Friday, July 4, 2008

2nd Encore - Schizophrenia

They just dedicated this masterpiece to "the old people."

Funny, when the opening track from Sister can be made to sound elegant and stately. Thurston just riffed haplessly about Obama: he's pro.

La-di-da. This was a nice rock presentation. I hope you get to hear it some time.

Trilogy....Drunken Butterfly...Making the Nature Scene..Pink Steam

As we have seen, there is something essentially catachrestical in any precarious stabilization of meaning. Any ‘closure’ is necessarily tropological. This means that those discursive forms that construct a horizon of all possible representation within a certain context, which establish the limits of what is ‘sayable’ are going to be necessarily figurative. They are, as Hans Blumenberg called them, ‘absolute metaphors,’ a gigiantic as if. This closing operation is what I would still call ideological which, in my vocabulary, as should be clear, has not the slightest perjorative connotation.
- Ernesto Laclau, essay entitled "Ideology and Post-Marxism" from 2006 Journal of Political Ideologies


Serious shit! Apparently it's pouring rain!

I've never gotten to see the Sonics outdoors, tho they're my favorite gtr group. The combination of it being the 4th of July; and the anniversary of SY's notorious double bill with Sun Ra; the principal position of WFMU in the ceremonies; and my continued, tho understated, solidarity with the NY-NJ area, sure makes me a-flutter a la the Touch and Go 25th anniversary that I was so lucky to attend with my loved ones in that lesser, midwestern ville. I am happy to be hearing this and organizing grievances, though I wish my special lady would rock out with me. She's currently absorbing that show Weeds.

Thurston just called WFMU "the only actual rock radio station." East Orange, NJ, baby!

I remember our youth and high ideals/I remember you were so uptight.

Bull in the Heather / Silver Rocket/Skip Tracer

Reuther and his supporters consciously politicized the GM strike by challenging managerial control of product pricing and by emphasizing the stake the consuming public had in the victory of the auto workers. The neo-Trotskyist demand that the corporation "open the books" to demonstrate its "ability to pay" boldly asserted the social character of business enterprise and questioned management's prerogatives in determining the relative distribution of its profits. A wholesale effort to raise working-class purchasing power in order to take advantage of the enormous increase in the industry's wartime productive capacity, the GM strike represented the powerful cutting edge of the advanced program of Keynsian social planning that the CIO had advocated since the early years of the war. Although not directly anti-capitalist, the UAW demand raised, if only implicitly, fundamental issues of capitalist social relations.
- from Nelson Lichtenstein, Labor's War at Home: The CIO in World War II.

SY Opens With "She is Not Alone" from the s/t ep

Marxism and postmodernism: people often seem to find this combination peculiar or paradoxical, and somehow intensely unstable, so that some are led to conclude that, in my own case, having "become" a postmodernist I must have ceased to be a Marxist in any meaningful (or in other words, stereotypical) sense. For the two terms (in full postmodernism) carry with them a whole freight of pop nostalgia images, "Marxism" perhaps distilling itself into yellowing period photographs of Lenin and the Soviet revolution, and "postmodernism" quickly yielding a vista of the gaudiest new hotels. The overhasty unconscious then rapidly assembles the image of a small, painstakingly reproduced nostalgia restaurant - decorated with old photographs, with Soveit waiters sluggishly serving bad Russian food - hidden away within some gleaming new pink-and-blue architectural extravaganza....
As far as postmodernism is concerned, and despite the trouble I took in my principal essay on the subject to explain how it was not possible intellectually or politically simply to celebrate postmodernism or to "disavow" it (whatever that might mean), avant-garde art critics quickly identified me as a vulgar hatchet man, while some of the simple-hearted comrades concluded that, following the example of so many illstrious predecessors, I had finally gone off the deep end and become a "post-Marxist" (which is to say, in one language, a renegade and a turncoat, and in another, someone who would rather switch than fight.)
- fredric jameson, from the "secondary elaborations" chapter that concludes Postmodernism.

i don't know about you suckers

but i'm gonna tune in to WFMU and dig on Sonic Youth, live from Battery Park. new york bleeping city, USA.

