Monday, January 25, 2010

Recent Acquisitions

RECEIVING, JAN 25 - Recent acquisitions:

1. Head Net
This arrived last week from former Vermiform Records artists Justin (VMFM 26) and Sarah (VMFM 49). It apparently "repels not only mosquitos [sic] and black flies, but even the tiniest of no-see-ums". I used to get these kind of quasi-anonymous packages on a weekly basis from Men's Recovery Project fans, and I'm kind of sad those days are over.

2. Ceramic Cat Plaque
This arrived the same day, a late Christmas gift from some relatives with a vested interest in the production of fresh McPheeterses. It seems like I have two responses available to me; A) Spend the next 18 years photographing the little ceramic plaque in a variety of milestones - plaque's first steps, plaque in Little League practice, plaque's high school graduation - and then present the full photo album to said relatives in 2028, or B) commission a reciprocal ceramic cat plaque reading LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT. THREE OF MY GRANDCHILDREN ARE BURIED IN THE BACK YARD??

3. Turkish Energy Paste

Kathryn from Ankara arrived in town last week, and even though she's Kathryn from Istanbul now, she's not too much of a big shot to have forgotten the gifts. This time around, it's Manisa Mesir Macunu, a Turkish energy paste for men that comes in the kind of flat-top plastic tube usually reserved for shampoos and skin creams. It gets squirted directly into the mouth in moments of sluggishness and tastes like sweet almond goo, which could be worse. Ingredients include Vanilya, and Hardal Tohumu, and Yenibahar.

4. Space Olympics
I'm not quite sure if I've ever been so excited to read a crummy sci-fi paperback. I bought this at Glendale's Brand Bookstore, one of those rare stores with great selection, great prices, and none of the teetering piles and half-assed disarray of most decent used booksellers. The only drawback to the place is that it is located in Glendale, meaning it is at the mercy of Glendale's wide assortment of creepy Scientology flakes. Five minutes into my browsing the impressive wall of $1.50 sci-fi paperbacks, one of the locals started badgering me, producing an exchange worthy of a one-act play:

CREEP: Hey, do you like science fiction?

ME (browsing the science fiction section): No.

CREEP: Oh. Well, have you ever heard of "Dune"?

ME: No. I have not.

CREEP: Huh. (produces book) Hey, ever read this?

ME: "Battlefield Earth". No I have not.

CREEP: The guy who wrote this was a certifiable genius. They don't even have a test that can chart this guy's intelligence.

ME: Is that a fact.

CREEP: Yeah blah blab blah

ME: Uh huh.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Problem: Accidental Disrespect

OOPS DEPT., JAN 13 - A letter arrived recently from Sami, a 20-year old student living in Vienna, Austria. Sami explains that he once lived in Virginia, and his writing is fluid enough that I'm not quite certain about his exact nationality. Of my 2008 posting about NY Times coverage of a Thrones show, he writes;

In your writing you express your concern about the lack of human empathy of the 21st century audiences - how people at shows resemble columns made of flesh and bone (and thick rimmed glasses and Burzum shirts may I add!) these days, on the floor. For example, I saw... a Sunn 0))) show this summer. It seemed like only people came who read about them in Vice, or some other COOL outlet. The entire audience didn't connect at all with the music.... I feel you, and what you're trying to say...

Rahav Segev

I had only one problem with your post: I'm in it. I'm on the very, very, very right of the NYT photo. The one who probably put you in the train of thought to almost describe all of us as "slack jawed"(not gonna lie, I wish my lower jaw had more girth!).

I took the Chinatown bus from DC only to see that show, see Joe.... in fact I [???] sleeping at Pennsylvania Station until my bus left the next morning... I just love Joe and HAD to see him live after being a big fan of his time with the Melvins and listening to Sperm Whale. You've been to a ton of his shows and you know that many of his songs are crushing. Others are quick and, dare I say, "catchy", and Sam I swear I closed my eyes and rocked out. But I'm pretty sure the photo was made RIGHT after Joe played 'Ephraim', and if one could use 'traumatized' in a positive context, then this would be fitting. The photographer left as soon as he had a photo of Joe singing in the can. The show was larger than life, incredibly lonely yet communal in a way that Joe provided [?]

There are some hidden traps to writing about music after one has been in an active band. It takes a bit of work to convey that one is neither bitter nor self-congratulatory about one's time on stage. The few times I've written about my own newfound, post-band aversion to bands, and concerts, and records, it has been with some measure of awareness that I don't want to dismiss or inflate any music I myself participated in. I just don't like going to shows anymore. If there was any deeper subtext to my review of the NYT review, it was simply my seething, subconscious jealousy that Joe made it into the pages of the Times and I apparently never will.

Now I can add one more trap to post-band music writing; accidentally disrespecting an innocent bystander. Apologies to Sami. No disrespect intended. You were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sketchbook: God


Most of Old Testament, Revelations, 2030's

Monday, January 4, 2010

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy Twenty Tweens

Happy early Year Of The Tiger folks. I have an "eggs" feeling about this decade.

ALSO - Story Blort, my new daily fiction Twitter blog, has now happened. Enjoy.