Thursday, January 4, 2007

To make up for last time...

I'll tell you a little bit about Gary Karp, Hint Hint, and something else...

Gary Karp
• Loves everyone
• Hates no one
• Brings people together

Hint HInt
• Beguilingly hIpster dance-rock band circa 2003-present.
• "Harry's Ass Is A Picnic," from "Sex is Everything" is a great example of really good bands getting away with playing repetetive guitar and bass lines. The reverb-drenched Du-Du-Du-Du-Da-Da-Da-Da guitars and solid, fitful drums, almost skeletal, are still cathartic in a decidedly cool, hep-cat sorta way.

Joy Division
• Oh, now here's a classic.
• In "Dead Souls," from "Life Less Lived: The Gothic Box"--the entirety of which I lifted from a friend at school==they employ metallic, strolling guitars, a polite bass line that follows along, and a hammering, retro-tribal drum beat. Oh God, and after a long build up, of course in comes Ian Curtis, his mesmerizing call adding timbre to what becomes a droning dance number.
• Note about the box set: I recommend you check it out, because, like myself, you probably never knew these bands existed.


We are the furniture. Respond blithely. Sit on me. I am dusty, he says. You are not dusty. You wipe him off. I'm watching, as I slowly spin in a circle. It's dizzying. You put your things on him. You swivel and jerk me to you. You sit on me.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007


Ray is lanky, gaunt, white and has greasy, dirty brown hair that sweeps in shreds around his eyes down to his chin. I recently saw him at Lestat's. While talking to my old friend Jesse, he leaned close to my ear and whispered, "Are you still a stoner?" Awkwardly, I shook my head. He walked off.

One night, in the summer of 2005, he was pitching baseballs by himself on a baseball field near my house. He did it often, during the day, late at night, whenever, with the same ball. That night, he saw me through the chain link gate the divided the field from the street. I waved at him. I was with my mom and brother. They asked me who he was. I don't remember how I answered.

I used see him almost every night at Lestat's, when I was in high school. We smoked pot together, smoked cigarettes, played chess. Sometimes, he would mutter to himself and brighten his eyes and ask a friend of mine whether it was self-centered or egotistical to wonder if he, somehow, for some reason, was Jesus. He seemed shaken by the thought. He had a job, working in a law office somewhere. The way he described it to me sounded authentic. One day, i noticed Ray didn't come around to Lestat's anymore. Four months later, he reappeared. I didn't know what his new job was.

When I saw him recently, he was sitting outside at Lestat's. He stared into the street, inquisitively, his hands on his knees. He caught a glimpse of me. I smiled. "Hey, man. How's it going." He offered out his hand, smiling. "What's been goin' on, man?"

Then I saw Jesse, sitting at a table nearby. "Actually, I just came over to meet up with my old friend over here," I replied, motioning to her. "I'll see you around, man."

Notebook: Man Man

Man Man is dramatic, pulsating, grooving, and their vocal stylings seem to emulate stereotypical gender roles--that is, the men sing in lumberjack lows, the women in throaty highs.

The sixth track from "The Man in a Blue Turban With a Face" is gentle and skeletal. It has a simple bass line by a cheap-sounding organ, shimmering cymbals, a twinkling melody and a thoughtful refrain with cello and keyboards. And those voices, like a white, post-modern gospel.


I'm listening to "All I Do Is Dream of You," by Benny Goodman. I'm sitting at my laptop. It's 2007. It's a bright, sunny day outside, especially considering it's winter. I had creamy cheese, a toasted baguette and apple slices for breakfast. I'm probably going to take a shower in a few minutes. Then I'm going to smoke a cigarette. Even after 3,000 die, sometimes I really don't feel like we're at war.

Here's where I unironically insert sentence about gruesome sectarian violence, IEDs, or the fact that over 120 people died last Tuesday alone in Iraq. Then I can wax on about the insipid debates spinning in Washington and their jaundiced critiques.

And I have to wonder, when will this end?

Will the political machine never stop spinning its wheels?

Are we to be satisfied with the constant debate surrounding Iraq when civilians and soldiers continue to die?

Politicians, journalists and bloggers have offered, or demanded, something in regards to doing something, even deciding on something, soon, about Iraq. Then the Iraq Study Group released their report in mid-December. Now, the debate continues. The violence worsens. And, I guess, the military waits for George W. Bush to make his choice--increase troops or phase out? Maintain security or let Maliki take up responsibility for rebuilding the country? Deal with Syria and Iran...or not?

What's it gonna be?

A solution won't be as simple as sticking to one of these formulas, too bad--that's why the ISG report has a dreary 79 points, many of which seem untenable under our current circumstances, or are initiatives we should have undertaken long ago. Now the media machine is diligently covering Saddam's hanging, which by Anderson Cooper's account is reminiscent of a sectarian lynching. Like almost everything else that has happened over the past few years, Saddam likely shouldn't have been hanged in the first place. Now we've got a new aspect of the Iraq war to be bitter about.

Still, after all of this, I wonder, where, and who, are some of the people that are actually on the ground? Mad props go to Riverbend at Baghdad Burning, Iraq Body Count and C.J. Chivers at the New York Times. Also. But it's not enough. I want to hear what Caldwell and Abizaid really think. They are in Iraq, after all, whereas the decider and his band of cronies are holed up in the Situation Room. The bastards.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Ring in the New Year

Happy New Year 2007 Holy Shit Can You Believe It ???? ! 111 ???

Yes, we are now living in 2007. We've got a bloody mess on our hands, a phat paycheck, a blog, a band, a friendster, and hell, maybe even a facebook. So what's up for the new year? Well, first off, we've got a three-day memorial extravaganza heralding the late Gerald Ford--check CSPAN for that, with plenty of meditative, thoughtful sequences, bereft of dialogue and rife with long shots of the diminuitive Betty Ford. Which I personally think is a bit of a farce.