And in Other News, Hell is Now Segregated

(h/t to S., whose quick wit provided this title)

I know it's supposed to be wrong to speak ill of the dead, but fuck it. If you don't want people to dance on your grave when you pass, then don't be such a raging evil hatemonger while you're alive.

I love America just a little bit more this Independence Day because I learned today that Jesse Helms has left the proverbial building. Good riddance, I say. That racist, homophobic, contra-supporting, Castro-hating, hawkish bastard was the Senator from my home state for thirty years, nearly my entire life. 

He planted the seeds of my lifelong embarrassment of being born a Southerner and my future liberalism. The first vote I ever cast was against him. The thought of that bigot being unseated by a black man (Harvey Gantt, who mounted strong, if ultimately unsuccessful challenges against Helms in 1990 and 1996) was something I knew I wanted to be a part of. By the way, that was the election in which Helms (in)famously ran a campaign ad depicting a white fist crumbling up a job application over the words, ''You needed that job ... but they had to give it to a minority.'' Classy.

So excuse me if I don't shed any tears for the man. So long, "Senator No." See you in hell.

Woodstock My Ass

My lovely wife and I went to see the Hancock last night. I have to take her to all the Will Smith summer blockbusters, as she's made it clear to me that she loves the Fresh Prince more than me. Taking her to see the movies is my way of showing that I'm cool with that.

Anyway, Hancock was a fine film. You should go see it. Seriously, I'll wait.

Back? Okay, there was one thing that bothered me about the film [insert clip from the movie Clue of Martin Mull saying, "One thing!?" Classic.] Jason Bateman's character, as you know, just having watched the film, is a bleeding heart liberal and so is his smoking hot wife, whom he managed to score despite having a young kid and no visible source of income, but that's not what bothers me, as I, too, have a smoking hot wife whom I landed while working at Taco Time. So what bothered me is the Woodstock poster they have on their bedroom wall. I know this is hard for people over the age of fifty to understand, but those of us in our mid-thirties who have hearts that bleed for the suffering in the world, do not look to the 1960s for inspiration. Well, maybe a little, but we do not hang framed Woodstock posters in our bedrooms. There would have been hundreds of other ways for set decorator Rosemary Brandenburg to emphasize the fundamental nature of these characters without resorting to Woodstock. Woodstock was the defining event of the previous generation.

Alright, let's get our Independence Day freak on!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

America, Fuck Yeah!

Almost there!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tobacco madness!

It's hard to know what's most delightful about this report from the UK on the travails of the Dutch coffee house:
But the new law bans tobacco inside cafés and restaurants, meaning cannabis users are now forced to light up potent and heady pipes and joints loaded with pure marijuana.

Sophie, a 20-year-old student from Manchester, did not enjoy the experience of smoking neat "skunk", a powerful cannabis hybrid blamed for higher rates of mental illness among some drug users.

Sorry about that. Just had to get that out of the way. Ahem. Where were we?
"This stuff is much stronger than we are used to back at home. We were off our heads too quickly and I have been very sick," she said.

Olli, a young Swedish tourist, described how the tobacco ban was driving smokers onto the streets and spoiling the coffee shop experience.

"It has always been about being with other people inside the café. It is not the same standing outside in the street," he said. "If it is pure it is more expensive and it gives you a cough."

Okay - I just don't get the European custom of ruining perfectly good weed with tobacco. It's too strong? Don't smoke the entire spliff! Save some for later! Pinch off a little and do a bong-hit. You have options, people!
Peter, a middle aged Dutchman, blamed Christian politicians, making up the coalition government, for a backdoor attempt to close down coffee shops.

"It is a Christian Taliban. They want to impose a Christian ideology on the Netherlands. These are people who still think women are second class citizens."

I'm not completely up on the political scene in the Netherlands, but I do feel compelled to point out that you can still fucking smoke pot in the coffee shops. Smoke your cig outside! Jeebus, I suppose it's a small sign of progress that they've moved past comparing it to the Nazi occupation.
The Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority has trained 200 inspectors to detect the difference between a "mixed or a pure joint".


