Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I believe this riff might have actually been responsible for the destruction of a small city

Back when I thought "rock star" was a plausible career option, I'm fairly certain that White Denim is the band I would've applied to be in.

Monday, December 29, 2008


It's been awhile, so let's see if I remember how to do this. Live clips of some band, right? Of Montreal qualifies as a band, no? Okay then! Your last PRM of 2008!

"Bunny Ain't No Kind of Rider"

"Lysergic Bliss"

"Gronlandic Edit"

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Xmas, it's a distasteful collaboration

Okay, so Dave already beat me to name-checking the Onion's very funny list of obscene, absurd albs ("least essentials") from 2008. But I'm left with a question from the otherwise-semi-all-knowing women and men in the a/v control room: how in the motherfudge did Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis' Two Men with the Blues get omitted?

Listen. I am not wet behind the ears when it comes to the business of Willie albs. I know this guy'll pretty much roll tape with whoever the bleep can put together a few thousand clams and a session band [ed. note - wait, it's a live collection! live from the ever-bluesy Lincoln Center, baby!]. But nonetheless... this is the sort of thing that deserves at least some perfunctory remarks from the peanut gallery, non? Did everybody else decide just to bow their heads and zip their lips about it while I was out getting a Sun Drop?

See, here's an example of the New Me I was talking about previously. Old Me would say, "who knows what the future holds?" But New Me is not afraid to see the future, to know the future. There are three things I know for sure about 2009:
  1. This alb cannot not be terrible, but will enjoy strong sales in Lane County, OR .
  2. I will have to hear it at some point(s). I will eventually seek it out. In particular I will eventually need to know what "My Bucket's Got a Hole in It" sounds like avec trumpet (blues trumpet!)
  3. Only the recession conditions will keep me from buying it for our friend Robes. (That and the fact that I still feel kinda bad about a live Bobby McFerrin slab I bought for him. If yr ever over at Robes' house, please ask him to play said slab for you.)
Oh, and if the prospects for this alb excite you, be sure to check out the Amazon customer reviews (here.) Hell, I think I'll chuck a few choice quotations in the damned comments section. It's Christmas, you know? Blues Christmas.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Year-End Self-Horn/Holiday Horn

While my role models Wobs and EZ patiently await their Xmas Phish albs, yours truly's present to himself is a blog spree. For starters, the first of three long, grand, bestuv 2008 music posts is up on le prisonship! Get to it, if yr the sort that "gets to" that sort of thing.

Aye, this's what passes for thrilling on my holiday eve, but don't take that as a complaint. The loved ones I love are safe and hopefully warm and that's enough, and it's so much gravy on the ice-cake if I get to write to "you," too. Maybe I'll write to U2 while I'm at it. ("Dear Bono, what the eff happened, mahn? And when did it dawn on you to appropriate Mark Arm's style of sunglasses...?)

2008 was a great year for politics and a tough year internally. But here's one thing I've noticed that's blog-worthy and un-maudlin: 2008 seems to be the year I've put down the gtr and picked up the pen (again.) Writing hasn't seemed so important or so fulfilling since Sewanee. I don't know what it means, and I don't know where it'll go, but web-blogging is not going to be enough for 2009, and I'm not sure a dissertation will be either... So what does that mean? Do I re-visit the faux-Beckett, semi-autobio-roman? Do I turn back to churning out poems - actual poems, the kind I actually revise/edit/try to publish? Or mebbe the world needs a mystery novel featuring socialist-stoner-art-sleuths? You think? I don't know, but it's time for something, and that passes for a "positive" in my mind.
Another thing, this one a rare ur-resolution from somebody who mostly cannot distinguish between resolve and Palmolive: I'm going to back off on the lex-as-insufferable-agnostic meme. It already goes without saying, you know? If you know me, you know (and I already know) what I do and don't doubt and what I do and don't believe. Like no less a mind then Tom Scharpling, I figure that we've got a grown-up president coming, and if Tom takes it to mean that 30+-year-olds should stop shopping for Star Wars memorabilia, I take it to mean that there's gotta be something else worth grumbling about then the godheads and politics-s that I already know are nowhere to be found. There are other "known knowns" and "known unknowns," the seeds of which are way more under-sewn. God - (not) the one whose existence I question - knows I'll revert to my Bergman and Beckett and much-ballyhooed practice of negative dialectical doubt. But I've seen that movie, and I've cut that solo alb. It's about time to stick dandelions and daisies in the eye-holes of my Converse.... (Another ur-resolution, natch, is to do something about the oft-evoked bag of balloons north of my midriff.)

That's it, friends. I'll soon bury this unsolicited-but-necessary bit of solipsism/sentiment beneath a far more characteristic bit of non sequitur whatever... but I needed to perpetrate this exact spew just exactly now. And as always, froonds, there's nobody to whom I'm better fit to spew than "you."

Finally, OG regulars:
Merry Holidays. I love you jerks!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday traditions

You know my favorite thing about the holidays? The carols. Who doesn't have memories of gathering around the tree with family and loved ones and singing this chestnut?

God, I fucking love Christmas! What's your family's twisted tradition (aside from your uncle getting drunk and ruining the holiday)?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

SoCal in the House!

I love this article from market watch:
Worker Advocate: Solis Nomination Slap in the Face to America's Independent Minded Workers

Last update: 6:21 p.m. EST Dec. 18, 2008
WASHINGTON, Dec 18, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ --
Mark Mix, President of the 2.2 million member National Right to Work Committee, has released the following statement about President-elect Barack Obama's selection of Congresswoman Hilda Solis (D-CA) as the next Secretary of Labor:
"Obama's appointment of Hilda Solis is very disturbing news for America's independent-minded workers.
"Congresswoman Solis is a die-hard forced unionism activist who apparently believes that all workers should be gathered into union collectives -- whether they like it or not. Throughout her political career, she has unfailingly carried water for Big Labor and voted in favor of every forced unionism power grab that has come before her. In fact, she had a 100% voting record from the AFL-CIO, in support of their radical forced unionism agenda.

how much can an independent minded worker in a forced union collective expect to bring home?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

We may get our progressive yet...

Latest dirt on the DoL search is centering on Harley Shaiken out of Berkeley. And I'm saying that a Shaiken nomination is definitely "not crap."

Here's Shaiken's 2007 House committee testimony in favor of the Employee Free Choice Act, and here's that testimony distilled down into an LA Times op-ed.

OG needless suffering/essay contest

whoever downloads, digests and most thoroughly reviews this "vintage" Pearl Jam demo gets a fancy piece of vinyl from me for a trophy (or a fancy cassette: your choice, i've got cool trophies available in both formats.) i'll be looking forward to some earnest, scholarly, scathing whatever. may the worst person win!

