Sunday, December 23, 2001

2002 - A New Hope: The year in review...
- Joei went through a disheartening round of grad school auditions and came out the other side more determined than ever to do what she needed to do in order to achieve her goals.
- My paternal grandmother passed away on my father's birthday.
- I took a high-paying job with a fairly draconian company in order to finance my wife's departure from the work force, only to be laid off in the aftermath of September 11.
- I got back in touch with a couple of close friends from high school.
- A good friend lost her husband to the worst terrorist attack in US history.
- I discovered that you can survive with little change in lifestyle for about 10 weeks on unemployment.
- I went on a n all-expenses paid trip to Europe with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Not too shabby, eh?
- I celebrated my second wedding anniversary.
- I cried for the first time in two years.
- Joei and I boought a condo and hosted Thanksgiving in it.
- One chamber group (Concordia Society) ceased its existence, but another (Seraphim Singers) rose to take its place.
- I got a new job with a fantastic company that seems to distill all of the best aspects of the previous three companies I've worked for.
- Joei was cast as a lead in a production of "Carmen".
- My brother decided to motivate and try to put together recording sessions for the second Poem-Cees release.
- Joei and I bought a Rav 4 and drove it to Ontario and Ohio.
- I was stabbed in the back in a professional situation for the first time.
- I discovered that happiness is much more important thatn making a huge amount of money.
- Judge Judy became my show of choice.
- I met some people I'd known online since 1996 for the first time face-to-face, and really liked all of them.
- My grandfather had an unsuccessful kidney transplant and is on dialysis, yet is still doing remarkably well.
- I tried to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. I got down 3,000 words before running out of steam.
- I discovered Unwound.
- New albums were released by The Cure, Tool, Depeche Mode, Radiohead, Bjork, Orbital, New Order, My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, Insane Clown Posse, Busta Rhymes, and Missy Elliot.
- I started this blog.
There are things I'm leaving out, but these are the things that leap to mind. All in all, I have to say it was a good year.

Sunday, December 09, 2001

Teaser: Tomorrow I may have some excellent news to impart to the brave Googlers who stumble across my site. Until then, feast your eyes on Ally's Halloween pictures. So far, my favorite is the Bauhaus picture.

Wednesday, December 05, 2001

Gratuitous Geri Halliwell bashing: Click here to join in on the fun. I just spent several minutes shrieking with laughter at some of the things written here. My fave so far:
Geri was on this kids radio show for Radio 4 and she saying to the child interviews "what do you think of me? am I famous enough for you?" To which one of the interviewers, a plucky eight year old boy, replied "Well you're a bit scruffy, I thought you would be wearing posh closhes"
Everett True should get this kid for his new magazine.

Tuesday, December 04, 2001

Watch me on TV! It's that time of year again; time for SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION! Many readers know that my lovely wife and Ig with Tanglewood Festival Chorus, the offical chorus of the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops. Every year, A & E broadcasts a Holiday Pops performance taped from the previous year's concert series. This year, the special guests are Shawn Colvin and The Chieftans. There's also a fantastic arrangement of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" which is light-years better than anything involving Jim Carrey. The dates of broadcast are Saturday, December 15th at 9pm and Friday, December 21st at 9pm. Tune in and look for the attractive, short black guy with the goatee (that's me) and the stunning, voluptuous black woman with the impeccable hair (that's Joei).

Wednesday, November 21, 2001

The mind boggles: A streamable collaboration between D12 and Gorillaz about the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon? I'm not sure my fragile little mind can comprehend this. Still, I was intrigued enough to attempt to try to play it. After downloading Shockwave, my browser was shut down and I was kicked off the Internet. When I logged back on, the site loaded for four minutes, then threw a series of script errors at me. I don't mind being appalled at songs, but having to work to get to the appalled stage really pisses me off. I cordially invite the person who coded the Gorillaz site to eat my testicles.

Wednesday, November 14, 2001


So, this came out yesterday and of course I bought it. Let me get the baseless gushing out of the way; I LOVE THIS ALBUM. I mean, yeah I own everything on here except for the two new songs, but they included a bonus disc with acoustic versions of all the songs for the sad hyper-fans! WOO-HOO!

Since it's pretty much a forgone conclusion how I feel about the old songs (ie, universally brilliant with the exception of the musical canker sore that is "Mint Car"), here are my initial thoughts on the new songs:

"Cut Here" - It's nice to hear this without the weird flangy distortion effect on top of all of the MP3s I've been able to find. What a classy little pop song. It bounces, it's fun, it isn't sappy, the music is key, and it isn't too long. Choice! The acoustic version is also butter, plus the Missing remix on the single is PHENOMENAL.

"Just Say Yes" - Ahem. The music itself is fine, but Robert should never again smoke whatever weed he had when he decided that doing a duet with SAFFRON would be a good idea. Their voices are just dissonant enough to make my teeth grind in the worst way. The acoustic version, which is Saffron-free, is INFINTELY BETTER; if this becomes a single, they should use that version. It's really a shame, because the music is really neat.

"Signal To Noise" - B-side to "Cut Here". Very nice song. The group as a whole seems to have found a groove for upbeat, catchy-sounding songs. This is the first time in the groups career that you can honestly say that their focus is on being a pop band. Even their B-sides are gleaming jewels.

I'm very very happy with this purchase, so happy that I can't write a coherent criticism of it. Everyone is required to hear the acoustic disc at least once.


Tuesday, November 13, 2001

Michael Jackson through the ages: The things I get via email. A friend of mine sent me this link which is just far too good for me to keep to myself.

WARNING: May frighten small children.

Hooray! I've picked up some super short-term contract work! Help me celebrate by buying me something from my wish list.

Wednesday, November 07, 2001

Another precious email:
Auburn University's chapters of Sorority Delta Sigma Phi & Fraternity Beta Theta Pi have been suspended after hosting racist Halloween parties on Oct. 25 & 27th. The members imitated rappers, wore black face, 3 finger rings, doo rags & simulated a KKK lynching. Officials said the university would pursue the matter aggressively.
Double GRR.
Lovely. This just appeared in my inbox:
Hi from, your Adult content specific search engine:

We would like to take this moment to inform you that you've been placed on to our search engine, If you would like to link back to us you can do so by going to

Our search engine is adult content specific.

If there is something that's not on the Web site that you would like to see, please contact us at

Note: You have received this email only because your email address was found on an adult content Web site that has been indexed into our database. If you've received this email by mistake, please disregard it. Team.


Tuesday, November 06, 2001

URLs to amuse and abuse: This link comes courtesy of entertainingly insane Brian, a West Coast Meat Beat Manifesto freak whom I've known virtually for years now. The link is much more entertaining if you have a sound card. Meanwhile, this link was sent to me by my father-in-law. I really hope everyone out there ends up with a father-in-law as great as mine.
YOIKES. The latest Google search to turn up this blog that I really wish I didn't know about can be viewed here. Oh dear.
The Strokes justify their existence: Or rather, some extraordinarily clever underground DJs do it for them. Click here for the aptly-titled "A Stroke Of Genius". It's The Strokes vs. Christina Aguilera. It's screamingly fantastic. If only the Strokes could get me that amped on their own, their ridiculous press hype might be warranted.

Friday, November 02, 2001

Lap Top Pop: Clicking this link will take you to a Flash site that has tasters from the upcoming Severed Heads album. I demand that everyone who comes across this link click on it RIGHT NOW and basks in the aural wonderment.
NNoWriMo update: I've written just over 1800 words and have gotten to a fairly gruesome double-murder. Ah, my evil scheme proceeds accoring to plan...

Thursday, November 01, 2001

First impression: Aphex Twin - Druqks

Wow. This is a long-lost Squarepusher album.

Tuesday, October 30, 2001

Dirty little girls: Last night I heard Aaliyah's "Rock The Boat" for the first time. What an absolutely lovely song! The video alone is captivating; beautiful Caribbean scenery abounds as modestly-clad-by-modern-video-standards Aaliyah and dancers boogie on the world's largest catamaran and the world's sexiest beach. Through it all, the song burbles and bubbles like a drowsy sex kitten, setting up a melt-in-your-mouth gorgeous groove with Aaliyah crooning like a spoken-word poet in heat about the joys of heavy petting. It's really amazing, particularly since the songwriting itself is so abstract that I'm amazed that the record company had the courage to pick it as a single. Emotions are compounded by the uncomfortable knowledge that this slice of sexual bounce was the last thing she did before her fatal plane crash. At some points, I felt like I was watching the world's most beautiful snuff film.