Are there job openings? Because we have a highly trained cadre of experts who would sooner smoke banana peels before adulterating their reefer with tobacco. And I hear they're underemployed.

Since EZ Refuses to Be Baited

Maybe we all would do well to remember that it was the right that created the fiction that Obama the biggest leftist since Che. Obama is largely "backing away" from positions that the right invented for him. Obama never ran as a leftist. He was never the progressive dream.

I am not a fan of Obama's vote on FISA, but it was going to pass. I wish I lived in a United States where the government was not routinely allowed to break the law. I wish that I lived in an America where large corporations were not allowed to routinely break the law. I wish that Obama was the kind of candidate that would rise to the challenge, make a principled stand and be respected for it.

Instead I live in an America where the government and large corporations routinely break the law and where, if Obama had cast a meaningless "no" vote on FISA or had joined the doomed filibuster, he would have been accused of making it easier for terrorists to attack the United States. Repeatedly. For months. Come the predictable October "surprise" foiling of a "terrorist" "plot" through intercepted phone conversations, Obama's opposition to FISA would have been yet another example of why it would be too dangerous to let a man as inexperienced as Obama sit in the big boy chair.

That said, Obama is rapidly alienating the left. This is the natural outcome of the fact that he's no longer standing next to Hillary. Let's face it, the biggest point in his favor has always been that his last name is not Clinton.

Disorganized Grievances

Us. Represented visually. In a "word cloud."

There you have it.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

War criminal

(h/t PZ)

Flight .45 to Dodge City

By and large, I really don't have a problem with guns or the people who enjoy shooting them. I understand their utility as well as their more sporting aspects. Most of the people I know who own a gun are responsible and sane human beings.

That said, I think it's also reasonable to have sensible measures in place to reduce the numbers of guns in certain areas. From the hands of criminals, from people who are not psychologically well enough for gun ownership, from playgrounds and schools, etc. And I really don't understand the mentality which requires one to be armed whenever out in public.

Do we really want firearms in our airports? Aren't they still kind of anxious places, haunted by certain events? What good is it going to do for Uncle Joe to be packing when he picks us up? How long before Citizen Yahoo blasts away at some dark man who, after 15 years of flying the same flight, week after week, 6 of those years being "specially screened" because of his last name (despite being born in Dearborn), finally has the temerity to tell TSA to fuck off?

I Kid You Not

I came home a 3 pm today to find my daughter sitting in her bathrobe eating a bowl of tortellini that is clearly her lunch. Her chores for the day are largely undone.

She is very sorry that she doesn't have them done yet, but she has a good excuse. She didn't get up until 10 o'clock today and she's been playing a lot of Wii.

Median Voter Theory (MVT)

I agree with Arianna , and others that Obama's recent move to the middle is very disturbing. As Glenn Greenwald points out,
The choices Obama makes about how he campaigns and the positions he takes are extremely consequential in how political issues in this country are perceived. In the last two weeks alone, Obama has done the following:

*intervened in a Democratic Congressional primary to support one of the worst Bush-enabling Blue Dogs over a credible, progressive challenger;

* announced his support for Bush's FISA bill, reversing himself completely on this issue;

* sided with the Scalia/Thomas faction in two highly charged Supreme Court decisions;

* repudiated Wesley Clark and embraced the patently false media narrative that Clark had "dishonored McCain's service" (and for the best commentary I've seen, by far, on the Clark matter, see this appropriately indignant piece by Iraq veteran Brandon Friedman);

* condemned for its newspaper advertisement criticizing Gen. Petraeus;

* defended his own patriotism by impugning the patriotism of others, specifically those in what he described as the "the so-called counter-culture of the Sixties" for "attacking the symbols, and in extreme cases, the very idea, of America itself" and -- echoing Jeanne Kirkpatrick's 1984 RNC speech -- "blaming America for all that was wrong with the world";

* unveiled plans "to expand President Bush's program steering federal social service dollars to religious groups and -- in a move sure to cause controversy . . . letting religious charities that receive federal funding consider religion in employment decisions," a move that could "invite a storm of protest from those who view such faith requirements as discrimination" -- something not even the Bush faith programs allowed.

