Thursday, December 9, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The real deal

Haven't posted in a while, but couldn't pass up this backstage gem from a guy, who at first seems completely incoherent, named Malcolm Holcombe.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Costumes

The boys are running around with their Clone Trooper outfits on, preliminary to Halloween. I would have preferred Harry Potter outfits. The Star Wars masks, in particular, kind of freak me out.

OK, I'm not as freaked out as the toddler in the pic. This could be every parent's private fantasy, or just an unsettling photo. It does seem a lot like the "uncanny valley": too much like a human, but very, very different -- at least from the kid's perspective



Tierney Gearon, Untitled 2001

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sparklehorse - Piano Fire

Die Antwoord - Evil Boy

South African hardcore hip hop. Surreal, fetishistic, spiritualist, and totally profane. I've been following Die Antwoord since they made a splash early this year on Boing Boing. This video is too good and weird to pass up.

Bonus points: a scene in the video includes "Ninja" with a "prawn" (or alien) arm, which is a reference to the scifi thriller "District 9." I've just used this film, in which aliens end up in a refugee camp in the middle of Johannesburg, in a course.

EVIL BOY (official) from Die Antwoord on Vimeo.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Tim Gunn - It Gets Better

My favorite mentor/critic on a reality show. His frank, professorial persona is what makes Project Runway so watchable, as far as I'm concerned.

His contribution to It Gets Better is deeply affecting.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dan Savage

My absolute favorite public figure / pundit person, the very sane Dan Savage, who has long advocated that "It Gets Better" in his columns and podcasts. I think he also started the current YouTube meme, "It Gets Better." I could have used a little It Gets Better when I was in high school. Honest to god, I was so miserable I left with a year and a half still to go.

This video is just DS being his usual charming and funny. Watch to the end.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Crooked Still - You Were Gone

Live version of an original song from the recent album, "Some Strange Country."

Monday, September 20, 2010

Red Baraat

Shot by the spouse (you can see my arm encroach into the frame from the left). Yes, I was dancing. The breakout act of the Lotus Festival. And the NYC-based group, doing Dap-Kings styled Bhangra, has an amazingly diverse and accomplished pedigree.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The XX - Infinity

The latest melancholy brit pop.

Monday, September 6, 2010

"U-S-A, U-S-A"

"America's the greatest country in the history of ever anything."

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The View from "Business"

Daily Dish has been running some readers' letters on the work they do (one is from a junior college professor). To me, though, the one from a "businessman" is the most interesting and the kind of opposite-of-marketing work of business I could imagine doing.

3. Business is fascinating at the organizational and logistical level. I'm more interested in books and music than I am in business. But that is just my personal preference. People who act as if their interest in, say, indie rock is intrinsically more deep than an interest in org charts are simply misinformed. Referencing point 1, the world of abstract ideas in business is often arid, silly, and pretentious while at the same time overly cutesy. But the world of how things get done in business - the world of factory floors, imports/exports, incentives, distributors and retailers etc. is mind-blowing, and only becoming more so as more and more markets are knit together. If you go to Dubai you can see Nigerians selling generators made in China to a mix of Urdu and Persian speakers who captain wooden boats down the Dubai Creek to Al Ain. That is interesting, no matter what your leaning.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

ediT - "Crunk de Gaulle"

Glitch-hop from Los Angeles.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cee Lo - Fuck You

In a new single Cee Lo, half of Gnarls Barkley, channels what was certainly my experience of being a teenager ("I guess he's an xbox and I'm more atari"). I'd say this funky, filthy video counts as viral (3 million views and counting).

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

California Dreaming

Part of a whole series of Fiona and Emily doing classic rock. I also like their stoic version of Simple Man.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Crooked Still (take 2)

Covering a Robert Johnson classic.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Crooked Still - Ecstacy

Plan to see this band when it comes to the midwest in September.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Wayne Cochran

One of the early primal screams of rock and roll. (Thanks Dangerous Minds.)

Monkey Business (2)

More fun from Prague.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Bad Brains

Doing the Beatles, y'all.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Monkey Business

Something funky (and odd) from some Czechs.

Grinderman (Nick Cave)

New single. Weird, retro, and silly.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Fugees

Good Stevie Wonder cover.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Black Merda

Cleveland Afro-Rock c. 1970.

Friday, July 16, 2010

"No Homo"

The new phrase all the most butch men are using.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Scout Niblett - Cherry Cheek Bomb

Last month in Paris. Turns out I just saw the new biopic of The Runaways, whose original hit was "Cherry Bomb." Hmmm.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Smells better

Heat index around 100 + a few hours of power washing = smells better. Heat advisory again today, though, and BB was home sick yesterday in part, we think, from heat exhaustion.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Blockhead

Very dosey.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Joy

One more from Bettye LaVette, this time covering Lucinda Williams.