In a similar vein, I felt like I needed to wash my brain out with soap after seeing the video for Britney's new single. With "I'm A Slave 4 U", Britney sheds the last vestiges of the naughty schoolgirl that has followed her since "Baby One More Time" and stampeded onto the scene as full-on club girl unafraid of getting down and dirty in the name of the all-holy beat. The belly-dancing, the groping and licking, the womanly figure bending and twisting and promising anything in the world as long as the music is playing... it's astonishing. Working with The Neptunes was quite possibly the best thing Britney could have done as far as shaking up her image is concerned. This is the first song of hers I've heard that didn't sound like it came with an implicit "Approvbed By Radio Disney!" stamp on the cover. I won't say it's more adult (although it CERTAINLY is more sexual), but it's the first single she's released that I've liked instantly.
THIS JUST IN... "Invasion Of The Gabber Robots" by The Laziest Men On Mars is one of the greatest songs in the universe: Discuss.

Thursday, October 25, 2001

I am in love... The tingle of excitement, the quicking pulse, trembling finger reach out to turn up the volume as your heart leaps into you mouth and your brain can only form the thought, "That's my JAM..."

I love the feeling of discovering a great new artist. This month's honoree is Kenna. You've probably seen the wacked-out Claymation video for "Hellbent" on MTV2, and yes, that song is mind-blowing, but the other MP3s I've managed to scrounge are making me yearn for him to release his album. (Of course, if he can wait until I get a job, that would probably be for the best.)

Saturday, October 20, 2001

Cure news: Click here to learn the details of their new single, "Cut Here". Cute detail I hadn't picked up on before; the single's title is an anagram of the band's name (CUTHERE). They're so precious! (Note to self: Stop mocking your idols.)

Friday, October 19, 2001

Perspective: The first update in a looong time. Funny how one's priorities change when you lose your job. I couldn't even bear the thought of writing about anything (let alone music) for a good long time. Having this happen in the aftermath of the World Trade Center catastrophe, particularly the same week that I attended a funeral for the husband of a friend who was on that plane, was a bit too much for me to handle. I came to realize, though, that I enjoy writing too much to willingly give up this little vanity project. This realization led me to sign up for NaNoWriMo. I don't know if I'll finish the novel or even if it will be any good, but it can't hurt to put some effort into this. I've always complained that I'm too easily distracted to write a novel; perhaps this will allow me chase one of my dreams.

On a side note: if anyone has any Java work they want done, feel free to drop me a line.

Wednesday, September 19, 2001

What is jihad? Sent to me via email:
What jihad is; what it isn't
Reuters News Agency

Cairo — A senior Afghan cleric said on Tuesday the ruling Taliban would
launch a jihad against the United States, but officials of the Islamic
movement quickly said that he was in no position to declare a holy war.

The final decision lies with a council of clerics due to convene this
week, officials said.

Afghanistan, which has given refuge to Saudi-born Osama bin Laden, the
top suspect in last week's devastating attacks in New York and
Washington, could be a target in case of a U.S. military reprisal,
possibly sparking a Taliban jihad in retaliation.

But what does the term really mean?

The Arabic word jihad is often translated as "holy war," but a more
accurate translation is "holy struggle." Islamic scholars say the term
"holy war" was actually coined in Europe during the Crusades to mean a
war against the Muslims.
In a purely linguistic sense, the word jihad means struggling or
striving. There are two different, unrelated words that mean war.
In a religious sense, as described by the Koran and teachings of the
Prophet Mohammed, jihad means striving for the benefit of the community
or the restraint of personal sins. It can refer to internal as well as
external efforts to be a good Muslim or believer. Scholars say it
primarily refers to efforts to improve oneself.
Jihad is a religious duty.
If jihad is required to protect the faith against others, it can be
performed using anything from legal, diplomatic and economic to political
means. If there is no peaceful alternative, Islam also allows the use of
force, but there are strict rules of engagement. Innocents — such as
women, children, or invalids — must never be harmed, and any peaceful
overtures from the enemy must be accepted.
Military action is therefore only one means of jihad, and is very rare.
To highlight this point, the Prophet Mohammed told his followers
returning from a military campaign: "This day we have returned from the
minor jihad to the major jihad," which he said meant returning from armed
battle to the peaceful battle for self-control and betterment.
In case military action appears necessary, not everyone can declare
jihad. The religious military campaign has to be declared by a proper
authority, advised by scholars, who say the religion and people are under
threat and violence is imperative to defend them. The concept of "just
war" is very important.
The concept of jihad has been hijacked by many political and religious
groups over the ages in a bid to justify various forms of violence. In
most cases, Islamic splinter groups invoked jihad to fight against the
established Islamic order. Scholars say this misuse of jihad contradicts
Examples of sanctioned military jihad include the Muslims' defensive
battles against the Crusaders in medieval times, and before that some
responses by Muslims against Byzantine and Persian attacks during the
period of the early Islamic conquests.

Jihad is not a violent concept.
Jihad is not a declaration of war against other religions. It is worth
noting that the Koran specifically refers to Jews and Christians as
"people of the book" who should be protected and respected. All three
faiths worship the same God. Allah is just the Arabic word for God, and
is used by Christian Arabs as well as Muslims.
Military action in the name of Islam has not been common in the history
of Islam. Scholars says most calls for violent jihad are not sanctioned
by Islam.
Warfare in the name of God is not unique to Islam. Other faiths
throughout the world have waged wars with religious justifications.
Details on new Lamb album: The new album is going to be called What Sound? and should be out in the UK October 8. The band are currently previewing three tracks on their website: "Sweet", "One", and "Heaven". I'll give impressions once I get to a computer with a sound card.
The Cure to re-record hits in acoustic form for new 'Best Of' album: The new single drops at the end of October: ROCK. I don't care how much the import costs; if that's the only way to get the bonus disc, I'm there. One thing bugs me about the track listing. I know it's a "greatest hits" package and all, but it just doesn't scan. How can they justify including "Mint Car", but leaving off "The Walk", "Fascination Street", and "A Letter To Elise"? What happened to "Killing An Arab"? (Although, in light of recent events combined with the average person's complete lack of Camus knowledge, it's probably for the best that they left that one off.)

My personal "greatest hits" compilation for the Cure would probably look something like:

Plastic Passion
Another Day
A Forest
At Night
Siamese Twins
The Figurehead
Let's Go To Bed
Shake Dog Shake
Piggy In The Mirror
How Beautiful You Are...
Like Cockatoos
Hot Hot Hot!!!
The Same Deep Water As You
From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea
Jupiter Crash
Gone! (Ultraliving mix)
Out Of This World
The Loudest Sound
Probably too long and definitely heavy on "downer" songs, yet still representative of their overall output and, most importantly, made up completely of songs which have, at one point or another, been my favorite Cure song. Still, I'd toss that aside in a heartbeat for an official B-side and rarity compilation. Or even a collection of the best versions of "Forever".

Tuesday, September 18, 2001

goose! This is clearly one of the best site on the web. Many thanks to superstar Mike Hanle y for pointing this one out to me.
Nude Spock: The Blog This IL* regular has started keeping his thoughts in blog form. This is almost certain to be sarcastic and hilarious.

Monday, September 17, 2001

Clear Channel's List Of Songs With Questionable Lyrics: I thought this was a suspect thing when I first heard about it. Looking over the list merely confirms my initial reaction. Anyone who puts "Wipeout" by the Surfaris on a list of songs with questionable LYRICS is an idiot.

Friday, September 14, 2001

Umm... Am I the only person unsettled by the image of people in Nazi uniforms leading a theater full of people in singing "God Bless America"?
They want it that way: Forwarded to me via email:
The Backstreet Boys have spoken out against going to war. Here's Kevin's take on things: "I just think we're a little bit of an arrogant nation, and maybe this is a bit of a humbling experience... it raises the question in my mind, What has our government done to evoke or provoke this action, that maybe we don't know about?" Who knew the BSB could be more thoughtful than your average TV reporter?
Perhaps it's important to remember that, along with mourning and unity, now is also a time for introspection. I want justice, but not at the cost of the rest of the world.

Thursday, September 13, 2001

The rumor's false: As I suspected, Whitney Houston is still alive. However, the picture accompanying the article denying the rumors goes a long way towards explaining why they surfaced in the first place. I never thought I'd see Whitney in such disarray. She looks like a crackhead; no wonder people assumed she was on the verge of ODing.
HUGE HONKIN' RUMOR: Someone just slipped me a rumor that Whitney Houston died of a drug overdose. I have found no confirmation of this anywhere on the web, so I find it highly suspect.

On a complete tangent, I'm listening to Craig David's Fill Me In and am mildly appalled at how much the song "Walking Away" sounds like U2's "One".