That's quite a two weeks. One of the primary reasons that blogs emerged over the last seven years was as a reaction to, an attempt to battle against, exactly this narrative which the media propagated and Democratic institutions embraced -- that it is the duty of every Democrat to repudiate and attack their own base; that the truly pernicious elements are on the "Far Left", whose values must be rejected, while the Far Right is entitled to profound respect and accommodation; that "Strength" in National Security is determined by agreement with GOP policies, which is where "the Center" is found; that Seriousness is demonstrated by contempt for the liberal masses; that every Democrat must apologize for any statement over which Republicans feign offense.

Plenty of Beltway institutions already existed for the purpose of cheering on any and all Democrats no matter what they do. If that's all that blogs are supposed to do, then there is no need for them. From the beginning, blogs have been devoted to opposing Democratic complicity and capitulation -- to protesting the lack of Democratic responsiveness to their supporters -- every bit as much as opposing GOP corruption and media malfeasance. That role is at least as important as the others.

A presidential election is a unique time when Americans are engaged in a discussion over our collective political values (at least more engaged than any other time). Why would anyone watch the Obama campaign use this opportunity to perpetuate and reinforce this narrative, and watch Obama embrace polices that are the precise antithesis of the values he espoused in the past, and not criticize or object to that? Criticisms of that sort aren't unhealthy or counter-productive. They're the opposite. Of course one ought to object if a political candidate -- even Barack Obama -- is advocating policies that trample on one's core political values or promulgating toxic narratives. That's particularly true since his doing so isn't necessary to win; it's actually more likely to have the opposite effect.

There is no question, at least to me, that having Obama beat McCain is vitally important. But so, too, is the way that victory is achieved and what Obama advocates and espouses along the way. Feeding distortions against someone like Wesley Clark in order to please Joe Klein and his fact-free media friends, or legalizing warrantless eavesdropping and protecting joint Bush/telecom lawbreaking, or basing his campaign on demonizing and 1960s anti-war hippies, is quite harmful in many long-lasting ways. Electing Barack Obama is a very important political priority but it isn't the only one there is, and his election is less likely, not more likely, the more homage he pays to these these tired, status-quo-perpetuating Beltway pieties.

I completely agree with Glenn. Furthermore, I think it would be a serious mistake for Obama to nominate a Hagel or Powell or any non-Democrat to be his VP.

Kos has a diary up that also is critical of Obama's recent moves. Also, mydd has a diary reporting that Hagel is on the short list....

The Obama-Powell Ticket. Yeah, That's the Ticket!

NPR was floating the idea of an Obama-Powell ticket today in the context of a discussion about the possibility of Powell endorsing Obama. For some reason, I like it. I don't think Obama is going to do any great shakes in his selection of VP. I mean who could it be that would get me whooping? Johnny E.? Maybe. The governor of Kansas? I don't even know her name, although I'm half convinced I had a rather elaborate dream about her the other night. Phil Knight? Bill Gates? Lee Iacoca? (He's still alive. I looked it up.) You name me a VP pick you think will get my juices flowing and I'll give it some serious thought. (Anyone suggesting Andy Stern will be put on probation. That's right probation.)

I'm not saying I'm in love with Obama-Powell, but it would be popular. It would prevent Hillaryites from saying he skipped over her to select someone weaker. It firms up (in popular perception) his foreign policy cred. It would also more than trump any kind of bipartisan credibility the McCain camp might derive from Lieberman crossing over. Lastly, Powell has demonstated a complete willingness to betray all his principles if the president tells him to, which is a pretty nice quality for a VP to have. (I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize to Colin Powell and his entire family for that last shot, which was a cheap one, below the belt. I have long believed that shots like that have no place in American political discourse.)