Bettye LaVette

From her newish album, Interpretations: British Rock Songbook.

Smells like

Heat index is at 100 and it smells like dead things.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The trouble with soccer

Historian Laurent Dubois on the U.S. rightwing's hatred of soccer.

Soccer generates actual hostility in the United States in a way that few other sports do. . . . It would be one thing if there was just indifference -- nobody should have to watch a sport -- but the fact that it creates rage in the mind of someone like Glenn Beck is actually pretty interesting.

I think it has to do with the fact that soccer is a sport that has always been linked to immigrants in this country and at the same time tied to a certain cultural elite. And as we know, there’s a particular strand of American society that sees immigrants and the intellectual elite as dangerous forces. So looking at it that way, it’s not surprising that conservative commentators would fixate on soccer, since they’re obviously fixated on those other two things anyway. It’s an obvious leap -- they feel like the growing popularity of soccer is just further proof of the decline of America.

Interview at Salon. Dubois' work on soccer and the politics of empire looks interesting as well.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Broken Bells

Danger Mouse + James Mercer, covering Neil Young.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

MGMT - Electric Feel

Owes so much to Beck (and Prince), but this live version adds a neo-hippie prelude.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Porcupine Tree

Prog rock lives!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Spectacle cinema

Song track by Jesus Lizard.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Sons Of Otis - The Pusher

Drudge version of Steppenwolf song.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Best Coast - "Sun Was High"

Not sure why Levi's is sponsoring sets in bathrooms, but no matter. Wonderful version of this song. California surf-inspired music by Bethany Cosentino, the daughter, apparently, of a member of the funk-rock 70s band War.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Day After - petro version

Remember the old made-for-TV movie, The Day After (1983), about the aftermath of nuclear armageddon? The gushing BP deep water spill is turning out to be our own unforeseen Day After. So many truths to be found here. The absolute unregulated nature of big oil under Bush/Cheney, the overreach of technology and confidence in progress, profits over safety/human wellbeing/the environment. Elizabeth Kolbert (New Yorker) mentioned recently that this is a direct result of peak oil, the need to push for increasingly scarce oil reserves and our willingness to take increasing risks to keep it flowing.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Our new Mazda5

Kind of same as the old car, but much, much smaller.



It speaks to the inner-tuner in me. Or as my hair person said today, "it's urban." I think she meant it as a compliment.

It's on the top 20 list of cars cheapest to insure, gets the highest gas mileage of any other minivan (if you can even call it a minivan), and it's on the auto site Jalopnik's approved list of boring cars that might still be a little fun. All I know is that the air conditioning isn't failing and it's warrantied for years and years, unlike the last couple of "preowned" cars we've had.

The classic shelves


Big Boy spends time perusing some shelves of classic fiction in his classroom. Apparently, the teacher inherited this block of books from a previous teacher, and she kind of embarrassingly checked with us about whether BB should even be looking at them. But they're in the classroom, so at least something is right at his very uptight public school. I doubt there are many other kids checking them out.

In any case, he's looked over some H. G. Wells, Robert Louis Stevenson, and today some Poe. He's into the story with the secret code and gold scarab, which would be the very famous "Gold Bug" story. There's also the one about the "vulture eye" ("Tell-Tale Heart," of course), but he's partial to the detective stuff, not so much the horror. I don't think we've even believed he had access to such texts at school, but I'm pretty thrilled. We need to put together a book shelf of all these books I have buried away in boxes and in the basement: Huck Finn, Treasure Island, She, The Time Machine. We're talking beyond Laura Ingalls Wilder and Charlotte's Web here, and I couldn't be happier.

We printed out "Gold Bug" tonight for a copy at home. (My Poe anthology is buried deep in some box.)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

"Happy Mother's Day Motherf--kers"

I'm jumping on the Betty-White-on-SNL bandwagon. Exuberant nastiness in an 88-year-old woman is hard not to respect. Here's Betty White goes metal, in a parody of the Golden Girls theme song. Wait for it.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

High on Patriotism

At Tea Party demo today in DC.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Unionize the mines

With all the hand-wringing in the media about mine safety, there is one huge glaring fact that keeps being ignored. Unionized mines are safer than nonunion mines. Meteor Blades at DailyKos:

A report from the March 28, 2007, hearing on Protecting the Health and Safety of America's Mine Workers released by the House Committee on Education and Labor contains the following statistics for the five-year period of 2002-2006:

Underground coal injuries: 19,282

In union mines: 5,362 (or 27.8% of total)

Underground coal fatalities: 109

In union mines: 22 (or 20.2%)


I can't even listen to NPR on the Upper Big Branch explosion. Where are the reports when nonunion mines run by Massey, whose antilabor CEO is affilated with the national Chamber of Commerce and radical elements of the GOP, amass so many safety violations?