LondonIndieNYC: A group in London are attempting to put together a benefit gig for the victims of the terrorist attacks. Click the link for more info; so far, the only definite info is that it's going to happen on October 12.
Point to the terrorists: I'm frightened after all, but not of them. I'm frightened of what we're going to do to ourselves.
Reflections on a moment: Listening to "Violence" by Pet Shop Boys has almost driven me to tears. Is it possible for us to work through this without demonizing and persecuting hundreds of thousands of innocent Arab-American citizens who are just as shocked and disgusted as we are? Are we doomed to a self-fulfilling prohpecy of America stepping into the role of "The Great Satan" and lobbing missiles at incorrect targets? I've heard people talking about using nuclear weaponry against the perpetrators; in what parallel universe would that make things better?

How do I reconcile these fears and misgivings with my own desire to see the heads of the people responsible roll?

The pessimist in me feels that it is inescapable; we've started down the path towards World War III. The optimist in me is sobbing his eyes out. I don't know what to do; I'm somewhat paralyzed at work and when I get home I can't escape the coverage; my wife is glued to the television, desperate for scraps of information so that she can piece the puzzle together. (Her secret fantasy of being an FBI investigator isn't so secret anymore, ho-ho.) The thoughts that have taken up my mind revolve around figuring out the most peaceful solution to this mess. I'm glad that NATO has gotten involved, as I don't trust the American government to make rational decisions at this point in time. Perhaps three weeks from now I will, but right now the united Congress and President strike me as deeply frightened people looking for something to strike that will banish the darkness. I hope and pray that they wait for things to calm down before evaluating how drastic their response should be.

I had a point I was going to make about that Pet Shop Boys song, but it seems inappropriate to talk about how the cyclical musical structure supports the lyrics talking about violence breeding violence in the face of so much tragedy. It's too soon for all of that.

Wednesday, September 12, 2001

10 albums you should listen to:
Music Has A Right To Children - Boards Of Canada
Blood - This Mortal Coil
Chill Out - The KLF
Rev - Ultra Vivid Scene
Seal (I) - Seal
Hatful Of Hollow - The Smiths
Japanese Whispers - The Cure
Movement - New Order
The Low End Theory - A Tribe Called Quest
Stabat Mater - Francis Poulenc

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

Update #2: Mike Daddino is okay.
Update: I've checked in with relatives; all of the immediate ones are safe, as are many of my friends in New York. I am disturbed, however, because there are several friends from college whom I can't contact as well as a good Internet friend, Mike Daddino. I'm hoping and praying that he's okay; Mike worked in the World Trade Center.

One thing I can say about this situation is that terrorist attacks do not make me afraid; they make me FUCKING ANGRY. This was completely senseless and unnecessary. The fact that there are Palestinians CELEBRATING is making my blood boil. I'd like to hunt down every person celebrating this tragedy. Oddly, I also feel like there's something I should have been able to do to prevent this from happening. Clearly this is a stupid and egotistical feeling; life is not a Hollywood blockbuster action flick and a singing computer programmer with moxie would last about ten seconds against the forces that put this operation together. Still, I'd like to see the correct people pay for this tragedy. ("Correct" is a non-trivial qualifier; as much as I want to bomb someone into oblivion over this, it would be a far greater tragedy if a target was arbitrarily or hastily picked as a convenient scapegoat and the real perpetrators never faced justice.)

Oh my God. I have friends who work in the World Trade Center. This is incredibly shocking, largely because this is the first tragedy worthy of national news coverage where I could directly know people killed in the accident.

Plans to move to New York are officially on hold.

Monday, September 10, 2001

Michael Jackson tribute: Off the Wall! Okay, this does it. I'm moving to New York. I can't believe I missed this tacky spectacle. This would have been my personal highlight:
What followed was the first in a series of bizarro onstage spectacles. After the opening number and a five-minute break, the house lights finally came up to reveal a portly Marlon Brando lounging in a leather recliner onstage and donning dark shades.

"I'm Marlon Brando," Brando began, in what's become his customary soliloquy. "In any event while your...wondering who that old fat fart is sitting there...I wanted you to realize that in that minute there were hundreds if not thousands of children hacked to death with a machete, beaten to death by their parents, got typhus and died of a disease."

After jarring the audience to attention, the legendary film star then plugged the popster's Website,, while Jackson himself looked on, sitting beside the stage with best pal Elizabeth Taylor.

Dammit, why don't the freaks come to Boston every now and then?

(Thanks to Dave Popshots for pointing me towards this.)

Friday, September 07, 2001

ALL WILLIAMS FINAL! Hot damn! The Williams have made the US Open their event and done something that hasn't occured since the very first US Open final over 100 years ago. Furthermore, they did so in a manner that shows exactly how lethal they would be if their tennis schedules matched those of the other players. (It's already impressive that they're ranked #4 and #10 yet play half as many tournaments as everyone else.) Venus really has Jennifer Capriati's number right now and Serena remembered where she hid Martina Hingis's. Now, it's a question of whose nerves are going to break first. Smart money saays Serena will psyche herself out, but I always like rooting for the younger sibling (since I am one, you know).

Thursday, September 06, 2001

CD frenzy: Someone take away my credit cards. I went out at lunch to get some comic books and ended up with FOUR CDs. Oops.

The irresistable morsels I picked up were:

Björk - Vespertine I'd heard MP3s of this a while ago and wasn't particularly impressed one way or the other. What a difference track order makes! I'm only four songs into it but it's already fantastic. Brittle, sweeping songs that float across the imagination like breezes off the steppe. Amazingly, she uses a children's choir without being HIDEOUSLY ANNOYING. I am in awe.

Orbital - The Altogether I wasn't sure I was going to buy this after my ardor for the MP3s cooled. It was a nice enough album, but lacked the substance of some of their other efforts. Sensing this, someone in the marketing department decided to throw in a second CD of remixes and B-sides. I love this album again and I haven't even played it yet.

Devo - Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! I never owned this, despite "Jocko Homo" being my second-favorite Devo song (favorite is "Snowball"; how can you deny that one?). The combination of nostalgia, a creeping desire to pay homage to my roots (I was born in Akron, you know), and the album featuring in a prominent display as I got to the cash register made me grab it. Plus, it was cheap.

Skinny Puppy - Back And Forth Vol 5: Live In Dresden How on Earth could I let a CD with live versions of "Worlock", "TinOmen", "The Choke", "Deep Down Trauma Hounds", and "Inquisition" pass me by? This is special to me, particularly since I never got to see Skinny Puppy live (unlike my BASTARD FRIENDS, you know who you are, GRR). If it sucks, I may just cry.

Okay, I just got to "Aurora". This album is the soundtrack to my imagination. I'm obviously in a much happier place than I was when the soundtrack to my imagination was Confessions Of A Knife...

Wednesday, September 05, 2001

Time time time, see what's become of me: Okay, so this goes beyond neglect into to plain old ridiculousness. I turn my back to prepare for a world tour and suddenly my blog doesn't get updated for a month. THIS WILL NOT DO.

Anyway, I'm back from Europe. It was tons and tons of fun, with highlights being some stellar concerts in Germany and meeting some UK folks I've only previously known online for a mad karaoke evening (click here for the madcap results; Emma and Sarah remain to this day eternal heroes of mine).

What's happened while I've been gone? Aaliyah died (GRR.) in a manner that was unexpected and shocking. My wife and I have celebrated our second wedding anniversary. (She got a watch, I got a money clip. Aren't we fancy?) I've come to know some members of the Tanglewood festival Chorus much better than I ever thought possible. (I also managed to piss some people off, but there are no surprises there.) I finally got the Stanton Warriors mix CD, which is about 8 million times better than I thought it was going to be. I've order DSL and will soon have hyper-speedy connectivity at home along with a potentially new home for this site, which would allow a redesign that incorporated GIFs and MP3s of songs I've written. I still love my car. I may audition for another chamber group. Serena Williams beat Lindsey Davenport to get past the quartefinals in a Grand Slam event for the first time this year. Things are a whirl of possibilities and I coldn't be happier (or more nervous).

In other shocking news, the new P. Diddy single doesn't suck. Okay, he still can't rhyme his way out of a paper bag, but the beat is tight.

Wednesday, August 08, 2001

REVIEW: FLUKE - Progressive History X

I came across this during my weekly comic book run (BTW, The Authority #25 is R0X0R) and immediately went for it. Risotto was one of my favorite albums of 1997, but I never got a chance to explore the rest of their catalogue because of staggering import prices. (By the time 1997 rolled around, I was no longer cool with paying $27 for a CD I didn't already know.)

Finding this disc is something of a gold mine for me. This disc stretches back to the group's beginnings in 1991, with mixes of all of their singles. The opening track, "Thumper" is the lone new track and is a self-conscious throwback to their earlier style; I had no idea the song was written in 2001 until I read the liner notes. One thing this collection highlights is Fluke's mastery of the mid-tempo dancefloor-filler. Each of these tracks proudly straddle the mid-tempo point of their time, flaunting their trancey thumps and smooth hooks. The tempos subtly accelerate as the collection moves on, as well, leading to the blissed-out euphoric jam "Squirt".