When Powell takes the steps to distance himself from any possibility he would serve as Obama's VP (3-2-1), then I wil give you my super secret VP pick that will blow your freakin' minds! (Not really). (I mean, not really will it blow your minds. I really will post my super secret pick.) (Which is pretty neat. But not mind blowing). (As long as we're here in parenthetical land, sorry about the 15 year-old reference in the title. And the bad pun.)

Oh, How I love Them All

Message Two. Monday. 6:30 pm: Hi, my name is Dickhead McFuckinstein and I came by the office earlier to make my health insurance payment, but apparently the staff had some other place to be or had better things to do and couldn't take my payment. Well, I understand that today is the deadline, but I can't come back by today, so I'll need to be able to drop that payment off tomorrow. If you can call me and let me know when you'll be in the office so I can make this payment, I'd appreciate it. You can call me at 346-JERK.

Moosic Must

  1. So, Bowie has culled his own personal "Greatest Hits "comp and wants to spew on all writer-ly-ish about every song in some anglo quotidien.
  2. There's great new Jay Farrar material available in the 'video' section of his website; "Cocaine and Ashes" is a song about the Keef Richards/dad's ashes legend, and the harmony on the chorus is awesome. I argue harder and harder on the "don't hold Jay to his country roots" tip, but then he writes more songs in this kind of "Dead Flowers"-y vain and makes the White Hat crowd even needier.
  3. As noted with GabbaGabba Hey's high-profile appearance in our comments section, please be aware that a lovely vinyl rip of the crownhateruin's face-burningly great "until the eagle grins" has been made available unto you. It's got one of my favorite opening tracks on anything ever. So tough, in the way that caffeine-saturated, post-Positive Force vegans can be. Bass tone?
  4. Greg Ginn (and the Texas Corrugators) in Eugene tonight?
  5. A new Sea and Cake alb is coming, way ahead of schedule. And a new Neal Halstead in July? The freaking varsity team is coming off the bench, Lulu.
  6. Record Reviews of Pylon, Fire Engines, Big Dipper reissues very soon, and more.

Happy Canada Day, eh!

Guess what, everyone - it’s Canada Day!

It’s the day on which Canadians celebrate… well, we’re not exactly sure what. It’s probably the day we told them they didn’t have to be the fifty-first state (which we can revoke at any time!) or something like that. In fact, most of my fellow countryfolk are only aware of Canadians' distinct language, their cheap medications, and the horribly long lines to see a doctor, even if their lungs are falling out. It’s true. Look it up.

But we should endeavor to learn more about our neighbors up north, the Dennises and Brians of the world. For example, did you know that many Famous Americans were actually born in Canadia? The Guy from Jeopardy, for example, who not only has the brains, he’s got the ggggrrrrrrrr…

Or what about that lovable Alex P. Keaton, who was able to break away from the Canadian hippie liberalism of his parents and show the world the sunny face of Reaganism?

And of course, Pamela Anderson’s dedication to her acting craft and to her family inspires my patriot…

And lastly, who can argue that the heights of Canadian culture don’t rival our own?

Had The X-Files been filmed in Canada, or if the New Pornographers were Canadian, maybe they could have produced something as fantastic as those clips.

So there you have it, fellow Americans. Now pop open a Molson’s and salute our hockey-playin’ friends in the Great White North, confident in your better cultural understanding. And on Friday, we’ll show ‘em what a real kickass national holiday looks like!

Monday, June 30, 2008

PRM 2.0

Way back in the very early days of Punk Rock Monday I once featured the Flaming Lips. In the last few weeks, l'il wobs has to come fall in love with Transmissions from the Satellite Heart, so I just felt like revisiting some old friends here as well.

The Flaming Lips are by far the trippiest band I've ever gotten into. Not the most psychedelic, mind you - the trippiest. And there trippiness has been super fun to watch evolve.