Fuck more regulation. Miners need to be protected when they report safety violations. These mines need to be unionized.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Intact "Happy Meal" after one year

In perfect shape after spending an entire year on someone's shelf. A miracle of food science.



At The Consumerist.

Balkan Beat Box

Monday, March 15, 2010

YOB

Doom metal from Eugene, OR.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Avett Brothers

Punk folk from North Carolina.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Magnetic Fields

Just purchased this recent album.

Monday, March 8, 2010

David Foster Wallace: "Everybody worships"

"Because here's something else that's weird but true: in the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.

And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship--be it JC or Allah, be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles--is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive.

If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It's the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It's been codified as myths, proverbs, clich├ęs, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness.

Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they're evil or sinful, it's that they're unconscious. They are default settings.

They're the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that's what you're doing.

And the so-called real world will not discourage you from operating on your default settings, because the so-called real world of men and money and power hums merrily along in a pool of fear and anger and frustration and craving and worship of self. Our own present culture has harnessed these forces in ways that have yielded extraordinary wealth and comfort and personal freedom. The freedom all to be lords of our tiny skull-sized kingdoms, alone at the centre of all creation. This kind of freedom has much to recommend it.

But of course there are all different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talk about much in the great outside world of wanting and achieving.... The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day," - David Foster Wallace.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Clutch

More stoner rock today.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Fu Manchu

Blue Oyster Cult cover, slow, stoned version.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sons of Otis - Diesel

On a permanent playlist in the car.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Rory Gallagher

Irish blues guitarist (the Irish Clapton?). This is an early gig just after he embarked on a solo career. Multiple clips of this 1971 Paris concert on YouTube are all excellent.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

How gay is the superbowl?

"During the run-up to Super Bowl Sunday, anchorclones, talkshow hosts, politicians, and the rest of the chattering class act as if we’re one big happy congregation gathered in solemn veneration of the Gipper’s jockstrap, displayed in a monstrance. It’s the sheer presumptuousness of the sports-crazed majority that galls the unbeliever most—an obliviousness to the possibility, even, that not everyone shares the One True Faith. It’s the same genial arrogance that makes evangelical Christians so monumentally irritating to those of us who prefer a good exfoliating body scrub to being Washed in the Blood of the lamb. (The religious reference is apt: in our national religion, sports is one aspect of the Holy Trinity, the other two being the Free Market—whose invisible hand, like God’s, moves in mysterious ways, but always for the betterment of all—and Christianity, which in the American vernacular is a bizarre amalgam of self-help pep talk, Left Behind doomsaying, and theocratic fascism). From the gridiron metaphors in your pastor’s sermon to the scripted locker-room banter of local TV newsdudes, joshing about who’s gonna open a can of whupass on who, to the Fantasy Games geek at the office watercooler maundering on about who had six touchdowns and no interceptions in 12 pass attempts this season, posting a 124.3 passer rating, while outside of the red zone his rating on play-action was only 79.7 and his five touchdowns have to be measured, after all, against nine interceptions, the assumption that every red-blooded American—or at least every red-blooded American guy who isn’t a wussy—would give his Truck Nutz for Super Bowl tickets is as unconsidered as it is ubiquitous." Mark Dery

Okay, I watched the superbowl, but I hate the assumption that football is our national religion.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Friday, January 29, 2010

Dowdy Kitchen Man

Witty break down of a typical TV news story, a form so evacuated of content it practically parodies itself.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Crustation

From the same roots as Tricky and Portishead. This song has been remixed countless times, from house to hip hop.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fuck the Democrats

If you want to win, you actually can't sort of move to the middle and become a Republican. You've got to stand up and stand for the things that you got elected on and that the Democratic Party believes in and we haven't seen that in the healthcare bill and I think that's part of the problem.

Howard Dean, last night


In a few short months they've been exposed as the Protect Insurance Companies and Wall Street Party. I mean, what kind of people are glad to have lost a super majority because it gets them off the hook from doing anything important and meaningful? They deserve to lose. And this goes for Obama, too, who keeps trying to play nice.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Friday, January 15, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

16 Horsepower - "Black Soul Choir"

Listen for the christian lyrics. Powerful stuff, though.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Black Heart Procession

"time is all we have so take the time to make the time and make time to take the time"

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Cult - "Phoenix"

Recent tour ("Love") of the 80's goth metal band.

Saturday, January 9, 2010