31 December 2004

My favorite live performances of '04

I listened, motionless and still;
And, as I mounted up the hill,
The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more.
........................................................................ -William Wordsworth

Sufjan Stevens and Joanna Newsom
7.29.4 - Dante's, Portland

"Boy Howdy RIO"
4.16.4 - Cervantes Ballroom, Denver

(Chris Cutler, Thom DiMuzio, Hamster Theater, Janet Feder, Cuong Vu,)

Okkervil River

4.6.4 - Berbati's Pan, Portland

The Walkmen

7.14.4 - Berbati's Pan, Portland

The Arcade Fire

12.10.4 - Bossanova Ballroom, Portland


Also worth mentioning:

The Decemberists – Nocturnal, Portland (1.24.4)
The Mountain Goats – Berbati’s Pan, Portland (5.24.4)
Quasi/The Thermals – Crystal Ballroom, Portland (3.12.4)

30 December 2004

Something to Think About:

Aid for Tsunami victims - $350 million
Bush Inaugural - $45 million
Cost for one-day of Iraq war - $177 million

So financially, our current Administration equates helping the poor tsunami victims worth about two-days of waging war in Iraq.

29 December 2004

Philosophy v.1

“Life can only be understood backward, but must be lived forward.”

Soren Kierkegaard

25 December 2004

Kellie Campbell: 8.6.62 - 12.25.4

Kel passed this morning at 8:01

24 December 2004


23 December 2004

Bumperstickers Seen on Road v.1

I can only please ONE person per day
Tomorrow doesn't look good either

21 December 2004

Jokes That Write Themselves v.1

Separated at Birth
Ebenezer Scrooge and Donald Rumsfeld

18 December 2004

Dear Santa:

Please Bring Me This!

Watch a video of ASIMO running

Because I.Explorer SUCKS, you'll have to watch on Firefox

(which you probably should be running anyway)

16 December 2004

to beat the Jeopardy-dood who won million$

(My Jeopardy Catagories via Bridget)

I'd Need These Catagories:
1. . Yamaha Motif-8 recording procedures
2. . Relational Organizing
3. . Coffee & Cigarettes
4. . Bush Admin Ruining the US
5. . Late Compositions of Beethoven
6. . Sobriety

15 December 2004

Somehow, we all survived.

Phoenix, AZ (1976-1978)

I still owe Eichman either $90 or the two lids of Red-Columbian he fronted me that time him and Rob went in together to buy a pound from that older guy down on Palmaire, but Eichman still owes Rob for the $40 extra he covered to pay the dude...Then there was Rob owing me $120 for my Head skis that he ruined at Sunrise when my step-brother Steve loaned them out without my permission; but I owed Rob $30 for his bong I broke on the bicentennial 4th of July night atop my parents roof when we tried to do 200 bongs but quit after 68 because we both had severe headaches. That's $120-$30 which is $90, I can give that to Dave...Oh! And Thymius owed me $35 for 2 months worth of the 5-bucks a week in gas for picking him up to make it to first-hour at Camelback. So if I pay Dave the $90, he can pay Rob the $40 and...yes! He can give the other $50 he owes Jon for the cases of Hofbrau Octoberfest & McEwans Tartan Ale we drank that one night in Rob's pool room and then in turn, Rob pays $50 to Thymius who gives it back to me for the gas and also for a bunch of my Henry Cow and Hatfield cassettes he ended up with. With the rest, Thymius owes Eichman for the mushrooms we did that night Dave broke his leg at Echo Canyon...but no wait, that night Thymius was paying back Rob $50 for the guitar he sat on and broke in his room, and me and Eichman back for that one night at Encanto Park when Thymius kicked in an extra $15 bucks for that gram of coke Rob was short on that we all ended up sharing in which my part, covered Rob and Bonnie's two tickets to Be Bop Deluxe I got them at Odyssey Records (in which he partially paid me back with one Gentle Giant ticket) and a little later by paying for my share of the beer I drank that night we all went out in Dave's jeep and got lost in the desert behind Bonnie's Mom's Frank Lloyd Wright house and I think Rob evened up with his share a couple of nights later when we drank a couple of six-packs of Monkshof atop of the water-tower down the street from Dave's mom's house on 37th.

So $120-$30, and $90-$50...the $40 to Rob and the $30 which cancels out the $60 with half going for Jon's $45 to me, and minus $50, and the $50 which cancel each other out...plus the other $50 minus...so... carry the one, $50 -$30...that leaves Rob owing Eichman $20 after all is said and done...and wait, oh man! Rob paid for the potatoes that time we all went camping at the Mogillion Rim! That time when all that we brought to eat was potatoes to see if we could survive in the wilderness. Shit man, we're all even! And we all survived.


