April 2006 Archives

what?? what???

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To the short list of things that don't quite make one's heart sink but that one still really doesn't want to hear coming from a plumber who's just hammered and sawed three large holes in one's kitchen ceiling to attempt to find the source of the bilge-water that recently cascaded into the kitchen via the over-the-stove lamp, water-feature-style, we can now add: "Hmm. I'm thinking this... No. No, that would just be too weird. No."

derelict view

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Jandek Thursday night at the Hollywood: two hours long pretty much on the button, although I didn't know that until it was over. The batteries of the fabulous Casio recording watch that Lisa got me a few years ago (it records up to 30 seconds of audio; this is particularly useful when I wake up from an interesting dream in the middle of the night), and that had taken a few bad beatings esp. in the desert, had finally expired on me that afternoon. I'm a compulsive watch-checker; I just like to know how long things take to happen, and I don't have much of an internal sense of it. As the man said, what else does the time mean? Enough that by the end of the show I was in a weird state of meditative panic, wondering what time it was. The nature of the show itself probably confused me even more than usual, especially when the Jandekettes came out on stage and took their place behind music stands with sheet music on them, despite the fact that their only line (repeated a dozen or so times) was "whose mister is this?" After the show, I felt like my brain had been thoroughly swabbed down with a soft rag soaked in Jandek. (That's a description, not an evaluation. I don't know that I'm capable of an evaluation.) (Okay, one observation: Sam Coomes & Emil Amos, who were playing with him, were doing much more pattern/groove-based stuff than the people who accompanied him on the recent live albums, or than his recordings usually involve. Which was odd, but worked really well. In the car on the way to the show, Wendy was playing a tape of Can's Flow Motion--not a record I would've guessed would have sounded that good in a car--and parts of the Jandek show actually reminded me of some of the more messed-up stuff on Can's Unlimited Edition.)

Incidentally, here's the article about Jandek I wrote for this week's Willamette Week.

Liz B. visited for the last couple of days, which was a joy. Lisa and her friend Mike took her out to see the soft underbelly of Portland nightlife. I stayed home and hung out with the Small One.

Two food notes: Rhubarb is in season! I made a rhubarb cake for a party this afternoon! It was good!And I have a new favorite food blog. Not even Linsey's "Cake and Commerce," as much fun as that is, but Vegan Lunch Box, which is kind of the intersection of Cute Overload, Daddy Types and I Was Just Really Very Hungry.

Also: A little project I've been working on for way, way too long is finally as done as it's going to get for the time being. (Those of you I run into at the EMP conference next week may well get a copy of it.) I will just say that the working title was "The Sound of Success."

twist your curve into a bell

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Six thoroughly unrelated things:

*The seder went very, very well. Hit of the things I cooked: eggplant in date sauce, from Chris & Carolyn Caldicott's World Food Café cookbook. (Its secret ingredient is rose water.)

*That new compilation A Tom Moulton Mix on Soul Jazz is the most oh-maybe-I'll-just-hit-play-again thing I've heard this year--16 full-length disco mixes by the guy who pretty much invented "the disco mix" as we know it. Given how many zillion records he's been involved with, I demand volumes 2 through 8. Also, somehow, in the course of 30 years, Andrea True's "More, More, More," Isaac Hayes' "Moonlight Loving," etc. have gone from being a camp caricature of "sexiness" into actually being s-e-X-X-X-y; how'd that happen?

*Does anybody happen to know a program that can convert .avi files from Google Video to something it's possible to edit in iMovie, preferably without giving the soundtrack a terminal case of the jitters? I'm trying to get together the video element of my EMP talk, and hitting speed-bumps and traffic cones.

*As innumerable people have commanded us to do, we're finally watching Arrested Development on DVD, from the beginning, and yes it really is that good. We're midway through the second season now, and just got to that "loose seal" joke they spent like A YEAR setting up.

*If some kind of economic collapse happens to the mainstream comics market in the next few years, a good example of the kind of ghastly crossover-tie-in thing that dragged the industry by its heels through the town square will be The Battle for Blüdhaven #1. Whoever greenlighted it may have had some justification for its existence in mind (although I can't imagine what), but that seems to have gotten away by the time the whole thing was done. No passion, no grace, no point.

*Chopsticks Express has a new batch of karaoke discs, so of course I'm drawn to the ones I'm pretty sure I know the words to but am perfectly aware I can't pull off anyway. Four consecutive trainwrecks last night: "Everything to Me," "September Song," "Tangled Up in Blue," "Mother Popcorn." I really should know better.

...oh where, oh where, oh where have you been? Keeping up an unhealthy work/travel schedule is where--any time I nap on three consecutive days there's definitely a problem. Most of the fruits of it won't see print for a while yet, although my little eMusic Dozen on Portland music seems to have gone up already.

San Francisco was all whirlwind, heat, and flash--meeting up with Andrea and Jay, Lisa D., Maya and Liz, and finally Jess and Michael; the inevitable record-store pilgrimages (got particularly lucky at Rooky Ricardo's, although the proprietor noted that "like one in three people who come in here are looking for the same records you're asking me about"--maybe so, but I walked out with Rev. Willingham and His Swanees' "That's the Spirit," and they didn't, OR DID THEY); wandering around the Tenderloin in search of a place to read a photocopy of Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness & get dinner; retreating to my room to listen to stuff for work when I might have been out going to comics-industry parties, and realizing that I'd probably have keeled over if I'd gone out; freakishly good breakfasts at Dottie's True Blue Café and Kate's Kitchen; realizing that, while I'd gotten a pile of fantastic-looking CDs at Amoeba, there was no way to justify listening to them until I'd gotten through a queue of things I was required to listen to first...

Somewhere in the void of the last couple of weeks, I got the idea that it'd be great to host another seder this year. Spent a while today debugging the haggadah I assembled last year (only to find that I'd been scooped by Slate); tomorrow is going to be all-day cooking day. To celebrate finishing one of my gnarlier pieces, I went out to a grocery store to buy ingredients, and discovered to my delight that they had a single 2-liter bottle of Coke with a yellow cap--the sign that it's made with actual sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup. Turned out they had a few more in back; I bought them to bring to parties this summer.

Best video, full stop. Thank you, ILM.