Thursday, January 28, 2010

The wait begins


I was going to save this amazing juxtaposition for my year-or-two-in-music review but I've lost confidence that I can cram it in without… well, cramming it in. We know Ice is hiding an Uzi, but what about Ditto? I bet it's a pizza. Mmm.

On deck are said review (which could also detail the death of the compact disc; that's where Power and Movement come in) and the Marble Index bash-o-rama I mentioned once. I started both of them a long time ago and they're a mess. But I'm trying real hard, Ringo.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Marc and Debra Blain have real problems

A slight non-musical exploration while I rejoice in one evil (the Colts) defeating another, greater evil (the Jets), while the greatest evil of them all (the Favre) mentally prepares for how he will swiftly and publicly blame Peterson for the loss. (It's tied at twenty-one right now, but there's no way the Saints lose this).

Really dodged a bullet here. As Chairman Mao once said, "We live in some interesting god-hole-fucking times." Perhaps it was Ming the Merciless. I forget my American History.

Speaking of America, this whole "USA" thing is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because when I'm filling out some international form or declaration or shit like that, when I get to the COUNTRY line I can write three silly letters and be done. And two of them are vowels! And the third is like the most popular consonant. Those letters don't even need to be written out, they're assumed and shit.

I'm very nearly drunk right now.

The downside of such a catchy acronym is that people can sculpt ridiculousness based solely around its simplicity, with a little warmongering richness added for flavor. A. and I moved here last Spring and we've enjoyed its lack of an overt political heaviness. We're both rabid independents and we get pretty worked up when it comes to (I think Favre is hurt!!!!) people who feel entitled. We're so independent, in fact, that we bucked the system and never got around to re-registering to vote. Washington can eat shit.

Who knows if us not voting in the special Massachusetts The-Future-Is-Brilliant-and/or-Fucked senatorial election will matter in the long run. (Also the local election to decide if town taxes should (touchdown, Saints!) be raised to build a new police station, and frankly I was more interested in those results. Not interested enough to take three or four minutes to update my voter registration, but still interested. And it was defeated… take that, fuzz!) So back to that entitlement thing. Maybe I would have voted for Brown (probably not) and maybe I would have voted for Coakley (also probably not, particularly because I saw her glad-handing at North Station twice in the last two weeks and noticed her Quadimodo-esque hunch was dangerously under-reported). In fact, I probably would have voted for Joseph P. L. Kennedy because he thought he could win based on coincidence and outright deception. Which is how most elections are won anyway. That guy got one percent of the vote, which might not sound like a lot, except I'm sure seventy-five percent of the people who voted for him thought he was an "actual" Kennedy.

Anyway, Coakley only recently realized that she had to earn (fumble!) our votes, and that's why she lost. In true I-can't-believe-I'm-losing-to-this-guy fashion, Brown did everything short of bitch-slap his daughter when he announced in his victory speech that she was available for sex. He also kept telling us about the truck he drives. Matter of fact, his campaign slogan was "Slip it to my daughter in my truck or the terrorists win."

Onward. This… monument… would have pulverized every political, sensible and ironic fabric of my beautiful mind and body. Marc and Debra Blain have real problems. I like the line comparing the thing to a commercial sign because unfortunately that's what "USA" has become—a brand name that ninnies can holler in unison because it's easy to say, and it's an easy way to pretend to be patriotic. When your national anthem is about war and your veterans memorials honor violence instead of sacrifice, it's not unfair to accuse "Occupying force!" when your humanitarian aid workers arrive bearing machine guns.

Anyway, I play Risk online with my friends, and Kamchatka is a key country (or key oblast, for my Russian friends). I've been staring at the word "Kamchatka" off and on for years playing this game, and just now I still had to look up how to spell it. I don't wish I lived in Kamchatka, because I like it here and it's where I keep my stuff. But I wish my country were called "Kamchatka." Or "Eastern Australia." Even "Tinycockistan." Anything that would make people think twice about yelling it over and over when they have nothing better to say.

Tied at twenty-eight.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The continuing adventures of an extended delay

In honor of my cat Chloe face-planting on the loveseat and for the purpose of writing about music (about anything, really, following a six-month period of exile), here are my favorite albums of each year from 1964 to two weeks ago. I figure 1964 is as good a year as any to mark the beginning of the modern music age. Think of this as a warm-up for my best-of-2009 list, which I promise to consider finishing sooner or later.

For your consideration: the Biffys®. You're welcome.

1964  Beatles – A Hard Day's Night
1965  John Coltrane – A Love Supreme
1966  Monks – Black Monk Time
1967  The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced
1968  Pretty Things – SF Sorrow
1969  Led Zeppelin
1970  Stooges – Fun House
1971  Groundhogs – Split
1972  Curtis Mayfield – Superfly
1973  Hawkwind – Space Ritual
1974  Kiss – Hotter Than Hell
1975  George Brigman – Jungle Rot
1976  Fela Kuti & Afrika 70 – Zombie
1977  The Damned – Damned Damned Damned
1978  AC/DC – Powerage
1979  Chrome – Half Machine Lip Moves
1980  Motörhead – Ace of Spades
1981  Black Flag – Damaged
1982  Dead Kennedys – Plastic Surgery Disasters
1983  Bad Brains – Rock for Light
1984  Metallica – Ride the Lightning
1985  The Fall – This Nation's Saving Grace
1986  Big Black – Atomizer
1987  Boogie Down Productions – Criminal Minded
1988  Public Enemy – It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
1989  Mudhoney
1990  Ice Cube – AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted
1991  Black Sheep – A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing
1992  The Jesus Lizard – Liar
1993  Wu-Tang Clan – Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
1994  The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Orange
1995  Six Finger Satellite – Severe Exposure
1996  DJ Shadow – Endtroducing.....
1997  Yo La Tengo – I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One
1998  Six Finger Satellite – Law of Ruins
1999  Make-Up – Save Yourself
2000  Deltron 3030
2001  Fugazi – The Argument
2002  Mr. Lif – I Phantom
2003  White Stripes – Elephant
2004  Comets on Fire – Blue Cathedral
2005  Sleater-Kinney – The Woods
2006  Black Keys – Magic Potion
2007  Dungen – Tio Bitar
2008  Black Mountain – In the Future
2009  Flaming Lips – Embryonic

My favorite album from a young 2010 is Fuck You, First Alert, Maker of the Combination Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Alarm Outside My Bedroom That Boasts an Indecipherable Voice Feature and Enjoys Going Off in the Middle of the Night for No Reason at All, Even After I've Replaced the Goddamn Batteries Twice. It's a concept album about violence.


Edit: Let's keep this going into a grungy new decade. Biffys® forever! Apologies for duplicate band appearances but I've deemed it artificial to disqualify excellence because of familiar excellence. It's also become impossible to avoid with my disdain for/ignorance of Modern Music—look for a revolving door in the vicinity of Ty Segall and friends in the coming years. This writer shall not be held responsible for busted retcons elsewhere in his archives.

2010  Dead Meadow – Three Kings
2011  Thee Oh Sees – Carrion Crawler/The Dream
2012  Off!
2013  Fuzz
2014  Shellac – Dude Incredible
2015  Fuzz II
2016  Ty Segall – Emotional Mugger