Next We'll have Tony Blair and Jeff Tweedy...

...talking about Harold Wilson and the other fall of the house of labour.

(h/t Washington Note)

".exactly these cans." horn

[i'm working through an obstacle with exactly these cans on my ears. dual volume controls! i am enjoying very much the new Deerhunter and Lambchop records, and speaking of Lambchop the newest Giant Sand would go well between your Lambchop and your Testface records.]

The Interview: Barack Obama - Person of the Year 2008 - TIME

don't even think about not reading this, because it's lengthy and candid.

Palin leads top 10 list of memorable political economic quotes - Politics- msnbc.com

what a year of politics we've lived through? huh. this is a pointed kind of scrapbook, this list.

Electrical Audio - Best Albums of 2008

outside of our immediate circle, this is where the real top 10 conversation goes on. i am having a great time preparing my top ten...especially since i've already leaked the identity of my #1 on the other blogo.

Golden Girls Jewelry! » Is The “Thank You For Being A Friend” Necklace The Best Christmas Gift Since Christ Was Born?

i come to Best Week Ever exclusively for Paul F. Tompkins. but they've got me by the elbow now. shoegaze and pop-gossip, merry New Year!

blog.aflcio.org, "double-standard-critics-of-big-three-loan-subsidize-foreign-competitors"
again, i keep wondering why it took labor so long to get this winning message out to people!

back to work.

marxist nerd adult comedy here

from an email list i won't name because i don't know who would or wouldn't want their identity revealed. and Human Subjects is the order of the day, people.
>From Engels: "Hungary, Poland and Russia are the only countries in Europe where invasion is impossible in winter."

Wow. If only Hitler had read some more Engels!

-(Poster 1).

(Poster 2): Actually, I'm kind of glad he didn't (smile).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

(some of) NAM's Greatest Hits - Then and Now

National Association of Manufacturers, (1895-???)

*On the need for Employers to Organize (against the free press and direct democracy, etc):
We must co-operate – we must get together and stick together to uphold our honor and honesty, we manufacturers and merchants, or rampant labor men, socialists and demagogues will be our undoing. All these new fangled ideas about the initiative, referendum and recall, and all these attacks on capital, no matter how honestly obtained, are for the sole purpose of putting more power into the hands of the papers and politicians. In fact, I think the greatest menace that our country has today is a so-called “free press,” bidding for popularity with the thoughtless mob.
* Contra the eight-hour working day, from a pamphlet entitled, Eight Hours by Act of Congress: Arbitrary, Needless, Destructive, Dangerous:
The National Association is committed to an unrelenting opposition to this vicious, needless, and in every way preposterous proposition…The worst that can be said of it is none too bad.
The chief work of the Association is an educational one – the molding of public opinion. [If successful] the public spirited masses of the country will rally to their side, and the featherheads and mountebanks who have been casting discredit on many of the labor unions will drop back into obscurity from which they were originally dragged.

We must point out to the people that all this legislation that is going on affects them; shorter hours increases the cost of living, raises taxes, creates a condition for them that is really worse than it is for the manufacturers. We owe that to them. We must do it. That is the most important thing for this organization to do.
* Contra the Employee Free Choice Act
Union bosses have made it clear that their highest legislative priority next year is passage of EFCA.

The card check bill would eliminate over 70 years of precedent established under the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 by taking away employees’ freedom to choose under a federally supervised, secret ballot election when deciding whether or not to join a union. It would replace the private, secret ballot election with a system called “card check” which allows a union to organize if a majority of employees simply sign an authorization card. Under this system, the employees’ signatures are made public to the employer, the union organizers and co-workers.

Trading federally supervised private ballot elections for a card check process tramples the privacy of individual workers. Secret ballots are the only way to protect an individual’s freedom to choose without subtle or overt coercion.
(Good to hear this defense of the secret ballot/democracy from a group that has publicly opposed the free press, direct democracy and the direct election of U.S. Senators, eh?)

Monday, December 15, 2008

OG commenter/AFT guy Martin on Arne Duncan

from 11/20/2008, back before Obama tapped this bleeping "CEO" for the Education Sec. gig:
As a Chicago Public School teacher, I get very worried when Arne Duncan is mentioned as a possible Secretary of Education. The number of CPS students who have been murdered continues to rise on his watch. The number of neighborhood public schools who are closed (and replaced by charters) continues to rise each year. The only schools in CPS which are not segregrated (mine is 99.7 % African American) are the magnet schools. Working in this system, I see very little the federal government can do to actually help inner city schools (policy-wise anyway, we haven't received money from the state of Illinois to build or maintain school buildings in 6 years. That's for the entire CPS district. So, some infrastructure money might help). If Arne Duncan is put in this post, he offers no real education change.
Praise to Martino for being way out front on Arne Duncan. But heaven help those galldarn teachers' unions! [update, as of 12/16, Wobs tells me some higher-ups say it could be a lot worse. and Ezra Klein has a nice summary post that portrays Duncan as a sort of "Switzerland" between/among the unions and the reformers.]

Let's talk about restructuring for a moment, shall we?

To the Senators from the Deep South who decided that clinging to a dying ideology was more important than thousands of middle class jobs:

I couldn't help but notice that many of your home states receive much more federal revenue than you pay in taxes. Hardly the model of self-sufficient, pull yourself up by your bootstraps-tuitiveness, eh? Yet somehow you manage to pony up massive subsidies in order to lure automotive manufacturers from overseas into your states. In other words, the hippy-dippy West Coast, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, and yes, Michigan - the very people you just completely fucked over - are making it possible for your state governments to give massive handouts to automotive companies (some based in "socialist," big gummint countries with free shriek! health care) that are directly competing with the domestic industry.

Let's say we withhold highway dollars, medicare funds, and social security payments until your states "restructure" those sweetheart deals. What's that? That will hurt people whose jobs and livelihoods depend on the flow of those federal dollars? That didn't seem to keep you from fucking anyone over, now did it?


(so anyway i have a long nite ahead of work tonite so i thought i'd send out a relay.)

*goes without saying politico
Robert Kuttner on the current BHO conjuncture
Bidenland will be Laborland!

Joe Biden and Robert Kuttner are in their different modalities both sort-of "go-to" guys at this moment. God knows it's great to hear that Biden will be a major labor liaison in the WH. Meanwhile, Kuttner's timely and perspicacious book has rightfully won attention far and wide, and he has subsequently half-emerged even on the stodgy old Sunday Morning circuit as the farrest out left-liberal prognosticator.