The main criticism I can make of this album is that it's a little too homogenous. On the first few listens, many of the unfmiliar songs blend into each other in a pleasing-yet-anonymous mash of sound. I know that the group is capable of stretching themselves; "Squirt" is perhaps the most distinctive single they released and is just one of several songs from the excellent Risotto that I wish had been included here. (A remix of "Setback" in particular would have been nice.) I'm glad I bought this, but based on their earlier material, I'm glad I refrained from paying import prices for those older albums. I still want them, but not as badly as I did before.

DAN'S RATING: GRR-OKAY(I really need to find a mildly positive word that begins with "gr". Suggestions?)

Monday, August 06, 2001

Angelina Jolie to join Belle & Sebastian? There is absolutely nothing I can say about this article that could be funnier than just reading it. The real world has once again proven that it is a bizarre place to be.

Thursday, August 02, 2001

Carey suffers "breakdown": I now feel slightly bad about making all those cracks about Mariah Carey being in the process losing her mind. I feel worse knowing that I have no degree in psychology and I don't even know her, yet I could see that there was something wrong with her and that she needed help.

I'm really nervous now; if Mariah had a breakdown, what's going to happen to Christina Aguilera? I mean, Christina has been slavishly mimicking Mariah's career at a frighteningly accelerated pace. (If you don't believe me, compare their singing voices, particularly their phrasing and the way they riff songs. Now, look at how quickly Christina went from "girl next door" to "trashy hip-hop sexpot and dubious fashion sense" compared to Mariah.) Christina's next career move in her attempt to outdo Mariah might be to try to kill herself, which would NOT BE COOL.

Allegedly, everyone on the globe is seperated by only six people. I therefore urge everyone who reads this site to tell everyone they know that Christina needs help before she experiences a thermonuclear meltdown. Hopefully word will get back to her people and they can do something for her before she winds up as Mariah's roommate.

Chubby Checker, Nobel Laureate? Fred Solinger's blog may be gone, but his influence still spreads across the Web as a force of good. Were it not for him, I wouldn't know the following:
Dancing Apart to the Beat is the dance that we do when we dance apart to the beat of anybody's music and before "Chubby Checker" it could not be found!
Thanks, Fred!

Wednesday, August 01, 2001

Musical HELL: Have you ever wanted to run into a studio and slap everyone involved for even contemplating creating a godawful, ill-conceived collaboration and inflicting it upon the world? If you know which recording studio David Bowie and Puff Daddy are using to craft the aural equivalent to Satan's misbegotten son, I beg you to succumb to this impulse. Eventually you will be branded a hero.
Preach on, my brother! Fellow NYLPM contributor David Raposa has just made an excellent post that highlights why MuchMusic is so awesome. I will not sleep until the world realizes the might of this network. MTV can bite me; Canada's where it's at!

Tuesday, July 31, 2001

Many apologies: I am a lazy, lazy man. It's kind of funny how quickly the blogging rush wears off; four months ago, I was convinced that every little thought that crossed my mind was devastatingly funny and deserved to be shared with my legion of readers (aka Mom and Dad). Now, I actually do have a significant number of people coming to this site and I can't even write up a promised report about a couple of concerts I actually performed in. Part of it is Real Life suddenly deciding to flip into turbo mode; my wife and I have just moved into a new condo and things at work are significantly heavier now that August and its associated deadlines are almost here. Also, I don't have as much money to buy CDs as I used to AND my bandwith for downloading stuff has become laughable. I'm out of the loop on a lot of things.

Fret not; this is not a long-winded goodbye message. This is merely an explanation for the lack of updates. I will not promise daily updates, as things are too hectic now for me to seriously make that kind of comitment, but i will write up that "Carmina Burana" concert before the end of this week if it kills me.

(BTW, if anyone has a good idea for a fantastic-yet-inexpensive wedding gift, please mail me. I 've got two weddings this month and haven't even begun shopping yet. Eek.)

Friday, July 20, 2001

Metallica star enters rehab: When Metallica's press people start riding the coattails of the Backstreet Boys' press people, you know there's a problem. I guess alienating 85% of their fanbase wasn't enough; Metallica wasn't going to rest easy until they hammered that last nail into their careers' coffin.

Thursday, July 19, 2001

Stars hit back at Brass Eye hoax: Alternate headline: Phil Collins takes self far too seriously AGAIN. Kiddie porn isn't funny, but neither are witchhunts. Making people think before slinging around damaging accusations and hamstringing legitimate uses of the Internet can only be a good thing. At any rate, Phil should slap himself for thinking that anything that marketed itself with a T-shirt that says, "Nonce Sense" was a serious endeavor.

Wednesday, July 18, 2001

Singles, singles, singles: I scanned the Billboard chart today for the first time in about a month. While I'm happy for the success Blu Cantrell has had, I must say that I'm heartily sick of a particular radio station in Boston playing her song into oblivion. Ditto with Eve's "Let Me Blow Ya Mind". Meanwhile, when will the evil juggernaut that is "Lady Marmalade" go away? Isn't everyone sick of this version of this song now? The only enjoyment I can get from it is remembering how horrible Christina Aguilera looks in the video.

Hot singles to watch:

13: Where The Party At - Jagged Edge featuring Nelly
17: Someone To Call My Lover - Janet
23: Purple Hills - D12 (Why did WJMN play the "Purple Pills" version the other day? Wasn't that banned from the airwaves?)
30: Fallin' - Alicia Keys
buddyHead - g o s s i p (shhh): Featuring for a limited time only Fred Durst's phone number. I haven't called it to verify its authenticity; I leave that as an exercise for the reader. (If it is his real phone number, feel free to tell me. I will giggle.)

Tuesday, July 17, 2001

'I'll Have Seven Dwarves,' Says Iggy Pop: Don't let anyone tell you that the stories about ludicrous rock star demands aren't true. Clearly, the more ludicrous they are, the more likely it is that they're real demands. (Link comes from Ally via ILE.)

For those curious, I will post my impressions of the Tanglewood gigs I did on Friday and Saturday before the end of the week.

Monday, July 16, 2001

Gravediggaz' Poetic dies after long batle with cancer: RIP. I recommend everyone go out and get the two Gravediggaz albums because they're slammin' and listening to them this week would be a fitting tribute.
Britney Spears TV Special "Shocking And Edgier": There's only one direction this can go, folks:


I mean, honestly. The girl wears macrame coasters tied together with dental floss and full-on booty pants on a regular basis. How much more adult and grown up can she get? (Of course, what will really happen is that she's going to come out in the world's fiercest Donna Karan suit and be demure and smouldering rather than all out on display like the tired spread at Old Country Buffet...)

Wednesday, July 11, 2001

ARGH. Why is it that whenever I promise to do something, Blogger decides to die on me? Am I cursed or something? Okay, let me stop whining and get to the meat:

An interesting case of spin: Apparently, the Backstreet Boys are canceling a month's worth of concerts to allow Nick's hand to heal and allow A.J. to pull himself together. Contrast the story (Pathos! Angst! A.J.'s an alcoholic! Will he survive? Nick blubbers while Howie plots Machiavellian takeover!) with the story (A.J.'s depressed. Tour resumes in September.). Now check out the Rolling Stone story (A.J.'s in rehab: ROCK AND ROLL!). Three different spins on the same event; something to keep in mind when perusing your news sources, folks; everyone's got an angle. (I must say that I'm amused at how the Rolling Stone story intimates that the band's candor is due less to "respect for the fans" and more because the non-depressed members don't want the fans to blame them for canceling eight weeks worth of concerts.)

With A.J. out of commission, now would be the PERFECT time for the Backstreets to give me a call. (Yes, I would sell out in a heartbeat and join the Backstreet Boys. I'd be singing professionally with a highly visible and popular group and get paid MAD LOOT. I'd have to be an idiot not to want that.)

Tuesday, July 10, 2001

Ruminations on a post-Wimbledon world: First, let me get this out of the way; would you like some pork faggots?

I've been very happy for the past couple of days. Venus WIlliams and Mad Goran Ivanisevic won WImbledon. Tomorrow, I go out to western Massachucetts for my first concert series out at Tanglewood (to my total surprise, I've managed to memorize 80% of Carmina Burana in a week, so I'm no longer in terror of this concert). My wife Joei has left her job and is studying music theory, which is making her almost as happy as she was on our wedding day. I picked up the Squarepusher album and it's BUMPIN'. All of these things have been distracting me from writing to the blog and for those of you still following, I apologize. The thing is, what with this trip out to Tanglewood, there's going to be another several day hiatus, as I don't see myself being able to find a terminal where I can log in and update remotely. *sigh* To make up for this, I'll drop a couple of pieces up here today.