Take, for example, "Talkin' Bout the Smiling Deathporn Immortality Blues (Everyone Wants to Live Forever)." While the seeds of the epic guitar freakout that was to be In a Priest Driven Ambulance are clearly there, this song only hints at the musical weirdness that lay just down the road. [updated: OG PSA - the temporal matters, kids!] But the weirdness is just so goddamn earnest, you kinda got to love it:

Moving ahead to the Transmission era, you can see they've gotten more confident in their showmanship and have married their feedback-driven trippiness to really good, bubblegummy pop songs, like "Turn It On":

In the late 90s, the Lips dedicated themselves to putting on the trippiest spectacle in all of rock 'n roll (they succeeded), and their albums since this time have tended to have been informed by this spectacle, rather than vice versa. Pre-Soft Bulletin cuts don't often find their way into the current show, but when they do... check out the Ambulance era "Mountainside" performed last year:

Patriot Games

Clearly I must be a bad patriot and a disloyal American (okay, so I guess we pretty much knew that already, but...). Because the current campaign "discourse" around patriotism makes absolutely no fucking sense to me.

How is it that this (isolated snippet of a more nuanced) statement
I don’t think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president.
is somehow regarded as a low, vicious and uncalled for attack, but this:

is somehow necessary and relevant in determining who should be the next President of the United States? I understand why the Obama campaign felt the need to stage this event in all its star-spangled glory...although there is part of me that wonders if it is ever worth it to enter this fray. This story in today's WaPo actually sums things up quite nicely: In certain sectors of the electorate, voters cling to the idea that "Barack Obama, born in Africa, is a possibly gay Muslim racist who refuses to recite the Pledge of Allegiance." So maybe the answer to that is to travel to Independence, sport a "clearly visible American flag pin on his lapel" (thanks for keeping us up to date on that important question, NYT!) and deliver a Major Speech on Why I Love America. The campaign has to know, however, that the wingnuts who believe the bizarre rumors aren't really interested in a well-crafted, reasonable treatise on these "issues."

I am less clear as to why Wes Clark's question about how being a POW counts as a qualification for President is out of bounds -- even to the Obama campaign, which has been on the receiving end of so many actually vicious, actually untrue and unfair attacks on his patriotism. More importantly, I am now left wondering: What exactly are the relevant skill sets one obtains from this experience?

I'm having a hard time finding anything in Clark's remarks that were anything less than respectful of McCain's military service and that could reasonably be characterized as "swiftboating." Seems like a perfectly valid question to me. Not that facts or logical reasoning ever have anything to do with anything in these debates.

Guess it's safe to say that the General is off the short list for Obama's VP. But speaking of veeps, this gives me an idea: If there's anything to this prisoner of war = presidential logic, maybe McCain should take his search for a running mate to Guantanamo. I hear those guys have been through some shit. And, in light of the recent Supreme Court decision, they might soon be looking for new opportunities. Just a thought...

I Do Not Think That Word Means What You Think It Means

In an effort to counter-balance the liberal media, some far-right websites run auto-correct on AP articles to change the words "Democratic Party" to "Democrat Party," which is hilarious. Zing!

The American Family Association’s OneNewsNow has taken it a step further by replacing the word "gay" with "homosexual." Speculation could abound as to why they make this change, but I like to believe they are trying to "recapture" the word so that we bloggers will once again have a way to describe weekend outings in the park with our family.

Unfortunately, this is simple transfer of words does not always work out as intended. The readers of AFA's news feed were informed this weekend that American track athlete Tyson Homosexual has breezed to an easy finish in the 100 meters semi-final at the Olympic Trials. Also noted in the headlines were the facts that "Homosexual runs wind-aided 9.68 seconds to make Olympics" and "Close call: Homosexual barely averts major flop in 100."