*introducing some important blogs clump
Will and the Grits
Mc'CaterbaronvonBear produces fearful catalog
Elvira, embroideries.
here we encounter three figures with whom i've shared a lot of collegiate thundering, but with whom i've also done, let's face it, years of blogging going back prior to even the early prisonship days. (who else misses friendster, folks?) but seriously, here we have three evocative blogposts from three tried and true OG commenters. first, Wilbro re-engages the questions of Southern self-identity that plague the post-Faulkner, pro-Cracker Barrel (or "profauckobarro") impulse that defines so much of our crowd. secondly, recalcitrant blogger kyle mc'caterflare has delivered a terrific festoon of albs straight out of his personal wheelhouse, which is of course the horror-soundtrack milieu. thirdly, the ever-Elvira-like Elvira does outstanding work with primary texts and pedagogical anecdotes that come off with a kind of, uh, gravitas that say, your average pattyjoe clump-post doesn't. highest recommendations

*ooh, cinema! clump (featuring survey question)
gabba drops this (apparently British) cartoon The Snowman on me, and reminds me how I've been emo since way before i ever heard slint or whoever.
the a/v club on cool but unnecessary movie sequels
it's important to me that Weapon X is important to Ezra Klein.
so here's the big question...has anybody seen The Two Jakes (Chinatown sequel). i've heard it's alright - Nicholson directed it? - but i'm more than a little fearful of it, seeing how Chinatown is such hallowed ground...(seriously though, a survey question: name your three favorite sequels.)


have a nice day.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Not what was intended by nature

The skateboard video aesthetic was never meant to be applied to... golf:

for the record

i've listened to Dave Emory's anti-fascist research for more than a decade, and have written plenty about his importance to my "life of the mind," which is not to say his influence on my politics. that said, i think i've only ever forced his work on to jerobaim and angelor to any serious degree.

that said, during my tenure at the OG my taste in "alternative" political theory has trended towards the libertarian and/or union-busting. for those (between/among) us who are looking for a new flavor of off-the-rails spoken prose...well welcome to Dave Emory in the BHO era. You might be familiar with some of these Rezko-Syria-Norquist-Terror associations, but never before from a nominally pro-Obama point of view. from the most recent of the web texts that now accompany Emory's weekly broadcasts/podcasts:

This program explores a web of associations in Chicago that connect Obama to the urban political machine of the Daley family and–more importantly–to a milieu of slumlords who’ve generated much of their wealth at the expense of poor African-Americans. (As disturbing as this connection is, Mr. Emory stresses that this is not necessarily to be held against Obama. Dave opined that no one can ever become President or even a major party candidate without associating with some pretty unsavory individuals.) Of greater significance for our purposes is the fact that one of the principals in this slumlord network–Syrian-born Antoine “Tony” Rezko described by some as Obama’s political godfather–has links to the Bush administration, GOP string-puller Karl Rove and to people associated with the Carlyle Group. In addition to Rezko’s links to the very Republican elements who are ranged on the opposite side of the aisle from Obama, Rezko has links to terrorist elements as well. (This is explored at greater length in FTR #655.) Interestingly–possibly significantly–Rezko’s elevation into the ranks of Illinois politicos came courtesy of Talat Othman, a close associate of the Bush family and administration, as well as the man who interceded on behalf of the individuals and insitutions targeted by the Operation Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002.

See Emory's full-blown and fancy new website for way, way, way more info.

(horn) friday nite Sprites

cards' acoustic "fix it"

i was captivated by this performance when i first saw it and now it's available on le youtube, hoorah!

some thoughts:
1) sad how post-Unplugged acoustic rock situations require drummers to try to "Rock" with brushes. it's an emasculating set-up (even for ladies), akin to "Rock Saxophone" and "Standing-Up Keyboard Rocker." Certainly the winter hat makes Brad seem like an approachable potential dormmate, though.
2) i'm showing this vid as testimony to my grandiose claims about the Cards' vocals. but Damn if neal casal's tiny-framed glasses and face-squelching aren't a little uncomfortable to look at. he plays unbelieveable comp gtr on this song, tho.
3) i wish bill ayers had taken a page out of ry-ry's book and dressed up like 1951 Ginsberg for his Hardball interview.

Unionization as Stimulus

Ezra Klein joins in our speculation about the chances of getting the Employee Free Choice Act folded into BHO's early, massive stimulus bill for 2009:
In 10 years, you can imagine the history being written either way. You can imagine EFCA being rammed through atop the stimulus package, and it ascends into the pantheon of crucial changes that would never have survived our system if not for the reformist opportunities of a national emergency. That is, after all, how the National Labor Relations Act passed in the first place. There's precedent here. But you can also imagine the stimulus bill getting bogged down in a fight over worker ballots, with business interests spending hundreds of millions on the campaign, and the Obama administration suffering a humiliating early defeat as they find themselves unable to overwhelm a Republican filibuster. In that world, EFCA will look like Clinton's damaging effort to allow gays in the military. Like with most policies, the question is passage. If EFCA is tried and passed, it will be a great victory, If it's tried and failed, it will be a deep wound.
Will Barry step up to the plate? Is it even doable with the threat of filibuster...My teeth are gonna be chattering for a long time over this. Those congressional hearings are going to give me seizures, I just know it.

"this is rock history/narcissism and pedophilia"

Thursday, December 11, 2008

How do you prepare for the world's largest tailgate party?

I'll be honest - I'm excited that I'll be able to go with T. and E. downtown on January 20 for the Inauguration (whether we'll be watching at the Mall or staking out a spot for the parade is still up in the air). The level of security that's going to be on display is to be expected. It's the rest of the wackiness that's making the event seem like a Dead lot for straight people:

Sgt. Robert LaChance, a U.S. Park Police spokesman, said that it is "not legal to camp on the Mall" and that tents would be banned.

Raise your hand if you were wondering if there's anything more pleasant than sleeping outside in the middle of January in DC.

Unlike at the Capitol or on the parade route, backpacks, chairs and strollers will be permitted on the Mall, he said. People can also bring food and coolers there.

Raise your hand if you were wondering how you were going to keep your tasty beverage ice-cold in the middle of January in DC.

In case of disaster, the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency plans to use a new loudspeaker system on the Mall to tell people what to do, officials said.

Really? It sounds like I'm about to see more cops in a roughly six hour period than I've ever seen in my entire life. What sort of disaster could possibly befall us?

What's that?

Still to be determined: how many portable toilets will be set up for the events.


ryan adams & the cardinals - cardinology

ryan adams & the cardinals, cardinology

( editor's note. do you know the Billy Joel song, "The Stranger?" Do you understand the sense - it goes back to Kafka, at least - in which various forms of mistaken identity result in our inability to distinguish ourselves and our desire from our antagonists? It has to do with all sorts of freud/lacan/etc suspicions about the ultimate ineffeable lust/death horizon. )

Anyway, here's what i'd say in regards to Ryan Adams. It is perfectly possible to write great songs without writing good lyrics. It is also true that the work of one of our preeminent songwriters can be filled with horrible lines. It is above all true that our best gtr rock needn't brandish "meaningful" words.