14 December 2004

3 Drummers:

Karen Carpenter
Janet Weiss
Rachel Blumberg

ok...so I get into this argument yesterday with--let me say politely--a less-than enlightened music aficionado. He was going on and on with the, "how a woman can't play the drums as well as a man because of the physical strength thing" take. Now, (of course) this is stupid for way too-many reasons...but for our purposes here, I will enter into the defense, three irrefutable cases:

Exhibit A: Karen Carpenter
Karen was a 'drummer's drummer'. According to friends and family, she played the drums seriously right from the start, spending hours practicing. Her brother Richard recalled, "She seemed to take to them in nothing flat." Drummers who knew her, talk about her extraordinary ability in performing one-handed rolls.
Session drummer (and former Mickey-Mouseketeer) Cubby O'Brien, who joined the Carpenter's road band in 1973 (and also recorded some of the album tracks) remarks: "Karen was very knowledgeable about the drums and was a very good drummer, there's no doubt about that. Some of the things we did together were not easy. I remember one time Karen and I went to see Buddy Rich and Louie Bellson's band. I knew Buddy fairly well, so before the show, I took Karen to meet him backstage. He was getting ready when I introduced her, 'Buddy, this is Karen Carpenter.' And he said, 'Karen Carpenter! You're one of my favorite drummers, you know that?' Karen always hated when somebody would say, 'You're really good--for a woman,' Nobody better have said that!"

Exhibit B: Janet Weiss (Quasi, Sleater-Kinney)
Fact - it was when Janet first joined Sleater-Kinney on their 3rd record, 'Dig Me Out' that their sound evolved into how it is known today. That might just be the best indication of Janet's drumming prowess one could present. Although, there is Quasi, where she pairs up with (ex-husband) Sam Coomes in a stripped down exhibition of creative quirk-pop. Janet has a remarkable ability of laying down solid rock-grooves that are uniquely interspersed with these creative, metric-percussive-melodies that move the music to the downbeat. Her own take on the female drummer issue is clear: "I don't think people look at me as a female drummer; I'm a girl and I'm a drummer. Obviously being a girl is how I relate to things, but I think it's too complicated of a question to answer. It's been simplified in the media a lot - it's pulled out as this novelty thing. I enjoy seeing women play music and I enjoy playing music. I think it adds an interesting dimension...especially seeing a band live." I love Janet's playing.

Exhibit C: Rachel Blumberg (The Decemberists, Norfolk & Western)
Rachel solidifies my defense. I think she is one of the most 'musical' drummers playing today. Her drum-approach to most Decemberists songs travels past the 'laying down of the power-groove', reaching a more percussive 'coloring style'. She accomplishes this with her dynamics and melodic playing utilizing her kit, sticks/mallets, cymbals, bass drum, gong and other assorted percussion instruments, along with her background singing. So, Rachel never hits the hell out of the drums...rather, she plays them as an artist paints a canvas, (excuse my hoaky metaphor.) A lot of times she'll use the tone of her drumkit toms to provide the melodic beat, foregoing the usual BD/Snare approach. I've seen her play live a couple of times and she is one of these drummers I can't take my eyes off; her musicality just screams for attention. Along with Rachel's percussive duties, her beautiful (background) voice really fills out a lot of Decemberists songs, and it should be noted that she has a prominent vocal-role in her work with Adam Selzer's group, Norfolk & Western. Rachel is also an independent contractor for youth advocacy and a drum instructor.
And I don't really have time to rave about Melissa York.
Check her shit out.

Closing argument: If it's really all about "power and strength", then will anybody ever top Elvin Jones?

13 December 2004

From the "Where am I?" Dept.

10 million light years to Earth and in

It really gets interesting once you hit the earth.

This "anime" comes from Molecular Expressions in Florida. Their photo gallery contains thousands of full color photomicrographs (photographs taken through a microscope) and digital images.

12 December 2004

Cash Canvas

Kamiel Proost: Money-Art
(originally) Miniature-painted One Dollar-bills

I suppose this is also a good indication of the value of a Dollar v. Euro

10 December 2004

Live in Portland Tonight:

The Arcade Fire & The Weakerthans

I'm excited as hell that I'm off to see the The Arcade Fire play this evening. Especially after reading Blogumentary, which mentioned them putting on one of the best live shows he's seen since Neutral Milk Hotel, (the only rockband over the past few years who officially won the right to have my babies.)
I really think "Funeral" is easily the best indy-rock release of the year. (the Pitchfork guys seem to agree)
Oh yeah...The Weakerthans are pretty good too.

