch his brain making all sorts of new synaptic links. LEARNING!
I am so pleased that he got into music like that and that we could bond over it... I was getting tired of chasing him around the house with an electric toothbrush. Twenty years down the line, it would be really strange to pass the time like that.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
You've got questions. I've got answers.
(Don't forget to check back there for your response)
Monday, March 1, 2010
I saw a particularly pious acquaintance's status say "Praise the Lord my truck is fixed," and I was going to suggest, in a fairly jokey manner, that he praise his mechanic first. I started banging out the message, but stopped about midway through when realized that the impending conversation would end up being a huge waste of time for both of us.
I'm not sure if this is accurate or not, but I think that was wisdom!