Thursday, December 28, 2006

The New(est) Pollution

To wit:

C.Lo unleashes her "diaries," Sonic Youth get compilation happy, Parson Sound get reissued (and I can't link to it because is screwing up lately), everybody makes it home alive.

This will very probably be my last blog post of 2006, so everybody have a happy and safe and prosperous New Year, m'kay? It'll be better on the other's got to be.


Friday, December 22, 2006

Fleeting Fictions, Part I

The camera, stationed at an omniscient remove, slowly zooms in on you, your body, your being, your terrestrial actualization, outfitted in a ludicrously large snowsuit, grinning stupidly, lying prone and still in a bank of soft, powdery snow, staring up at nothing in particular. You’ve just made a snow angel and you’re thinking about how wonderful this all is, this unlikely scenario, the climate cold, chilly, but tolerably so at mid-day, the clustered mounds of teensy-tiny ice crystals refreshing and new and miraculous somehow, the genuine sense of peace and precious isolation yours to treasure secretly, privately, completely, existentially; this is the moment just before the moment where you realize that it’s growing hot inside the suit, that the snow is beginning to feel oppressive against your ungloved hands, that you are in the middle of nowhere on the side of an unplowed rural road, that the fact that no-one is around also means that there’s no-one to playfully lob snowballs at – there aren’t even any trees or squirrels, for Pete’s sake – that the snow is, in fact, so loose that you couldn’t pack a snowball even if you actually wanted to, that it will be difficult to maneuver to a standing position whenever you finally want to do so, that the whiteout effect caused by the reflection of the sun off of all of this fucking snow is actually becoming unpleasant all of a sudden, even painful—

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Bloggers in "Endless-Hall-of-Mirrors-BS-Effect" Shocker

So I just googled the name of this blog and, of course, I show up on Doug's, but also here, here, here, and here, among others, because apparently it isn't enough for some folks to list their favorite albums or movies or what-have-you of 2006 - they need to list links to people they probably wouldn't know from Adam listing their favorites! Now don't get me wrong, this doesn't bother me or anything - it's just sorta weird. Or maybe I'm sort of weird. Who knows?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Christmas Card Overdrive

Christmas cards rule, always have, always will. They're a relatively inexpensive way to exchange a psychic high-five with friends and loved-ones you almost never see or talk to on the telephone that's way more personal and corporeal and awesome than email. I love sending cards as much as I love receiving them; I love figuring out who's deserving of one in any given year, gazing at the postmarks, considering the stamp choices, perusing the scrawled greeting inside. To me this is as key an aspect to the holidays as any other, despite the fact that no-one really sends us any cards (here are some whys: my side of the family's not so much on the mailing of cards and never has been, but Alecia's is, so we hear from her relatives a lot more; (most of) my friends are either like, totally busy, don't share my fondness for what one referred to years back as a sorta "bourgie" tradition, don't celebrate a crucial holiday in December, or just plain suck). This post won't descend to the level of all-out, gloves-off bitchfest, though the last part of A Season of Discontent might (if I ever have the balls/time to post it here); really, what I want to understand is, what's up with the tradition of Christmas card giving in the office? Seriously. I mean, what's the relative significance of handing a card to somebody you see five days a week and interact with constantly, even the people you don't really like? It's the polite thing to do, I guess, but it seems so pointless and waistful and naturally the cards are just pretty and the person giving them signs his/her name and puts them in a green or red or white envelope and hands one to you with your name on it and it's like, okay, thanks, I guess, happy holidays. While this happens every year at my job - and it's always women who do this, never guys, it's never occurred to me to get in on this crap - the usual cubicle haul is something like a manageable 3-5 card haul. This year, I've got like 10 effin' cards (so far, three working days remain until Christmas), which is insane, because the company has hired a number of new people and temps over the last 12 months and because the people who in the past didn't hand out cards have suddenly decided it's a wonderful idea. Why, why, why? Who has the time to read every one and figure out where to store them and whether to keep them, if at all? On my shelf sit three that I haven't even opened yet, and I don't know if I will. On the other hand, one of the temps made everybody little sacks of Christmas cookies and food-coloring dyed rice krispie treats and other stuff and handed them out today, which kept her up all night, baking and drinking coffee; that's what I call making an effort, that's what I call special, that's what I call awesome, even if I haven't wanted to eat any of it yet.

Nodin's Top Ten Activities, December 2006

1. Gurgling and laughing, which are sometimes one and the same

2. Drooling

3. Gnawing at pudgy fingers and fists and subsequently slathering same with drool, all the time

4. Catnaping

5. Grunting, though recently this isn't an indicator of a bowel movement, but rather a means of playing with his developing voicebox

6. Pushing buttons or pulling levers on various toys and delighting when these actions elicit sounds or flashing lights

7. Furrowing his brow - this is an eerily adult mannerism of Nodin's - and casting probing, dark-eyed stares deep into the seemy recesses of your bastard mortal soul while attending to the business end of an opaque bottle and hungrily chowing down on 8 ounces of just-add-water-then-shake-to-foamy soy Infamil

8. Snatching eyeglasses off of faces, headbutting chins, and punching people in the nose in an ongoing quest to master his motor functions