08 December 2004

Famous Composers in Film v.1

Yes, that Varèse

A scene from John Barrymore's
"Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (1920).
The man on the right is composer Edgard Varèse.
He has just administered poison to the gentleman in the middle, who seems to have been sleeping with his wife.

06 December 2004

A Scrabblist's Memoir


And yes, I think she probably is a little bit crazy. In the good way of course.

05 December 2004

from the "Shameless Self-Promotion" Dept.


Three New 5uu's Songs

are downloadable here


#1 "BULLDOZER"...June 2004 Ginger Studio, Tel Aviv

Scott Brazieal: keyboard

Chris Cutler: electri-kit

Ned Rothenberg: shakuhachi

Dave Kerman: brush drums, chair squeaks, toothpicks

Udi Koomran: computer, cassettes

Scott sent a meandering sort of electric piano track that reminded me of garrulous, human blathering. Since it was in no particular meter or time signature, Udi quantized it, and I set about to discern the new, ever-changing time signatures so I could play brush drums and toothpicks to the rhythm. Udi happened to be mastering a solo show that Ned had recently performed here in Israel, and the shakuhachi section sounded fantasic. The long, breathy approach seemed to be the musically intrinsic opposite of the piano track, so I convinced him to fly it into the mix, merely to see how it would sound. It was the rhythm track's perfect compliment. Chris' unrelated, electric-drums were then quantized and, amazingly, shared some rhythmic approximations of the keyboard (one of those happy accidents one can only wish for). To relate to the "blathering" aspects of the keyboard track, we flew in news commentary from Israel's incursion into Palestine and historic, taped accounts of Ariel Sharon ordering his forces that, "everything in the way is to be levelled, no exceptions". And yes, that's a real bulldozer playing the final solo.


#2 "RESOLVE"...May 2004 Ginger Studio, Tel Aviv

Bob Drake: drumstick slide-bass

Dror Fieler: contrabass saxophone

Scott Brazieal: keyboard, autoharp

Chris Cutler: electri-kit

Dave Kerman: guitar, hand percussion

Udi Koomran: computer

Deborah Perry: vocals (by proxy)

Probably not realising it, both Bob and Chris sent tracks in 9/8 and 7/8 timings. We managed to lock them up (by means of timecompression and expansion) and to make from them wierd, funk/club grooves. Guitar patterns were cut up to fit these, and akeyboard melody was flown in for the vocal line. The problem was that I hadn't written any texts, so we meticulously extracted differentwords that Deborah had sang on a previous disk (Abandonship), and used the computer to change their durations, note values and pitches to match those of the keyboard melody: "While doubt hides from ghosts, dismissing neighbors' screams; Pose not to refute the seeds of sordid dreams. Contrition steps forth, stays lost on angels' face. All will is the shield there burning with such grace". At the end you can hear the pallette of extracted words before being processed. Dror's huge, sax insanity was recorded by Udi at Noise Studio in summer 2000, but lay dormant until now. Bob had recorded the wierd 20 sec. loop of Chris playing crazy, speed/techno-electric drums, and we cut up one of Bob's shredding basslines to fit these timings and tempos. Scott's sounds added an ethereal tone symbolising the resolve of angels.

#3 "COMMUNITY"...May 2004 Ginger Studio, Tel Aviv

Avi Belleli: vocals

Dave Kerman: piano, chains, vocals

Janet Feder: prepared guitar

Chris Cutler: electri-kit

Udi Koomran: computer

This is a more straight-forward composition, where Belleli and myself multi-tracked many vocals to approximate the sentiment of a large gathering, sadly prone to certain aspects of assimilation.The impetus for the keyboard composition were a series of guitar strums sent to us by Janet (where her strings were prepared with all sorts of appurtenances); But these were later cut and pasted in are-arranged order, which forces the listening ear into the active role of transforming the piano chords into something they were not naturally meant to be. Chris' sounds offset the jagged enterprise, adding a naive sense of placation, and the chains represent a societal penchant for comfort, stability and surety in a world frought with uncertainty.

04 December 2004

Will Layman: "Cooking With Esther Bangs"

Chicken with Noodles

Chicken with Noodles
1/2 chicken

4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh (or 2 tablespoons dried) tarragon
1 cup chicken stock
1 pound egg noodles
3 carrots
1 cup of young peassalt and pepper to taste

