July 2003 Archives

mania moderne

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If anybody knows of a particular local charity that could really use a whole lot of graphic novels and comics TPBs--some kid-friendly, some adults-only--could you please let me know? I'm realizing I've got a whole lot of stuff, some of it very good, that I just don't need. I mean, there's always Housing Works, but I sort of want to give them to a place where there are people who will read them.

Otherwise: The Voice just ran two more pieces I wrote this week, on the music industry's financial situation and Melt-Banana. New mix CD, premiered at Jess Bruder's annual palatial pool party the other night, goes Bunker Hill/Melt-Banana/Pandi/The Juan Maclean/Rob Crow/Elvis Costello & the Attractions/Don Covay/Oedipus/News for Lulu/Letta/Angel Racing Food/Joseph Spence/Hans Appelqvist/the Aislers Set/the Beach Boys/Matmos/Peaches/Radiohead/Grinnell Giggers/postal workers/the Spinanes; it seems to have gone over well.

Today is mostly dedicated to extreme dullness.

cohhhmic boooohhhks

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Been a bit--sorry, I was frantically writing, and then off to San Diego for Comic-Con International, which I was covering for PW (and from which I returned with a gigantic pile of graphic novels and comics). In my absence, Slate posted my article on Friendster, which seems to have gotten some good responses. (I've also gotten some requests to Friendsterize people I don't even know--you'd think they'd have gotten the message.)

Highlight of Comic-Con that wasn't quite what PW wanted to know about: Grant Morrison explaining, at length, the flaws he sees in Alan Moore's take on the Kabbalah in Promethea, then calling for another question and being asked "if the JLA and the X-Men got in a fight, who'd win?" In general, this year Con seemed like more of a job and less of a joy to me than usual. I suppose I'd have been more enthusiastic if I hadn't already seen a lot of the highlights right in my own back yard at MOCCA, though.

I've now seen The Apple 4 1/2 times (bailed out halfway through tonight to get some necessary work done). Oddly, I'm still not tired of it. At all. Quite the opposite, really.

more elements

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I did a fill-in on WFMU last night--you can listen to it here. I'm pretty pleased with how the centerpiece turned out: an approximation of the Beach Boys' never-released Smile album, via covers of all the known songs from it. (Well, almost all. I played the Boys' own version of "Our Prayer," and since I couldn't find any covers of "I'm In Great Shape," I ended up bringing down the ukulele and playing & singing it myself.)

People seem to be liking the Clear Channel story from Time Out a lot. I'm very happy about that--I was afraid that phrases like "FCC rulemaking" would send them straight off to sleepyland, but I'm pretty proud of the story.

And so what have I been doing? Going to a few more shows; shopping with Jess for potential Burning Man gear at a big clearance sale that 38nine was having (got a ridiculous Scottish-royal-guard outfit that will be good for the desert); working on a couple of more pieces. Nothing too headline-worthy, and I'm feeling like I really need to get out of the house more. Maybe I'll do that right now.

My League of Extraordinary Gentlemen review is up at the New York Times site (registration probably required). Hooray.

return of toledo

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Those of you who wonder what the Gigantic Article that I was sweating over for the last month or so was need wonder no longer--just have a look at the massive piece on Clear Channel in the new Time Out New York (w/ Sean Penn on the cover), and you will understand. (Not online yet, sadly--Time Out stuff goes up on their web site four weeks after the issue hits stands. I'll link it when I can.) Also out today: Rolling Stone with Eminem on the cover and my reviews of the New York Noise compilation and the Dead Or Alive best-of on the inside.

Also: James Kavoussi just sent me his new Phoaming Edison CD-R, which is inimitably entitled GWEEEE!!!!!. Oh man. 20 new songs, plus deeply disturbed covers of Amon Düül II's "Archangels Thunderbird" and Particle Steve's "Green Fibre." That guy is a genius, and someday the world will recognize it.

Lisa & I went tonight to a project that Alan Licht put together: 40 or so people (including us) performing three vocal pieces that he directed--John Stevens' "Sustained Piece" from 1968 (eveyone inhales deeply, sings a single note until the breath runs out, then repeats on the same note or a different one, each person on his or her own breath-length), Licht's own "Subway Piece" (everyone simultaneously reads aloud something he or she has previously read silently on the subway), and Yoko Ono's "John Let's Hope For Peace" (from 1969; we weren't able to stay for it, but it's very much like "Sustained Piece," except with the title as text). We ran into Kenneth Goldsmith (a.k.a. WFMU's Kenny G.) there, very nattily attired, with Mister Six glasses and facial hair--he'd just read The Communist Manifesto in its entirety on his radio show that afternoon, he explained, and had dressed up for it. He pointed us toward Broken New York, a visual index of things in the city that have broken and will never be fixed, and mentioned his new book, whose title I've been trying without success to find online: he typed the entirety of a single Friday's issue of the New York Times himself. It's over 800 pages long.

Also: I have a sinister plan involving business cards.

the gin stompers

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Back at last from my soothing weekend up in Lake Luzerne (with my mom, Lisa, Jess 'n' Wes, Alexis, Sara and Mer). We ate corn on the cob and swam in the lake and watched The Apple on videotape and played guitars on a raft and sang along with Electric Six and the Spongmonkeys and attempted to imitate Helium. It was more or less idyllic.

Neglected to link (so far) to a couple of recent short Voice pieces, on file-sharing (halfway down the page) and Field Day. More pieces in various places soon to come.

shifting georges dial


I think the really big bad crunch is finally over, and the mammoth piece I've been tweaking since the late Paleolithic is finally running in next week's Time Out. Whew. I treated the trip Lisa & I made tonight to the Dumpling House out in Flushing with Matt and (the nine-months-pregnant) Sigrid as a celebration of finally having it out of my hands (only to get a call from my editor as soon as I got home, asking for one last bit of information). Anyhow: their scrambled-egg-and-dill dumplings are exceptionally good. We stopped on the way back at the Lemon Ice King of Corona (the King himself oversees the joint from his chair at the back) and got ices and watched people play what I'm pretty sure was bocce.

Stopped off downtown today and bought Rough Trade's Post Punk Vol 01 compilation, noticing that the track listing started Gang of Four - Les Georges Leningrad - the Pop Group - LiLiPUT - the Rapture - Delta 5, and thinking "oh boy oh boy this has all sorts of stuff I'm sure I'm going to love!" What I'd neglected to notice was that, in fact, I already had most of the stuff on it--37 out of 44 songs, I believe. I mean, if I'd heard this thing when I was 17, it'd have changed my life, but I found myself thinking "what, 'Too Many Creeps' again?" (This says much more about my problem than Post Punk's problem. And it does include Family Fodder's "Debbie Harrry," so I'm not complaining.)

There was a nice surprise waiting for me at home, though: the self-titled album by Oedipus, due out from InPolySons soon. Oedipus is Alig Fodder (as "Johnny Kash") and Anne-Marte Rygh--the singles club put out their lovely "Hybrid Phase Yellow" some months ago--and the album is simple and exquisite, just the kind of record I'm very happy to hear Alig making. (I also recently scored a copy of Extra Weapons, the album by his mid-'80s band the Lo Yo Yo, and have been playing it every day. It's an Alig kind of week around here.)

Time to plan menus for this weekend, when I will be doing a whole lot of cooking.