Yes, this is a magnificent, groovy, stony rock album. The Cardinals are the best thing ever to have happened to Ryan Adams - Neal Casal (gtr) and Jon Graboff (steel) work to make him a better gtr player, and even manage to cultivate a collective band-persona that undermines Adams' own tendencies towards (justified and unjustifiable) solipsism. Above all, they allow for his seemingly-contrived-but-actually-very-self-evident blend of grateful dead/faces/smiths/sonic youth/replacements. what do all of these rock groups have in common? They write memorable verse-choruses that are shot through with and defined by guitars even more than their sing-song-y lyrical qualities.

Now, this is not to say that the album doesn't benefit from its vocal component. regardless of the often vacuous words, the singing on the album is phenomenal. The harmonies are way more realized than on previous Cards albs, and Neal Casal is really foregrounded rather than sounding like just a backup guy.

Anywho, the songs can be lumped into roughly three seperate categories: Dead-ish, generic FM 70s and "modern."

Dead-ish: "Born Into a Light," "Evergreen," "Fix It," "Natural Ghost."
Generic 70s: "Let Us Down Easy," "Like Yesterday," "Stop."
"Modern Rock:" "Go Easy," "Magick," "Crossed Out Name," "Sink Ships."

Okay, so I've mentioned how awesome and sonic youth worship-y the Cardinals gtr tone is, right? It's just jammy, reverb-y Fender city (see the pic above.) The album recording retains this 'verb-y, live-sounding stereo gtr jangle vibe, often over- or under-laying a tasteful Garcia-ish acoustic strum-pick. Graboff's steel is often ambient, supplanted by keys or otherwise reserved - rarely is it deployed in the strict "country" sense we'd expect usually. And the rhythym section stops and starts adeptly and interestingly, in a way that reminds me of Mike Heidorn on the first 3 Son Volt records, that are herky-jerky, but always stopping and starting in 1-2-3-4 clowckwork installments. Does that make sense? Brad Pemberton of the Cards is a great drummer and seems like the dude in the band I'd most like to have a grilled cheese avec.

I've also already mentioned how much I was enamored with the packaging of this album, and its accompanying 7" and t-shirt. Lemme also mention this about the mp3 download that came with the 180-gram LP: the mp3 is a direct rip from the fucking vinyl! you hear the crackles! that impresses the crap outta me, and it should impress you too. 2008 is the year that mp3s and fancy vinyl tag-teamed compact discs to effing death!

Anyway, song by song in the key of post(ph)vainne:
  1. born into a light: this follows in the tradition of the awesome "Goodnight Rose" from Easy Tiger. if Cold Roses was clearly sort of going for a Terrapin Station vibe, 2008 Ryan is really feeling things more of a bearded, Reckoning-ish way. Great song, bad lyrics. "Keep the faith," Ryan? Really?
  2. go easy: bad lyrics, great singing. short, pretty, Cards come in and get out.
  3. fix it: great single. great swanky disco strut. great neal casal guitar break. one of the songs i will remember when i remember 2008. inoffensively carole king-y lyrics here.
  4. magick: this song is absolutely abysmal and reminiscent of the lamentable rock and roll album. ryan actually sings "later on we hit the mall" in this song. gripping, i know. i mean, it's cool that the guy lives in a bubble and decides not to write songs about Bolivian tin miners... but this is va-pid. the only way i can get through this song is imagining that it's Trefz Minx (/evil r+b) singing the "let your body move" part of the chorus. this is a phenomenally bad entry into the "New Wave Ryan" canon, and totally inappropriate alongside the other songs.
  5. cobwebs: now this i love. 'intro is the most (new school-) sonic youth-y part ever in a Ryan Adams song. as lyrics go, the haunting chords on the "if i fall/will you catch me?" make it more acceptable than it reads.
  6. let us down easy: wow, this is the Cardinals' version of Magnolia's epic "Hammer Down," which is itself a re-statement of the great Band/Crazy Horse Woodstock balladry school. how do you like the Casal/Ryan vocals here? hard to deny.
  7. crossed-out name: see, these lyrics are unbelievably emo and black-rimmed-glasses-wearing-y. but they actually pull it off, for my money! the problem is that my patience has been so stepped on with all of the less-fitting earlier new age/rich kid tripe that i cannot appreciate this small, good thing. sure i can, actually. but you get me, no?
  8. natural ghost: another high-point, for me, albeit the most blatantly kinda 80s-Dead-ish ballad. i love the guitar break, tho there's no solo and nothing really "happens." (pretty much tracks 5-8 amount to the "high-water mark" on the alb.)
  9. sink ships: this song is really boring until an uber-goth, uber-emo, uber-love is hell bridge turns us into a weird elevator shaft. it's a grand left turn.
  10. evergreen: not as silly as "Monkey and the Engineer," but at the same time it's a way more tasteless tiptoe through the tulips than anything this side of Eugene's lavender fleece factory. are you really singing to a tree on this, ryan? i thought you were mister death metal -sylvia plath guy. there is a billy corigan-like privileged whimsy when it comes adams' selection of motifs on this album. if Ryan ever finds Jesus, we're all effed.
  11. like yesterday: boom! this is the song with the 70s-sounding, interlocking/harmony gtr leads! be-au-ti-ful singing! what a treat!
  12. stop: now here's the unkindest cut of all. this is an arresting, well-written song with lean and clean lyrics and an effortlessly everyday, humane theme. it's also wrist-slittingly sad. 'so weird... after so many songs about nothing or songs that are just doused in sentimental abstractions, songs housed in hackneyed architecture... we end on this grown-up a note?
And that's how we leave it. I can bitch all i want about everything about ryan adams that doesn't directly relate to my listening to his songs... But when i'm listening i'm pretty enthralled and pretty forgiving of his trespasses. his sonics and his phonics and his sins are endlessly understandable to me. And his band's tone is my favorite one. Again, not all great songwriters - let alone great singers - have necessarily always written good lyrics. That's as silly as expecting athletes (or artists) to be adept at politics!

So long as the Cardinals remain the irresistible rock guitar force that they are, and so long as ryan adams and neal casal keep wrapping their throats around each other like lovers wrap around their nude legs... Well, there's no need for Ryan Adams to say anything "literary" or even "sonorous," let alone "true" (sic). I mean, all Van Morrison does these days is scat, right? That's what you can do when you've got the voice, right?

I guess i just don't quite understand why ryan adams gets a book deal, tho i can guess i understand why he'd wanna try to be a novelist (wouldn't you?) isn't this going to distract him from making me alternately Rumors, Planet Waves and Goo-influenced FM sounds?