Brown a half a chicken in a 350-degree oven. Actually, fuck it—brown the whole thing. Interesting question is whether you should have just gotten a duck like the young and still wildly misunderstood Pops Armstrong would have done, dousing the whole thing with cayenne and (let's be honest) some less-than-legal "herbal" rub that gives the poultry a glisten of pump-and-thrust that The Man just can't deal with. If you don't have the money, and shit if we've had any money recently, you can do the whole thing with rabbit for a fraction of the price as long as you're willing to spend a couple hours in the backyard at the crack of dawn with a baseball bat, a butterfly net, and some Vicks VapoRub. Just make sure the cunicular flesh is tender to the touch after it's stopped twitching in your hungry, bare hands.
Whether you go with chicken, duck, or rabbit, you're gonna get a nice flavor if you rub the skin with the butter and sprinkle the whole carcass with a mixture of the lemon and tarragon. You know it's done when the slow roast of the oven turns the skin light brown and it starts to pucker, pulling away from the pliant meat ever so slightly, the same way Billie Holiday would drop just enough behind the beat to make you certain as rain that sweeping the floors in Alice Dean's Baltimore whorehouse at the age of 11 wasn't exactly a bowl of bonbons.

Man, the older Billie got, the more her voice croaked into a fucking personification of slavery itself and you'd have to be a moron or a plantation owner in one of the darker corners of Alabama not to realize that Artie Shaw and his fucking clarinet were little more than a phallic nightstick of oppression without Billie's wounded sound rescuing the whole band and making you see that the chicken is now totally ready to be pulled out of the oven and set aside to cool.
Boil the noodles in a mixture of stock and water, undercooking them slightly. Test the noodles after three minutes, as most people will overcook them, ruining the whole meal. You want to strangle these people. You want to ask them whether they plan to get a fucking clue, but you don't want to listen to their lame excuses, like how the phone rang while they were boiling their noodles and they were distracted for a moment, because anyone who would overcook an egg noodle is the moral equivalent of a fan of the Paul Whiteman band, whose thievery of the work of true artists and general WASPy pomposity can only be met with the derision found at the end of a left hook, and thus such a person would not even have a friend who would be calling during the cooking of said noodles. So, for God's sake, test the noodles after about three minutes. If you don't like sticking your fingers in the boiling water, then by all means don't start cooking the meal until you've managed to finish a couple of late-afternoon Southern-Comfort-and-Cokes. Nobody said that cooking was painless, but you can do your best to make it that way. Drain the noodles and return them to the pot.
Cut the skin from the chicken, then tear at the meat with your fingers, creating a series of white fleshy strips. Think about all the parts of your body that used to look that good—lean and firm and delicious. Never mind.
Somewhere back you should have cooked the carrots and peas. Who really gives a shit how you do it—you think it makes a difference? Jesus, you expect me to tell you how to do everything. Then mix the meat, vegetables, and noodles in the pot, adding an extra tablespoon of butter and the salt and pepper for flavor. It's a meal in one dish. If your kid doesn't like it, talk to him about the Depression until he shuts the fuck up.

03 December 2004

Better is it to perish in that howling infinite

"Moby Dick" - Chapter 23
The chapter is is short, (six inches long Melville says) with Ishmael watching the sailor Bulkington command The Pequod over a turbulent sea. He writes of him as a restless seeker, fated to perish at sea and become immortal & God-like. Melville considers this kind of death infinitely preferable to fading away through comfort and cowardice.

When on that shivering winter's night, the Pequod thrust her vindictive bows into the cold malicious waves, who should I see standing at her helm but Bulkington! I looked with sympathetic awe and fearfulness upon the man, who in mid-winter just landed from a four years' dangerous voyage, could so unrestingly push off again for still another tempestuous term. The land seemed scorching to his feet.
Wonderfullest things are ever the unmentionable; deep memories yield no epitaphs; this six-inch chapter is the stoneless grave of Bulkington. Let me only say that it fared with him as with the storm-tossed ship, that miserably drives along the leeward land. The port would fain give succor; the port is pitiful; in the port is safety, comfort, hearthstone, supper, warm blankets, friends, all that's kind to our mortalities. But in that gale, the port, the land, is that ship's direst jeopardy; she must fly all hospitality; one touch of land, though it but graze the keel, would make her shudder through and through. With all her might she crowds all sail off shore; in so doing, fights 'gainst the very winds that fain would blow her homeward; seeks all the lashed sea's landlessness again; for refuge's sake forlornly rushing into peril; her only friend her bitterest foe! Know ye now, Bulkington? Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep,earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?
But as in landlessness alone resides highest truth, shoreless, indefinite as God—so, better is it to perish in that howling infinite, than be ingloriously dashed upon the lee, even if that were safety! For worm-like, then, oh! who would craven crawl to land! Terrors of the terrible! is all this agony so vain? Take heart, take heart, O Bulkington! Bear thee grimly, demigod! Up from the spray of thy ocean-perishing—straight up, leaps thy apotheosis!

02 December 2004

"...and we'll take care of the counting."

Rep. Peter King Clues Us All In to the Bush Election Strategy HERE
Uhmm...BEFORE the election, that is.