Thursday, July 05, 2001

Bush does not rock: I stumbled across this awe-inspiring link while perusing Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher! I think it's a convincing argument for electing an eloquent man as President (or, at bare minimum, lucid). Where's John McCain when you need him?
Venus rocks: I've been glued to Wimbledon updates for the past week and a half. I'm extremely excited about the women's final; Justine Henin vs. Venus Williams is gonna be FUN to watch. On the men's side, I have no idea who's gonna end up in the final. The match I'd like to see would be Goran Ivanisevic vs. Andre Agassi, but really any of the four could win and I'd be happy. (I'd be happiest if Ivanisevic won, though, because he's crazy.)

By the way, I bought Rooty the other day. It's even better than Tim said it was. That second track ("Breakaway") is GODLIKE.

Tuesday, July 03, 2001

Aphex Twin announces details of first album in five years: He's given it the deeply silly title Drukqs, possibly because he has spy cameras set up at record stores around the globe and wants to compile amusing footage of confused fans attempting pronounce the title of his new album. The double CD format is really a mixed blessing; you do get a lot more music, but you pay accordingly for it. Also, ninety-five percent of the time you wind up with a mediocre double album that judicious editing could have made into a fantastic single album (see Kid A and Amnesiac as recent examples of why artists should consider spreading out the wealth rather than lumping it all into one big package).

Still, it is Aphex Twin. The man has the disconcerting habit of making songs that sound like a flushing toilet into monstrously catchy jams. Yet another release to put on the calendar...
The grind continues... You'd think that memorizing an hour's worth of music wouldn't be that hard, particularly if it was music you'd sung before. Oh no. Memorizing "Carmina Burana" may put me into the insane asylum.

How many words are actually in this thing? As an example, here are the lyrics to the drinking song that the men sing in the middle "In Taberna Quando Sumus", complete with English translation (taken from this helpful site):

In taberna quando sumusWhen we are in the tavern,
non curamus quid sit humus,we do not think how we will go to dust,
sed ad ludum properamus,but we hurry to gamble,
cui semper insudamus.which always makes us sweat.
Quid agatur in tabernaWhat happens in the tavern,
ubi nummus est pincerna,where money is host,
hoc est opus ut queratur,you may well ask,
si quid loquar, audiatur.and hear what I say.
Quidam ludunt, quidam bibunt,Some gamble, some drink,
quidam indiscrete vivunt.some behave loosely.
Sed in ludo qui morantur,But of those who gamble,
ex his quidam denudantursome are stripped bare,
quidam ibi vestiuntur,some win their clothes here,
quidam saccis induuntur.some are dressed in sacks.
Ibi nullus timet mortemHere no-one fears death,
sed pro Baccho mittunt sortem:but they throw the dice in the name of Bacchus.
Primo pro nummata vini,First of all it is to the wine-merchant
ex hac bibunt libertini;then the libertines drink,
semel bibunt pro captivis,one for the prisoners,
post hec bibunt ter pro vivis,three for the living,
quater pro Christianis cunctisfour for all Christians,
quinquies pro fidelibus defunctis,five for the faithful dead,
sexies pro sororibus vanis,six for the loose sisters,
septies pro militibus for the footpads in the wood,
Octies pro fratribus perversis,Eight for the errant brethren,
nonies pro monachis dispersis,nine for the dispersed monks,
decies pro navigantibusten for the seamen,
undecies pro discordantibus,eleven for the squabblers,
duodecies pro penitentibus,twelve for the penitent,
tredecies pro iter agentibus.thirteen for the wayfarers.
Tam pro papa quam pro regeTo the Pope as to the king
bibunt omnes sine lege.they all drink without restraint.
Bibit hera, bibit herus,The mistress drinks, the master drinks,
bibit miles, bibit clerus,the soldier drinks, the priest drinks,
bibit ille, bibit illa,the man drinks, the woman drinks,
bibit servis cum ancilla,the servant drinks with the maid,
bibit velox, bibit piger,the swift man drinks, the lazy man drinks,
bibit albus, bibit niger,the white man drinks, the black man drinks,
bibit constans, bibit vagus,the settled man drinks, the wanderer drinks,
bibit rudis, bibit magnus.the stupid man drinks, the wise man drinks,
Bibit pauper et egrotus,The poor man drinks, the sick man drinks,
bibit exul et ignotus,the exile drinks, and the stranger,
bibit puer, bibit canus,the boy drinks, the old man drinks,
bibit presul et decanus,the bishop drinks, and the deacon,
bibit soror, bibit frater,the sister drinks, the brother drinks,
bibit anus, bibit mater,the old lady drinks, the mother drinks,
bibit ista, bibit ille,this man drinks, that man drinks,
bibunt centum, bibunt mille.a hundred drink, a thousand drink.
Parum sexcente nummateSix hundred pennies would hardly
durant, cum immoderatesuffice, if everyone
bibunt omnes sine meta.drinks immoderately and immeasurably.
Quamvis bibant mente leta,However much they cheerfully drink
sic nos rodunt omnes genteswe are the ones whom everyone scolds,
et sic erimus egentes.and thus we are destitute.
Qui nos rodunt confundanturMay those who slander us be cursed
et cum iustis non scribantur.and may their names not be written in the book of the righteous.

This is 3 minutes of the piece. I am so DEAD.

Friday, June 29, 2001

FEAR: I'd never heard of Little Marcy before a friend sent me this link. I feel as if I was robbed of a deeply amusing portion of my childhood.
A moment of zen: I've found that I can induce an almost trance-like state by repeatedly playing a particular piece of music. The characteristics of the trance induced varies wildly depending on what I'm listening to. Lateralus on repeat put me into a dark, creepy place that mildly freaked me out. "Daphnis et Chloe" on repeat turned me into a teary-eyed romantic, gushing at everything I saw.

This week, I've been playing Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana" because I have to memorize it in two weeks. (I await gasps of shock and horror from the people who know the piece.) So ,far, I've been very listless and sluggish; I've stopped eating regularly and can't be bothered to do anything around the house when get home. I think this is more due to stress over having to learn the piece than the music itself. It's pretty easy and extremely repetitive, but has approximately 1,395,660,326,425.59 words in it, all of which are either an early form of German or Latin. GRR. I haven't been this stressed about music since doing that 2-second Ravel solo for the last Concordia Society concert (which went well, but was HORRIBLY recorded).

Wednesday, June 27, 2001

A word to the wise: If, by chance, you are browsing through a record store and you come across a CD titled Jorio Presents Cyberdiva which bills itself as trance music based on operatic arias and you find yourself intriguied, DO NOT BUY IT. Instead of a bunch of thrilling reinterpretations of Purcell, Martini, Vivaldi, and Puccini, I got substandard no-imagination trance music with a decidedly average mezzo warbling in the background. 65 minutes of my life wasted, just like that.


Monday, June 25, 2001

Rock and Roll: Friend Kate's band The Lollies has been mentioned as part of NME's coverage of the Ladyfest tour. Check out the article, then check out their site. Fun stuff, sez I.
Air Guitar World Championships: This is just the thing needed to kick off the work week. Feel the RAWK and remember not to lose you air guitar.

Thursday, June 21, 2001

By the way... Did I mention that Freaky Trigger is back, complete with:
- reviews of Rooty, Amnesiac, 10,000 Hz Legend, and Moulin Rouge;
- Otis Wheeler's Third Door;
- a Pop Art interview with Momus;
- 24 hours of MTV with Mike Daddino (is he MAD?)
- the fourth Freaky Trigger Focus Group (including commentary from Yours Truly);
- A sleek and slick new look that has me seething with jealousy?
I didn't? Well, it is. Go, click, and be merry!
Aaliyah pushes boundaries further on radical new album: I'll admit that "We Need A Resolution" had begun to grow on me, but when I first heard it my overall reaction was that the Aaliyah/Timbaland synergy had just about dissipated. Apparently Aaliyah's been feeling the same way, because she's brought in a group of unknowns to produce the majority of her new album. She's also doing some deranged song about rape and cannibalism. WTF? I might buy this one. At the very least, it will go on the Amazon wish list.

Wednesday, June 20, 2001

One Inch Punch has redesigned and looks really, really cool. I'm all jealous and stuff.

I got really excited the other day because MTV played the video for Craig David's "Fill Me In". This is a song I was largely ambivalent towards until approximately three weeks ago, at which point some switch in my brain was flipped and I just went googly for it. It's really all about the choruses; the dull-as-dishwater verses would really benefit from the sparkly two-step beat that propels the choruses into the stratosphere. I am in love, I don't care what you say...

Tuesday, June 19, 2001

What a girl wants: Psychotherapy. I dare anyone to try convincing me that that is not a cry for help. Maura pegged the Dee Snyder connection over on NYLPM; apparently the first thing Christina isn't going to take anymore is her medication.