NY Sen. Chasepack: Fran Drescher

this is getting wild, child.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Two (musical) notes

1. I'm embarrassed to admit that I missed most of the developments in modern rock from roughly mid-1994 until about late 1998, for reasons which will shortly become apparent. I'm currently in the process of trying to catch up on that period, which is also coinciding with my re-discovery of Sonic Youth. I had followed the band avidly through high school and up through Dirty, but after that I kind of lost track until Lips dropped their very good Rather Ripped on me a couple years back.

At any rate, I recently bought another copy of Daydream Nation to replace the cassette that had long since disappeared into the ether, and that has set me off on a mini-SY binge that has ultimately led me to 1995's Washing Machine. My question to you (or at least those of you who are Sonic Youth aficionados) is why the fuck haven't you repeatedly been telling me that this is a must-own album? The dissonant experimentalism crossed with a songcraft and, well, warmth has made it damn near impossible for me not to dial it up daily. I'll put it this way - Washing Machine just replaced Daydream Nation in the CD changer. And you know that says something.

2. The reason I missed out on the mid-90s musically was due to my obsession with Phish and Phish-related music. In retrospect, it's not something with which I'm particularly proud. These days, it's hard for me to get excited about them. Their studio albums are famously blasé, and even the copious live recordings I've managed to acquire over the years have lost their ability to convey the "you had to have been there" vibe of a Phish show.

The one exception to that has been my meh audience recording of the December 30, 1997 show at Madison Square Garden which I've thrown on from time to time. From beginning to end, the show crackles with the quintessential energy that propelled the best shows the band performed. From the surprise opener of Robert Palmer's "Sneakin' Sally thru the Alley" to an epically funky "AC/DC Bag" kicking off the second set to the scorching half-hour encore, the show is a gem. These days, I don't typically recommend any Phish recordings to anyone unless they ask. But now that they've released a dank soundboard/audience matrix of this show in their Live Phish series, I'm saying that if there's one piece of Phish to own, this is the one.

Meanwhile, in clusterfucks that matter

Don't get me wrong - I love watching corrupt morons implode under the weight of their own arrogance and stupidity. But the media black holes created by the massive gravitational pull of sheer dumbassitudity tend to swallow up more... minor matters.

For example, you might remember that a couple of months ago, some financial institutions asked us to loan them a ten-spot or some other completely non-consequential amount of dough to cover some bills until they could cash a few checks. I believe that we were given some assurances that they would, and I quote, "totally pay us back."

So how's that going?

Lawmakers focused on a warning in a report last week from the Government Accountability Office, represented at the hearing by Gene Dodaro, the acting comptroller general. In that report, Mr. Dodaro’s office found that the Treasury does not yet have the tools in place to ensure that banks that are receiving federal money are lending it to consumers and small businesses.

“The anecdotal evidence is still overwhelming that there are people who think they are good borrowers who can’t get loans,” Mr. [Barney] Frank said.

I see. They still haven't paid what they owe, and we're not quite sure what they actually did with the money. Maybe the check's in the mail. Maybe they spent it on hookers and blow. Maybe the put it down on the bookshelf, then went and got completely baked and then totally forgot where they put it - hey, it happens to the best of us.

Mr. Frank warned him that Congress was unlikely to approve the next $350 billion installment in the overall $700 billion bailout program unless it was convinced the Treasury was effectively measuring lending by participating banks. To that end, Mr. Frank said, he has agreed to a request from lawmakers that he summon bank executives to explain how they are using federal money.

What a novel idea! Let's ask Stony McForgetsalot what he did with the tenner we loaned him! Brilliant!

In response, [Deputy Treasury Secretary] Kashkari drew a distinction between the conditions imposed on failing institutions as they were being rescued and strings tied to the money being injected into healthy banks to strengthen the financial system.

Whoa there - you're telling us some of those guys didn't actually need the money? That they were good to go, but just thought they'd ask to see if we'd be generous? Because you know, we could've really used that cash for, I dunno, food...

Mr. Kashkari, while polite, nevertheless stoutly defended the department’s efforts to stabilize the financial system, saying that the nation had avoided a major bank failure and that credit markets had shown some improvement.

Well la-dee-freakin'-da. They borrow our cash, do something with it, even though they have nothing to show for it, and then want us to be impressed that they didn't have to sell off their sweet Wii video game system. Yet.

The committee also heard from Jeb Hensarling, Republican of Texas and a member of the Congressional oversight panel monitoring the bailout, and Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard law professor and the panel’s chairwoman.

The panel’s initial report, posing a set of questions it intended to explore as it studied the bailout program, was delivered on Wednesday without Mr. Hensarling’s endorsement.

He told the committee he did not endorse the report because he was not sure the oversight panel was working as he thought it should, though he commended it for its efforts. He wondered if “every panel member has the resources and rights necessary to conduct effective oversight.”

We're totally not getting our money back, are we?

it's always more than JUST a horn, folks

Bugs & Cranks » CC Sabathia is Dead to Me
this just sucks. the Yankees are the very worst thing in all of American sports.

NW Republican: GW Bush getting blowback for his UAW bail-out scheme
don't forget about NW Republican, people. as the bailout verges on coming down, NW Republican sees the worst in Bush:
Perhaps it should be called the "UBaBL" (Union Bailout and Bush Legacy) bill?

President Bush is pushing back against Republicans AGAIN and siding up with Democrats (it has been the story of his administration) to try to push for ANOTHER taxpayer bail-out.

Of course this bail-out scheme is the United Auto Workers scheme and Bush/Reid are asking for about $14 billion more dollars to funnel to the auto worker union thug pockets.
yep, there goes President Bush and Big Labor again! You know how they are when they get together. (you can really see the Joni Mitchell influence on this post.)

Inside Obama's Idea Factory in Washington - TIME
the Center for American Progress, ladies and germs. I'd really like a copy of that 1,000 page "transition" document they rolled about after Election Day. Help a wonker/(wanker?) out, Wobs? I know you go to all those luncheons that I drool over when C-Span re-runs 'em.

Another Venezuelan Labor Leader is Assassinated in Aragua | venezuelanalysis.com
Another trade union leader, Simon Caldera, was assassinated Tuesday in the state of Aragua, in Venezuela.

This is the fourth assassination of a union leader in this central state in less than a week, and occurred amidst protests from labor unions regarding the assassinations. Caldera was the president of the pro-Chavez Bolivarian Construction and Industry Union.

The shots were fired from a moving vehicle while Caldera and two other trade unionists drove on a national highway. Caldera was shot in the head and the two others were injured in the attack. The gunmen fled the scene without robbing the victims.