9. Wriggling and kicking while in bouncy chair or while being changed (diapers or clothes)

10. Sitting up, whenever possible

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Nodin Watch

Indie Shite is long, long dead - long live its a-long-time-in-comin', cream-of-the-crit-crop successor.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Voguing to Danzig's 2006 Albums Year-in-Review: "Guarenteed to Alienate Damn Near Everybody Breathing"*

1. Various Artists Women Take Back The Noise UBUIBI
2. The Yellow Swans Psychic Secession Load
3. Sightings End Times Fusetron
4. Taylor Deupree Northern 12K
5. The Magic Markers A Panegyric To The Things I Do Not Understand Gulcher
6. Bardo Pond Ticket Crystals All Tomorrow’s Parties
7. Wolf Eyes Human Animal Sub Pop
8. The Dead C. Vain, Erudite and Stupid (Selected Works: 1987-2005) Ba Da Bing
9. Various Artists Less Self is More Self: A Benefit Compilation for Tarantula Hill Ecstatic Peace
1o. Sonic Youth Rather Ripped Geffen

11. Axolotl Way Blank Psych-o-Path
12. Coachwhips Double Death Narnack
13. Diskaholics Live In Japan Vol. 1 Load
14. Tam Tam Ecstatic Peace
15. Psalm One The Death of Frequent Flyer Rhymesayers
16. Be Your Own Pet Be Your Own Pet Ecstatic Peace!/Universal
17. Mission of Burma The Obliterati Matador
18. Stereolab Fab Four Suture Too Pure/Beggars
19. Matmos The Rose Has Teeth in the Mouth of a Beast Matador
20. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti House Arrest Paw Tracks

21. Electric President Electric President Morr Music
22. Bird Show Lightning Ghost Kranky
23. Grizzly Bear Yellow House Warp
24. Ghostface Killah Fishscale Def Jam
25. First Nation First Nation Paw Tracks
26. Vampire Can’t Key Cutter Load
27. Lady Sovereign Public Warning Def Jam
28. Beck The Information Geffen
29. Sonic Youth The Destroyed Room: Rarities and B-Sides Geffen
30. Tortoise and Bonnie Prince Billy The Brave and the Bold Overcoat

31. Kieran Hebden and Steve Reid The Exchange Session Vol. 1 Domino
32. Kieran Hebden and Steve Reid The Exchange Session Vol. 2 Domino
33. Chavez Better Days Will Haunt You Matador
34. The Killers Sam’s Town Island
35. The Strokes First Impressions of Earth RCA
36. Joanna Newsom Ys Drag City
37. Jennifer O'Connor Over the Mountain, Across the Valley, and Back to the Stars Matador
38. Tool 10,000 Days Volcano
39. Espers II Drag City
40. Wolf Eyes with John Wiese Equinox Troniks

41. Pearl Jam Pearl Jam J
42. Matthew Friedberger Winter Women/Holy Ghost Language School 859 Recordings
43. Excepter Alternation 5RC
44. Marble Valley Wild Yams Indikator
45. Islands Return to the Sea Equator
46. Prurient Pleasure Ground Load

47. Beach House Beach House Carpark
48. Monstrous Mother Nature's Slaves Howler

49. Yo La Tengo I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass Matador
50. Various Artists Mitten (State) Transmissions Top Quality Rock & Roll/WHFR 89.3FM
Bonus track, after the fact: 51. Clipse Hell Hath No Fury (Re-Up/Star Trak/Zomba)

*Note: the top 1 through 25 record line-up differs slightly from other published versions of my list (i.e. Jackin' Pop, Baltimore City Paper,, or Pazz & Jop) simply because a few worthy contenders slipped in at the very last minute. If this post actually results in a sales uptick for any of the above artists, I'll eat my hat (without condiments).

Sunday, December 03, 2006

I was just frontin'!

It's been almost a year since I started this blog, but it feels more like a couple of months, which is ridiculous. For 2007 I'll resolve to update more often as long as you resolve to visit this page more often :) What's funny is that I have tons to blog about but somehow no time to blog, or maybe it's that I'm not making enough time to blog, so some of the entries will be just short random thoughts or images of whatever. Before I started blogging I'd see people post pictures of sunsets or street scenes, etc. and I'd be all "that's cheating, that's boring, that's crap!" But now I understand - sometimes a jpeg says more than a screed could, and sometimes you don't even have a screed prepared.

Anyway, lately I've written about a decent religious indie-rock band, a crappy Green Day biography, a shamelessly derivative party-rock trio, and some other stuff nobody cares much about.

Pazz & Jop gets some competition, for obvious reasons. Gonna be a fun December...

Jeff/Thom's band's back and better than ever, check 'em out!

From the bitch’n’whine department: how come, on the coldest bloody day of the year, neither of the gas pumps I had to use this morning could operate independently of my hands? It was 30 degrees out, I hadn’t thought to bring along gloves, and what do you know, the triggers wouldn’t stick and stay in place as I was filling up with the cheap stuff, the result being that my skin almost froze to those icy, icy thin mould-borne strips of steel.