NME is chock-full of goodness today. A sampling:

Stereophonics and Feeder bottled off at Imola Festival
Ash music makes Havana roof collapse
Insane Clown Posse star in arrest drama
Also, today's Tabloid Hell references the unfortunate Mecha-Christina, but doesn't provide you with a picture like I did (even if I did steal it from someone else).

Monday, June 18, 2001

What a way to start the week! Some account of the weekend shenanigans involved in Ally's Boston visit will go up at some point. As an appetizer, here's a fairly hilarious link pulled off of the I Love Everything board about Nad's. (No, I won't explain further. Just click on it.)

Friday, June 15, 2001

EEEK! Normally, I would have some commentary on the linked article, but the accompanying picture was so disturbing that I couldn't bring myself to read it. I will say, though, that it takes a special kind of confidence to name your first album in half a decade Invincible.
That's some good writin': I feel bad about not discovering Glorious Noise earlier. They have some startlingly good pieces there. Today's piece about over-exaggeration and the need to have The Right Persona strikes particular chords with me.

Thursday, June 14, 2001

OW! I like cats and all, but GIVE ME A BREAK. That thing should be put down post haste. (I'm trying to imagine the horror of actually being at the scene. EEK.)
Take that, you smug bastard: gsv at Glorious Noise drops some science on a New Yorker writer who appears to be vanishing up the rear end of classic rock at the speed of light. The defense is applicable to any genre, not just nu-pop, which makes me smile.
Track-by-track preview of New Order album: The album, titled Get Ready, is due to hit stores in the UK August 27. Going from this description, it's going to be the most exciting New Order album since Technique. Hands up everyone who can't wait to hear "Vicious Streak" and "Primitive Notion"... *raises hand*
You can't touch this! A slice of insanity stolen from Guns over at One Inch Punch. He also has a link to the family-only feed of the McVeigh execution, which will not be linked here because my skin just will not stop crawling. Go check out his site; it's pretty good, despite the unnecessary T'Pau-bashing. (I mean, so what if "Heart And Soul" was their one good song? It's a fantastic song. Had Roxette faded away after "The Look", I'd be giving them props, too.)

Wednesday, June 13, 2001

BBC pledge action against Britney death hoax pranksters: Looks like my initial inclination not to link that one was a good'un. In a way it's too bad, as the fake report was kind of funny. (Most of the humor is admittedly derived from the mental image of someone running over the startlet and saying, "Oops, I did it again.")
I love The Onion: This has been cracking me up for the past 10 minutes. How brutal!

In other Onion-related news, Chuck D is a juggalo. See, I'm not crazy!

Tuesday, June 12, 2001

Robbie Williams plans album of Sinatra-style big band covers: Jesus. Someone's ego is sprialling out of control, I think. What would be less appealing than Robbie Williams proto-bleating over big band music? Hmm... how about Dido singing over the sound of screaming rabbits? (Um, wait; that would make Dido interesting. Scratch that.) Ah, here we go; A.J. of the Backstreet Boys singing cabaret songs!

Okay, I've officially disturbed myself. Must think happy thoughts...

Tim blasts the ballads on the second half of Survivor and I can only shake my head in sorrow. Only playing the first 30 seconds of "Dangerously In Love" means that you never get to hear the soaring, aching chorus, where the emotions overwhelm the girls in a terrifying rush of tears and joy. It's a complete emotional meltdown that mixes elation and pain so thoroughly that the listener isn't sure whether to feel scared by the intensity of love offered or to just bask in its thermonuclear glow. It's absolutely beautiful.

Perhaps I'm getting sentimental, considering that my two-year wedding anniversary is coming up at the end of the summer. Maybe approaching thirty is bending my emotions towards things I would have scorned in my callow youth. Or maybe "Dangerously In Love" really is excellent and I should stop trying to come up with excuses for my admiration.

My newest obssession: Has everyone out there heard of an online comic strip called Sluggy Freelance? Imagine Bloom County filtered through even more sarcasm with a heaping helping of gratuitous violence and multiple concurrent story arcs and you're starting to get the idea. Click here and bask in the cynical hilarity.

Monday, June 11, 2001

Singles to watch: These are my personal picks for hot singles to watch in the top 50 of the Billboard Top 100 singles chart:

12: Superwoman Pt. II - Lil' Mo Featuring Fabolous
37: It's Been Awhile - Staind
41: Fill Me In - Craig David
44: Bootylicious - Destiny's Child

The Backstreet Boys single might do well, but I'm not holding my breath. We'll also see if Jessica Simpson can ride her uncanny resemblance to Britney Spears into the top 10.

Friday, June 08, 2001

Fall honour festival date despite Mark E Smith's broken leg: I just wanted you all to know that I don't remember ever seeing a picture of Mark E Smith before... and now I know why. YIKES. Rock 'n roll is a hard life, kids.

I'm somewhat impressed that he's going to go onstage with a broken leg. I probably wouldn't do it. Or, if I did, I'd whine and moan about it the entire time until the audience bum-rushed the stage and tore my lips off. So, it's a good thing I won't ever face this predicament. I like my lips.

Review Depeche Mode in Quebec City for NME.COM: Are you an amateur writer looking to break into the wild, wacky world of record reviews? Are you going to see the kickoff concert for Depeche Mode's Exciter tour in Quebec City on June 11? Then this might be your big break! (Alternately, it could be another cynical promotional gambit. It's sort of a toss-up.)
Radiohead set for another US chart-topper: After this week, Staind will no longer have the top-selling album in the land. (I can hear the chorus of "Awwwww"s from here.) Most sources point towards Amnesiac holding a slight lead over St. Lunatics' Free City.

(I was going to make some crack about St. Lunatics, seeing as before this morning I'd never heard of them, but I can't be too rough towards a group that has 4 tracks called "Mad Baby Daddy Skit" on their album.)

Thursday, June 07, 2001

REVIEW: Music From The Motion Picture: TOMB RAIDER

I actually had no plans to pick up this album. I was in the record store to get my hands on physical copies of Amnesiac (which, by the way, everyone should own, if only for the dirty techno-funk of "Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors") and "My Red Hot Car" (Squarepusher in da hizzy!). The cover caught my eye as I walked past the soundtrack section (hmm, I wonder why...) and I thought to myself, "I wonder who's on this besides U2?"

I was, therefore, completely unprepared to find Nine Inch Nails, The Chemical Brothers, Leftfield, Outkast, Missy Elliot, Moby, BT, Fluke, Fatboy Slim, Delerium, and Basement Jaxx listed on the back. Um, wow? To the cash register I went, and boy was it worth the purchase! The phatness abounds, from the sheer insanity of the "Get Ur Freak On" remix (which does away with Missy's limpid rap and slaps on a truly DERANGED performance by Nelly Furtado) and "Speedballin'" (which shows Outkast attempting to merge hip-hop, gospel, and happy hardcore... and succeeding) to a taste of the new Basement Jaxx album ("Where's Your Head At?", a stomper of a tune which is best described as "Same Ol' Show" done as a complete song rather than a demo beat) and the absolutely euphoric "Devil's Nightmare" by Oxide and Neutrino (creepy male choristers + 2-step garage beat = INSTANT CLASSIC).

Even the weak tracks have something going for them. U2's contribution ("Elevation") comes across as empty stadium bombast, yet still will make your toes tap. The NIN track ("Deep") is The Fragile-lite, meaning it's ultimately disposable but contains some nice music at its core. And Fatboy Slim's "Illuminati" is nothing more than Bootsy Collins ranting over the fierce stomper "Michael Jackson" from Better Living Through Chemistry. This annoys me intensely but if he HAD to wholly cannibalize one of his earlier tracks, he picked the right one.

There are 15 tracks in all with nary a skit in sight. That's rare enough these days. If you have any fondness for "electronica" (oh, how I despise that word), do yourself a favor and grab a copy of this.


Four GCSEs And A Chip On His Shoulder: DG is a regular contributor to the I Love Music forum with a lot of good stuff to say. He also rocks because he pointed me towards a forum full of gibbering idiots. KittyReaper in particular is fun to mock.

Wednesday, June 06, 2001

Radio station fined for playing Eminem: Okay, where do I begin with this slice of madness? I don't really have a problem with the FCC coming up with regulations against out-and-out cursing (I mean, it annoys me, particularly when releasing a radio version dilutes the song, as it does with "Oochie Wally", but if you're going to have a regulation standard I think cutting out swear words is reasonable), but now they''re regulating against innuendo? Am I the only one who finds that disturbing?
The "Bootylicious" Gambit: Not only is this a good article highlighting some of the sketchier processes involved in creating radio playlists, but it also has one of the best titles ever. It sounds like an unorthodox chess strategy.
The wonders of technology: I've been informed that Mapquest now contains aerial photos of various locations. Here's a picture of the house I grew up in. Can't you smell that country air? There are two important things you don't really get from this picture; that super-long driveway goes up large hill and this quaint country location is 45 minutes outside of downtown Saint Paul.