The government has yet to issue a statement on the latest killing. On Tuesday, Venezuela's Interior and Justice Ministry announced that it arrested a suspect in the three previous murders, which the head of that ministry Tarek El Aissami called a "hired homicide."
Lazerus: Badiou Amid the Cracks and Gaps of Marxism « Kasama
kudos to Kasama. More than any other explicitly marxist - let alone Maoist - blog I've found, Kasama really tries to engage recent theory in a non-dogmatic, inquisitive and agnostic way. With his Althusserian past, lifetime of leftist activism and his radical appropriation of mathematical set theory....uh, Alain B. is a force to be reckoned with. In particular Badiou's "The Communist Hypothesis" really influenced my thinking re: electoral politics this Summer.

Bill Ayers, Chris Matthews, Hardball

i am really interested to see what you people think of this little word-prance between these two dandies.

one thing, and then, by all means go ahead and watch the thing and tell me what you think. just one thing:
  1. Couldn't Bill A. have slapped on a collared shirt for the big national television interview? Or is it somehow integrally important to him and his vibe that he appear to be "keeping it real.?" (Of course after the interview the pundits got all snobby about Bill's demeanor and I quickly sprung to his defense.)

Jackson Five

Oooh baby give me one more chance...
Josh at TPM notes:
It's looking increasingly like Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., was truly uninvolved in Rod Blagojevich's alleged Senate-seat-for-sale scheme, other than expressing the usual interest in getting the appointment. Most telling was the report from Jackson's lawyer today that the feds called Jackson as Blagojevich was being arrested to give him a heads up that the arrest was happening and that Jackson might see his name in the news. If this all bears out and Jackson turns out to be a victim here, too, it's hard not to feel pretty bad for the guy. Yeah, yeah, he's an experienced pol and a big boy and all that. But still a pretty a raw deal thanks to Blagojevich

I read some speculation (can't find now) that it was the end of Jesse Jr's career...he might not be moving to the senate, but his house seat is not in any danger...

I loved Obama's " I would give my appreciation" bit re: his preference for a replacement...priceless... and Blogo's rant afterward probably clinched the deal "Blagojevich was overheard complaining at one point that Obama's people are "not going to give me anything except appreciation." He added: "(Expletive) them.""...

It was interesting that BofA caved to pressure on the Republic window and doors strike, offering a loan for their severance package right after Blogo's call for boycott of them...then he got Fitzed....

MR for Car Czar?

Mitt Romney, anybody? I've almost totally lost touch with the "Trots for Romney" elements that co-edited the Prisonsheep, but I'm certain they have something to do with this whisper campaign. How else can one explain somebody like Ezra Klein entertaining the idea?

NY Senate chasepack news

the AFT's very own Randi Weingarten in on the list now?

(h/t Reihan Salam sur L'American Scene. Salam also dilly-dallies with Doug Henwood on the Dan La Botz/UAW episode of Behind the News. Is Reihan my fave conservo-blogo? Prolly. It's interesting to hear a conservative intellectual decrying the Right's tax cut fetish, that's for sure. Mebbe I'll send 'em a gratis copy of the solo alb.)

The Good Staffer: Was it Rahm who Dropped the Dahm?

Was it Rahm who dropped the dram on Gov. B?
Local Chicago press is reporting that Rahm Emanuel reported Blago after someone approached the Obama folks about who he wanted for the Senate seat. In other words, yes, Rahm may well be the good guy here.

The good guy is one way of looking at it. Another is that Rahm is smart, and ruthless. Blagojevich is legendarily corrupt and known to be under investigation. His willingness to reach out to the White House and try and embroil them suggested a willingness to compromise Obama and his presidency. So Rahm cut him down. It's reminiscent of nothing so much as Tony Soprano killing Christopher Moltisanti when Chris becomes a liability. Rahm may have been a key figured in getting Blagojevich elected, but he's not going to sit and watch Blagojevich compromise the rest of the party. This sort of strategic ruthlessness, incidentally, was the whole argument for hiring Rahm.
(h/t Firedoglake, via Ezra K.)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Security, Freedom, Choice, etc.

Labor activists have always believed that union security prevents non-members from benefitting unfairly from the sacrifices they make to obtain fair wages and conditions. But union security has always had an even greater relevance for labor leaders because union building in the United States - with its extremely dynamic economy, its divided working class, and its business interests seemingly intransigently opposed to unionization - has made leaders all the more aware of the insecure nature of their organizations. For union officers, the ability to achieve some form of union security protected against employers or non-members undermining wage and labor standards. It also enhanced organizational stability, particularly financial stability; and most importantly, it made the threat of a strike much more potent. By freeing union leaders from these bedeviling problems, union security practices aimed to establish a stable power base for their organizations.

Grounded as it was in a power relationship, the controversy over union security could easily assume expansive conotations. When it did so, the discussion was not really over individual freedom - or the ethics of labor solidarity for that matter. The dispute instead resembled something akin to a debate about the desireable extent of union power in American society. When viewed from this perspective, the volatility of the subject and its keen concern to both unions and employers is easier to understand.

Monday, December 8, 2008

God's Love

allow yrself the 78 seconds it takes to see this, at some point. (this goes extra specially for you non-cable-television types.)

don't let this luscious, creepy little riblet pass you by. (the 30 second ad embedded herein aired during rachel maddow just now!)

i sincerely hope television advertising and "small business" continue in this zesty and/or fervent new direction. you?

On the Verge of a Bridge Loan, Pelosi Quotes Corker

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said negotiations were continuing with the White House, and lawmakers were hoping to create an auto industry that could thrive on its own — an effort she said would require concessions from management, labor, creditors and others.

"We call this a barbershop. Everybody's getting a haircut," Pelosi said.

(h/t: ap, by "ap" i mean the 'press association.' not the other AP.)

ah, and here's Corker's response to the proposed deal.