Actual music content will follow later today, honest.

Tuesday, June 05, 2001

Dear God: How appropriate is it that I was listening to "Shameless" by Pet Shop Boys when I stumbled across this charming picture of Lil' Kim? I mean, I thought Christina looked bad, but clearly I wasn't ready for the full barrage of wrongness. (Amusing side note: all of the Moulin Rouge ladies are represented... except Mya. Coincidence?)
Prodigy release remix album: The exciting thing about this is the notion of tracks from their first album remixed in all sorts of fun and entertaining ways. Now, if they announce that the "What Evil Lurks" tracks are on it, as well, I will by psyched.
And now, more me! For those who are curious, I've discovered a pretty good picture of Joei and me at an MSN web community owned by our good friend Michael. Please excuse the boozy smirk; odds are that if Michael and I are in the same room, we're both completely schnookered. (NOTE: If the direct link doesn't work, try clicking on the link to Michael's community and browsing his "Friends and Family" album.)

Monday, June 04, 2001

The Neptunes - 'We want to work with Coldplay': Among others. My reaction: BOOM is the sound of a hot production team's credibility imploding. I mean, who in their right minds would hitch their wagon to Oasis these days?
Check out the wheelz! We FINALLY got the Rav 4 this weekend. Much of the weekend was spent cruising around Boston looking for friends to impress. Alas, many were not home. *sob* I guess we'll just have to show Bullet off at a later time.

I swear this is the last time you will hear me babbling about the new car.

Friday, June 01, 2001

Addendum: I've made my first NYLPM post; a review of Destiny's Child's "Bootylicious". Go check it out, then come back and heckle me.
Behold my mighty pen! It's official: I'm now a part of the New York London Paris Munich team. This means I'll have to, like, actually edit my contributions and try to think of erudite comments. Not too intimidating.

Actually, I think I'll become the "wacky" team member; I'll write disjointed, rambling reviews that make tenuous connections between the single of the week and the splintering of Yugoslavia, all the while peppering my prose with tortured metaphors and making very few cogent comments about the music itself. Oh wait, that's what Pitchfork is for! (Oh, meow. At least I've got the "bitchy journalist" pose down pat.)

In all seriousness, I'm very excited about this. Here's a chance to babble about music on a forum that isn't a vanity project. IT can only make me a better writer. (Or garner email abuse, which wouldn't matter because then at least more people would EMAIL ME. Thanks to those of you who have dropped me a line; I appreciate it.)

NOTE: The Pitchfork slam was for the purposes of a cheap joke and should not be taken as a serious comment. It's all about the love, y'all. And being a back-pedalling wimp.

Tricky - Rare illness almost destroyed my career: Wow. And here I was thinking it was the piles and piles of marijuana he was smoking that made him paranoid and delusional. My bad.

Wednesday, May 30, 2001

When idols go awry: Oh, Prince, say it ain't so! Damn. (Sorry, darn.)
Blink-182 star in stalker horror: As far as stalker horrors go, this one's pretty tame. I mean, okay; the person has proclaimed undying love for Travis and followed him around for awhile. The main thing this person did was unlock his doors. I mean, I'd be creeped out, too, but I certainly wouldn't arm myself to the teeth and start buying rottweilers based on someone opening my front and back doors. Chances are he forgot to put his alarm on.

Then again, this person is stalking the most alien-looking member of a mediocre band. Perhaps Travis is more self-aware than I thought.

Tuesday, May 29, 2001

Mariah Carey + Rick James? When Ned first pointed me towards this, I laughed. No, I did more than laugh; I chortled, hooted, guffawed, snorted, snickered, chuckled, howled, and tittered. Once I wiped the tears from my eyes, though, my brain began to percolate. Stray thoughts zipped through my head like, "Rick James is actually a pretty good musician/songwriter. Hmm..." The clincher, though, is seeing that one of the greatest songs EVER is to be ressurrected for the movie. Everyone on the planet owes it to themselves to hear "Candy" by Cameo. I have nothing but respect for anyone who gives proper respect to that song. (Of course, if they screw it up, I will come down hard with machine guns blazing.)

(Oh yeah, I'm back. Hide the sheep.)

Thursday, May 24, 2001

Who's your inner rock star? Find out via this test, courtesy of Ally. Mine is Tommy Lee. (Hmm. The depths of my new-job business have caused me to neglect announcing that Ally has started blogging again. Wow, I suck.)
Cradle of Filth to cover goth legends on new album: I discovered Cradle of Filth through the ever-helpful monthly CMJ music sampler. They are truly frightening in a hysterically funny way. Their music is a hilarious mish-mash of every goth cliche you can think of, from the frenetic guitar licks that sound like they were recorded at the bottom of a well to the overbearing drums to the "You can't be serious!" vocal flailings of the lead singer. Despite all of this, some people take them seriously. What a terrifying world we live in.

I'm really looking forward to hearing exactly what they intend to do that Sisters of Mercy song. I may need to put on some Depends before listening to it, but listen I will. TANGENT: Looking for a link for Depends Undergarments led me to this. FEAR.

Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Ministry release greatest hits album: I will go on the record now and say that I will not take any Ministry "greatest hits" compilation seriously that doesn't contain "Effigy (I'm Not An)", "Revenge", "Cold Life", "Everyday Is Halloween", "The Nature Of Love", "All Day", and "Over The Shoulder". (This isn't even taking into account that the vast majority of their post-A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste.. material is COMPLETE AND UTTER GARBAGE. "NWO" is a screaming pile of overrated poo. If that song hadn't had the Ministry name on it, people never would have paid it any attention.) Big points for including the 1000 Homo DJ's track, which shows exactly how shoddy, disposable, and completely deserving of rejection and ridicule latter-era Ministry really is.

Twitch is still their best album by miles. I wonder when Al will figure this out for himself and stop writing crap.

Love and culture: This past weekend my wife and I, along with another friend (see previous entry), attended the wedding of a good friend from college. Let me tell you, if you ever get a chance to go to a Nigerian engagement ceremony, go. It's fanastic. The bride's family gets to make the groom's family do all sorts of goofy things, including:

- begging to come into the house where the ceremony is;
- begging to come into the room where the ceremony is;
- begging to sit down;
- presenting the bride's family with the WORLD'S LARGEST YAMS;
- making the groom kiss the bride's mother's feet;
- making the groom prove his physical prowess via calesthenics;
- breaking into spontaneous Yoruba songs about the bride and groom;
- etc.

Also, people were wearing the PHATTEST robes/gowns on the planet. Andre of OutKast would break down and cry if he were to walk into a room full of Yoruba in fancy dress because he would no longer be the one everyone thought was so fresh and so clean (clean). More amusement was has by all when the bride's family attempted to palm random women off on the groom to see if he REALLY wanted their daughter, although it was somewhat shocking to see that one of them was MY OWN WIFE. (It was worth it to see the slightly shell-shocked look of terror on her face as they bantered back and forth over her, though. One could almost read the words, "What if they decide I'm good enough for the groom?" spelled out in beads of sweat across her cute little brow. Fortunately (for her), they decided that her exposed legs were disrespectful and sent her away. Tee hee.) Another bonus was that just when my stomach started to rumble and my eyes began to glaze because I couldn't understand a word of what was going on, they brought us heaping plates of Nigerian food. WE GOT TO GRUB DURING THE CEREMONY. This is a tradition that Western civilization needs to adopt post-haste. How much easier would it be to sit through that 3 hour Catholic wedding if the ushers passed out bags of Smartfood and Mountain Dew?

The Western ceremony paled in comparison, although we were complimented on our singing. (THAT was a SNAFU; we sang Neil Diamond's "Marry Me" a capella. Eek. Fortunately, my lovely and talneted wife flipped it on them with some Schubert "Ave Maria" [also a capella, but really purty] and Shania's "From This Moment On" at the reception. Crisis averted!) The one thing that the Western service boasted was the presence of about 700 of the worst-behaved kids on the face of the Earth. I have never seen a situation where spankings needed to be handed out like party favors quite like this one. Kids were running around screaming, crying, knocking over each other and random things, and being all-around terrors DURING THE CEREMONY. How did the parents handle this? "Shh. Shh. Shh, honey. No, I mean it. Shh. Look at the lovely wedding. Shh."


The day was capped off at the reception, which was a joyous celebration of dance and music with more good food and bad kids. A Nigerian band (made up of three singers, bass, guitar-wired-through-some-effect/MIDI synth control-that-made-it-into-a-keyboard, and a drum machine that seemed to be permanently set to "calypso") was playing songs that alternated between Nigerian stand-bys (and no, I don't know the names of any of them) and made-up songs talking about how wonderful the bride and groom were. Every time the couple would take to the dance floor, guests would jump onto the dance floor and throw money at them, almost like a dollar dance that never ended. (Never in my life have I wanted to be Nigerian more than at that moment. Visions of the new stereo I would have purchased after my wedding danced in my head as ones, fives, tens, and twenties littered the dance floor.)