PrismShift: Inventory 2

MI-5 or Spooks, title depending on which side of the drink you're on. This is your slick, techno-laced representation of the 9/12 Anglo-American alliance. Quality acting and the writing fine. The show has also withstood quite a few major cast changes without "jumping the shark"or otherwise plummeting into the crap-realm. Certainly I don't like spies as much as I like cops or private eyes. But I certainly do like spies. (And wonky research spies, in particular. And government bureaucrats. And every other imaginable genre of "functionary.") Can you hear the laptop-based-drum-sequenced blips, yet? So what if, in addition to its being "good," the show is like 24 for fans of the Crystal Method?
  1. Bowie in Berlin. Where in the hell did my $0.99 copy of Station to Station go? Is it wrong of me to consider the I. Pop/D. Bowie work of this period to be "of a feather" with Lou Reed's contemporaneous Berlin?
  2. Grave Error and Death Bed (John Marshall Tanner novels) by Stephen Greenleaf. This series is another reshuffling of the CA private eye vibe, unfolding the San Francisco of them 1970s. Greenleaf/Tanner's politics certainly don't suck, but more importantly these are very sharp, deadpan stories. They help me to feel like a) I'm not alone in the universe, and b) someone hears my screams.
  3. The bleeping Neil Halstead album that completely has bleeping captivated me. Surprising to hear me fixate on acoustic-y wish-wash? i know, i know. esp in this cntxt:
    One night while in the studio with Neil Halstead a friend questioned him as to what kind of music he played. Neil's extremely thick beard turned into a smile as he said "Nylon Rock" before laughing and turning back to his beer. I don't think that description offered any clarity to the asker, but to me it seemed perfect: a self effacing term to help him deal with the fact that he, a former shoegazer, was making a solo record and his main weapon was simply a nylon string guitar and a couple of shakers.
  4. DC Vs. Mortal Combat Video Game that I have never played, will prolly never play. But I take great solace in knowing that somebody out there is getting to simulate my fantasy of a death bout between Raiden and whoever-the-crap. 2008, people!
    The series loves gruesome combat, but pines for the mainstream adulation. When games were less bloody, that was an easy balance to strike. Gouts of gore plus catchphrases ("Finish him!") and the allure of shocking hidden fatalities added up to massive sales and popularity. Now that those elements are commonplace, how to recapture the attention of old?

    Throw Batman into the mix, obviously. Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe mixes up the stable of MK fighters with heroes (Superman, Wonder Woman) and villains (the Joker, Catwoman) from DC's comic-book pantheon.
  5. quality time with uncle. and uncle's pronouncements on behalf of the Democratic party.
  6. Cards play-by-play and, more embarassingly, the solo ryan spew.
  7. Gone Baby Gone is le non-crap, so far as adaptations of Lehane novels go. Not so good as Mystic River, tho.
  8. The film criticism of Bruce Bennett for the NY Sun.
  9. The Shop Around the Corner by Ernest Lubisch. It's a lovely film to watch with a loved one, so I watched it (and A Holiday Affair) with my loved one on the morning of the dur-befur-yursturdur...Cripes, I love it, even though it was used as the script-skeleton for, shucks, You've Got Mail.

BHO on Occupation: Not Crap

See for yourself. This is meaningful, I think. So does Ezra K.

Here's hoping this inspires a hilarious revival of the ACORN-Alinsky shuffle from the Right. Goodness knows the UE deserves a place (between/among) those latter two.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Labor Sec Is Not Sebelius

h/t Ben Smith:
Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, mentioned as a potential veep and then as a likely secretary of labor, e-mailed Kansas reporters that she's taking herself out of the mix, the Kansas City Star reports.

Her choice leaves unclear whether Obama will pick a prominent labor secretary — Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm has also been mentioned — to speak for labor on the economic team, or a lower-profile one whose job could be largely to reorient the Department of Labor.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

War pigs....

Some GOVT MULE to clear out the cobwebs-->

Friday, December 5, 2008

Corker Capitalism

Marcy Wheeler at FDL asks if Cork Soaker Bob Corker's lies lost GM 10% of its value:

Bob Corker is very busy trying to force the Big Two and a Half into bankruptcy so he can bust the UAW. He's using all the regular methods--arguing about GM's failed business model, arguing that they haven't changed their business plan.

But he went over the line, earlier, when he stated that the Department of Energy had rejected all the Big Two and a Half's applications for DOE funds to retool their factories to produce more efficient cars. Basically, he took the opportunity of the hearing to announce, publicly, that the companies weren't going to get $3 to $7 billion they were counting on to turn around their business. He even suggested that the applications were rejected because they weren't viable companies.

Only, he was wrong.

Funny thing is, though, the stock market didn't wait until Sherrod Brown came in and corrected Corker--by noting that the DOE had not rejected the applications, but had simply asked for more information. And it didn't wait until Corker himself--having been called by the guy awarding those loans--admitted that he was wrong. (Though, dead-ender that he is, Corker still tried to insinuate that they applications were rejected, rather than sent back for more clarification.)

Not long after Corker made those remarks, GM's stock price dropped from $4.44 to $4.27. And then it dropped again, from $4.27 to $4.02. $.42 altogether, all shortly after Corker insinuated false things about government decisions in a widely and closely watched hearing.

I would agree with Emptywheel that COrker's remarks were irresponsible , but I have found little evidence that anyone frackin' watches these things so it is unclear what impact this really had.....GM coulda lost the value because they suck....

Jared Bernstein as Biden's Economic Staffer

I don't know if the appointments of the Vice Presidential-elect qualify as "boom-worthy" (Dave?)... But if so, then Boom!

The Economic Policy Institute is now, I daresay, in the (White) House. Check their Board of Directors for a sense of their, uh, "vibe." It's OG-friendly.

House-Rocking House Financial Services/Bailout Open Thread 2

[I'm going to try to keep the Bob Corker (R-TN) references a bit toned down today, seeing as how we're in the House. At least my man Barney Frank (D-MA) always seems to calm me down. To me he'll always be "the balm."]

Overnight Blather

Who you got for labor?.....waiting...

TPM reports:
Former Rep. David Bonior, who has deep roots in the labor movement, has mounted an aggressive behind-the-scenes campaign, with letters and personal lobbying, to press the Obama transition team and top labor leaders to get behind his pick for labor secretary: Union activist Mary Beth Maxwell, who would make history as the first openly gay cabinet member.

Bonior, who has been trying in vain to get his own name taken off the shortlist for the post, is also confirming for the first time that if asked by Obama, he would take the job, though he would prefer Maxwell.

I wonder what the hold up is??? personaly, I got no frackin' clue who it is gonna be.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Big 3 Congressional Hearings Pt. 2 Open Thread

[originally published earlier this week, 'member? that's right, i bumped this thread back to the top for the length of its news cycle. i can do that now that i'm responsible for such an overwhelming majority of the content on this once-far-more-diverse, once-blossoming weblog ("blog"). i can also commit my characteristic layout atrocities with impunity (and aplomb.) is this the new regime? are you really going to let it come to this, Wobs?]

Hearing's not until Thursday...? well yeah, I'm already tailgating, apparently. By "tailgating" of course, I mean, scoping the FLSA for and listening to records with MSNBC muted in the old background.

Are "we" going to get the $25 billion this time (update: ABC says Harry Reid'll introduce the bailout bill on Monday)? Can we expect some primo, public declamations about "the unions" from the minority party? 'Hope to hear from those of youse who're (mebbe or mebbe not) romancing East Lansing, weak-kneed in Ypsilanti, or erstwhile in Webberville!