We shared a table with a woman who had a pair of 21-month-old twins who appeared to be in a toddler biathalon competion that, as far as I can tell, consisted of attempting to put my eye out with a pretzel followed by a full-bore sprint around the reception hall. This woman turned out to be a good friend of the bride's sister, so I decided to let her live. (I'm being overly harsh; the kids were really funny. At least, they were funny until they winged me with the pretzel.)

It was a great trip and a great wedding. I wish Abby (aka "Mrs, oh, excuse me, Dr Thang") and Dayo all the best.
Lookin' for a new love: After rolling with a friend from college down to the Philly area and back (actually some random place in New Jersey... Cherry Hill?), I've reconsidered getting a Rav4. I will now not be content with anything less than a black BMW 330ci coupe.

Rolling up 95 doing 95... oh MAN. Don't you love friends who allow you to drive their PHAAAAAAAAT new rides? Especially when they have radar detectors. Mmmmmm-butter.

My only regret is that Joei has to go to grad school, otherwise I'd cheerfully talk her into the pile of debt that vehicle (or one comparable) would entail. Who needs savings when you've got a Beemer? "Sim-simma, who got the keys to mah Bemmah?" I heart that car like a demon. My only consolation is that if someone scratches my Rav4, I'll merely be pissed as opposed to being honor-bound to hunt down and exterminate every existing branch of the offender's family. (Yes, the car is THAT nice.)

On the downside, it costs $20+ to fill the tank. A small sacrifice for such a lovely hunk of pure sex-metal. Note: I recognize that this is a very "Stupid American!" thing to complain about. Please don't deluge me with email telling me I'm whiny.

I wish I was serious about getting a BMW. Financial planning is your friend, but not mine. Boo-hoo.

Friday, May 18, 2001

Back to music: New job has kept me from updating as frquently as I'd like to, partially because I have SO MUCH catching up to do that I'm kind of swamped. Since I'm going to be out of town this weekend, I thought I'd throw a couple of NME links your way:

Hear'Say head back to London's G.A.Y. club night: Someone please tell me what G.A.Y. stands for.

Tabloid Hell: Poor Christina. The ritalin obviously isn't helping.

OutKast team up with Fatboy Slim on new single: Three years ago this would have been fantastic, exciting news for me. Now, I tremble in fear hearing OutKast pummeled into submission by a tired, lowest-common-denominator party beat mixed in with boring, obvious samples. Sigh.


Thursday, May 17, 2001

"How big a tip did you leave?" Yesterday, Joei (my wife) got a call from a friend (who shall remain nameless) who had just gone to get her nails done. Apparently, the place she went to also gives massages. Joei was well on the way to developing full-on manicure-envy when said friend mentioned how good her breasts felt.

Joei said, "What?" She was confused by the apparent non-sequitur. However, Friend explained that the masseuse rubbed her breasts as part of the massage and that it felt really good.

Joei responded with, "She did WHAT????" Friend asked why Joei was so shocked. Joei, still somewhat incredulous, asked, "You paid some random woman to rub your breasts?" Friend, now a little unsure of herself, asked if it was unusual to get a breast rub when receiving a massage. Joei collapsed into fits of laughter, particularly when Friend insisted that she got the breast rub because she gave such a good tip. (I believe the exact quote was, "Well Joei, you might get your breasts rubbed too if you left a better tip!")

There was much hilarity over this the entire evening, particularly when we went over to Friend's house for dinner. Friend's husband described the entire situation as "a little gay", leading to the classic question, "Do you think it's gay to have another woman rub your boobs? Well, they feel great so I don't care... but is that kind of gay?"

I couldn't sleep for a while after we got home because I kept bursting into spontaneous laughter.

Tuesday, May 15, 2001

He's baaa-aack... Watch the return traffic dwindle as I try in vain to catch up at my new job.

So, whazzup y'all? Life has been hectic but sweet for your lucky lucky author, who has had the good fortune of stepping into a professional situation where his expertise actually mattters and the company is THRIVING. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! I am the king of kings! To celebrate, I purchased a copy of Lateralus by Tool. (Well, not really; I was gonna buy it anyway, but bear with me.) I've only heard the first three tracks, but my calm reasoned opinion is that this is the BEST FREAKIN' ALBUM OF THE YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I must see these guys live...

Friday, May 11, 2001


Sunday 5.20.01

Poem-Cees, Soul Sista, and Fertile Ground
The Black Cat
1831 14th St NW (few blocks south of U St.)

Thursday, May 10, 2001

Another reason to love The Onion: I love it when someone taps into the mean, uncharitable things that float through the back of my mind and prints them out for the world, thus allowing to maintain my "really nice guy" facade.

Although, this post (and really 75% of the posts on this website) kind of torpedoes that image, anyway. Damn.

Pet Shop Boys albums to be re-released: I think this would be a good time to start transferring my Pet Shop Boys collection from vinyl to CD. One thing that will bum me out, though, will be if all of the B-sides are included with these albums since I just replaced my copy of Alternative yesterday (when I was mad, hur hur hur). On the other hand, getting various remixes will be cool, and Alternative doesn't cover Bilingual at all. (Many would tell me that's a good thing, but I do like "Se A Vida E" and "Electricity" a lot. Anyone who isn't full of happy love after hearing the Deep Dish remix of "Se A Vida E" is a true grinch.)

Wednesday, May 09, 2001

The Flaming List: I would be much more impressed by the inclusion of Roberta Flack's "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" if I was convinced that Wayne recognized that it was a different song from "Killing Me Softly".

Link stolen from Katherine. This is becoming a habit.

josh blog is back! And there was much rejoicing. (Yay.)
Burn, baby, burn: Yesterday's entertainment was provided by someone from the third floor strolling up to our office and notifying us that the BUILDING WAS ON FIRE. One co-worker asked me, "Hmm. The fire alarm hasn't gone off. Does this mean we don't have to go outside?" "Of course not!" I replied as I packed up my stuff and headed for the door.

At this moment, about 500 firemen and 300,000,000,000,000,000 firetrucks (complete with cool extend-o-ladders) materialized around the building. There was mildly bemused confusion as the fire department attempted to escort us out of the building and various co-workers would vanish so that they could quickly pick their noses before leaving the building.

Once we got outside, we discovered two things:

The "fire" was a smouldering garbage can in an office on the second floor.

The fire department told us that the building would not be reopened until the landlord fixed the "numerous fire code violations".

Various co-workers said, "WHAT? I left my keys up there!" I chuckled to myself and went car shopping.

As it turns out, the fire department will allow the building to be open from 9 to 5, so I guess the violations weren't too major. Still, it's amusing to know that I will be FORCED to leave work at 5 up until my last day Friday. I also marvel at how modern society has completely blunted the average American's sense of self-preservation.

Tuesday, May 08, 2001

Jill Scott hospitalised: As a singer, reading the words "lung infection" terrify me almost as much as reading "head trauma" or "coma". I sincerely hope Ms. Scott gets well soon, as she's one of the classier acts to emerge on the music scene in recent times.

Monday, May 07, 2001

BRUNSWICK BLOWS IT'S HORN! I was all set to make fun of this site for punctuation gaffes before reading the story. Recycled jokes that were stale when Benny Hill used them are piled upon each other in a puerile-yet-amusing mess that's breathtakingly inept and endearing. This gets my full endorsement, folks. Go waste a few brain cells.
Hear'Say star electrocuted on video shoot: From the Merriam-Webster website:

Main Entry: elec·tro·cute
Pronunciation: i-'lek-tr&-"kyüt
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): -cut·ed; -cut·ing
Etymology: electr- + -cute (as in execute)
Date: 1889
1 : to execute (a criminal) by electricity
2 : to kill by electric shock
- elec·tro·cu·tion /-"lek-tr&-'kyü-sh&n/ noun
Okay, I'd like to extend a hearty "Thank you" to the person who discovered my site via the phrase "Can I watch defecation?" You have given me a good ten minutes of giggly, giddy entertainment.

Wow, it's the last Monday at my current job. Looking around, I see a lot of junk I need to pick up. (I'm not going to be like a former co-worker who left, among other things, an Apple IIc behind when he moved on to another job.) Tonight my wife and I are going to do some prelimenary car-shopping. Right now, we're trying to decide between a Volkswagen Jetta, a Toyota Rav 4, and a Subaru Forester. If anyone knows of a particular dealership in the Boston area that has good prices or financing, feel free to drop me a line. Also write me if you know of a dirt-cheap 1 or 2 bedroom apartment in Cambridge, Somerville, or Arlington.