For starters please see

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


from huffpo:
An aide to Barack Obama reaffirmed the President-elect's support for the labor movement's chief legislative priority in a one-word statement issued to the Huffington Post on late Tuesday.

Asked if Obama's support for the Employee Free Choice Act remained as strong as his public proclamations suggested on the campaign trail, transition spokesman Dan Pfeiffer responded, succinctly, "Yes."

Now I don't know about you but I find that response to be squirrely....couldn't his "support"..."remain as strong", but the circumstances still dictate that it will not be possible????

Maybe I am just paranoid, and tired of being constantly lied to by the current admin...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Begin SaxbyWatch Open Thread

'Hoping for a big turnout tomorrow, en particulier from Hotlanta. Does Martin have a chance? (h/t to the proud UGA website for this necessary, not-at-all gratuitous pic.)

NYC right now people horn

Dr Pepper Drinks Its Words on ‘Chinese Democracy’ Promise - ArtsBeat Blog - NYTimes.com
finally, a journalistic-ish update on the soda component of this Year in Rock.

Gambler's Care Package
I hope somebody with loose money is reading about this, a prospective xmas gift that couldn't've twinkled my heart-taser any more if it had been designed specifically for me. was it designed specifically for me? and all for a meager thorty clams!

What is Will Oldham's best work to date?
Paste wants to know. I'd answer in two-album clusters: it's either the Days in the Wake/Viva Last Blues clump or the Ease Down the Road/Master and Everyone one. On With the Show: Critic's Notebook: The New Yorker
Shucks! They're doing a stage production of Cassavettes' Opening Night in New York for five nights only? Somebody better go to this.

ballot initiative legend Bill Sizemore jailed

(h/t l'oregonian and politicker-OR:)
Sizemore was arrested for contempt of court and ordered jailed by Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Janice R. Wilson until he filled out state and federal reporting forms for charitable organizations. Sizemore’s lawyer said the forms would be filled out as early as this afternoon, which would hasten Sizemore's release.

Sizemore, who generally puts several measures on each ballot, was the author of Ballot Measures 58,59,60,63 and 64 in the 2008 general election. None of the initiatives passed.

crap/not crap: BHO's Cabinet Appointments (as of 12/1/2008)

well....? A new poll is available on the right side of your screen.

libs. are indivs., too

[A]ttention to individual liberty would prove to be the signal contribution of English liberalism to political thought and an important heritage for its American admirers. In succeeding centuries, "liberal" thought on property would shift and change, but the primacy of individual liberty would remain axiomatic. It was a curious axiom, in an important sense an obstacle to democracy rather than a contribution to it. Liberty could be invoked by the citizen to defy a tyrant - but equally to defy democratic majorities. Furthermore, by promising citizens that they were free to live the life they chose, Locke's conception of liberty challenged the ancient concepts of civic virtue at their roots.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

i hope that BHO is reading Kuttner and Krugman...

both "mere" liberals, i know. but truth told, "managed capitalism" or a "mixed economy" or whatever-the-hell else you wanna call it still seems ambitious enough (to me) for this first 100 days.

here's Krugman's pronouncement from a persuasive piece called "the Keynesian moment:"
To be sure, Keynes failed to foresee the postwar rise of the “marginal efficiency of capital” — the way that economic growth combined with inflation would create an environment in which interest rates were high enough in normal times that monetary policy was effective at fighting slumps. Hence the long era in which Keynes didn’t seem all that relevant. But his analysis remained as valid as ever, under the right conditions. Those conditions reappeared first in Japan during the 90s; now they’re everywhere... And in the long run, it turns out, Keynes is anything but dead.

sound-horn (boof!) avec sep 2008 1 mixtape

*Download the 2008 sep 1 cassette.(And please join me at the prisonship to bask in the long, expository efforts that accompany these sounds. We will be witnessing a downplaying of the "mixtape" format on future blocks, because the files are unwieldy to the point of turning off potential downloader--and/or-listeners. The point of posting the music is to foster writing/conversation about it (and about writing), so I will unabashedly do a good deal of probably pointless catering to a probably non-existent "audience" on this or some other blog. All of that aside, there will definitely be a year-end "best of," highlights mixtape. And if you don't download that, it will inevitably hurt our friendship. If we're not friends, of course, you should definitely just listen to dave emory instead of reading my blog or any other periodical.)

*even the likes of kev("-ron hubbard") are enjoying the exciting new June of 44 gene-thing project at Time Isn't on My Side. 'good to see gabbagabba's garden growing.

* similarly, the erudite, ever-so-curatorial and admirable pukekos houses absolutely essential, often-out-of-print weirdness including chris leo, bastro/codeine, swell maps, macha & bedhead, joan of arc, treiops treyfid, vague angels, secret stars.... the site is a bleeping golden mine. it's even got that mocket 7" kev waldo emerson gave me!

* not to be outdone, magicistragic goes to show (me, at least) how to write about rock in the not-crap, blog world of rock writing that has inherited the 90s zine tradition commemorated so dutifully by mike lupica, this bad man, and so many of us in our different ways. in particks, you'd no doubt benefit from visiting with the V-3, dillard and clark and tall dwarfs, mebbe? but there's so much more.

* and how about this domino/caroline comp. on outdoor miner? speaking of them 90s.

Friday, November 28, 2008

around the what if horn

more than anything i'm tired this long weekend. i've been sick and chained to my office-tv-bedroom habitat forever, but it's clearly going to continue for a few more days, months... thankfully i'm finally well enough to take walks, enjoy promenades, prance about the precincts, etc... so i've got that (read: the out-of-doors) going for me, which is nice. at a certain point, it is a itself a sin for even the catholic-est ex-catholics to brood, non? so if the best posture i can muster these days is "enthusiastic convalescent," then...

i turn to fluxblog in an attempt to end a decade's hiatus from any and all hip-hop, etc. kanye west, l'il wayne (sp?)... how else am i supposed to start? (any and all advice is welcome. i'll probably end up regressing to thirty-six chambers or midnight marauders, if not just giving up and only ever rocking the soft rock or the shoegaze records.) i appreciate fluxblog's 'singles' format, and i like the renewed sense of possibilities that mp3 web action brings to the audio life.

looks like chris matthews really is staffing up for the PA senate seat run.
dean baker occupies the position of Marvel's (Uatu the) Watcher, pointing the way to a possible reality-based discourse around EFCA that seems less improbable every day.

in other shield news, an interview with writer Shawn Ryan - who'd've thunk he worked on Nash Bridges? - coinciding with the (gripping) series finale from last tuesday. neophytes should resist the urge to skip to the end without watching the whole thing, tho....Ryan justifiably feels some pride for the series' ability to maintain the beginning-middle-end formal architecture that so few movies/tv shows/etc ever pull off.

more jeffrey jensen telephone calls on matablog!