From now on, the OG will automatically replace all references to "homosexual" with "homersexual."

h/t: Balloon Juice and RWW

Monday Quickies

  • You know how when you're sick for a couple of days and you wake up in the morning and you feel better than you did when you went to bed, but you don't know if you're really on the down slope of the cold? Usually my morning shower will either refresh me and confirm my uptick in health or let me know that I've a ways to go. Today's shower told me that I shouldn't go into work today. I'm here for reasons beyond my comprehension.
  • As long as you're calling in on the deadline to submit your health care payment with some sob story about how you're on vacation (although you got your bill over a month ago) and you left your checkbook at home, you should try to be as big a raging dick as possible to the guy who answers the phone, that way you're sure to get another two weeks to pay your bill. It really helps if you're a fair share member.
  • Traffic rules are designed to ensure the smooth flow of traffic, not to guarantee some level of fairness. If we all play by the rules, everything goes smoother. For instance, if I am at a stop sign and am attempting to execute a left-hand turn into traffic and you pull up at a stop sign directly across from me and you don't put on a turn signal, indicating that you're going straight, you have the right-of-way should there be a break in traffic. Your attempt to honor the fact that I got there first is noble, but will result in both of us missing that gap in traffic, because I am waiting for your ass to go.
  • Anyone riding a bike down a sidewalk right next to perfectly clearly marked bike lane should be eligible for being pushed over by whatever noble citizen wants to carry out this deed. Better that than I hit you when turning right because I didn't think to check for you bombing down the sidewalk. While we're here, why is it people riding cruisers tend to be the ones riding on the sidewalk? Just because your bike doesn't go very fast doesn't mean you are actually walking.
  • I am aware that very few people who read this blog pray on any regular basis, but I have some friends who have a very sick newborn on their hands, so any prayers/thoughts/harmony candles you have should be sent this way for Amelia.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday Tape - June 2007

(Download the June 2007 mixtape, which is missing the Humblebums' "Saturday Round About Sunday," so seek that shite out for yrself.)

Crystal - Husker Du. The first huskers song i ever did hear, from their major label debut Candy Apple Grey. Utterly horrifying opening stanza, btw:
Avalanche looms overhead Airplane flies overhead
Important man sits by the window
Sucked out of the first class window

Images run by, thousand miles an hour

But the time seems far away
Folding clothes in a folding closet

Folding money in a resume

More than Pere Ubu, or even the Stooges, Husker Du make the ultimate post-industrial, RustBelt punk rock, you know?

Some Beginner's Mind - Ted Leo. OOh what a damn fine last Ted Leo rec that most recent one was. With the Thin Lizzy and Dexy's nobs turned a-downward on the alb, this record veers
back into the early 80s punk-pop sound Leo surveyed back in the Chisel days. Intelligent, guitar-y mod-punk? Absolutely. But then, TRL is for New Jersey what Sonic Youth in for NYC... so mebbe my opinion means not so much, eh?

Code Blue - Int'l Shades. Yeah yeah I love this one! This band is a supergroup: former Sonic Youth drum warrior Bob Bert, former Live Skull gtr expressionist Mark C, and indie journeyman/Townes collaborator/Two-Dollar Guitar guy Tim Foljhan. Dig the drone-y gtr break from Mark C! I'm so glad this outfit exists, tho I'm unsure how active they are.

Goodnight Rose - Ryan Adams and the Cardinals. I am on a weird, one-dude journey with Ryan Adams that embarasses most of my friends and family. My friend Chad at the record store gets it, but that's about it. Anywhoo... This great song transcends the Terrapin-worship and arrives at a settled-down, Cats (Down) Under the Stars vibe. I sing it to myself again and again.

The Hero Returns
- Michael Chapman. Probably my most favorite-est discovery during the long, long period I spent obsessed with arty, folky songwriter albs from the UK and US in them 1970s. Imagine mixing the more interesting, fingerpicked Nick Drake stuff with a kinda John Fahey sensibility: you need these records. Chapman's voice is husky and perfect, too. So far I prefer this stuff to all the John Martyn I've heard, but I'm still learning. I downloaded and bought 100s of the aforementioned genre, and am still getting to know whole wings of stuff. But I'm also trying to take a break from all that, which has already birthed a super-morose, pretentious solo alb outta me.

Lie There
- Natural Snow Buildings. Are those folk songs underneath the humming, windy drone-clouds? Or is it something more immediate than that? A wife holding her face in her hands, crying resolutely, seated at the kitchen table or the breakfast nook. I need to find a vinyl copy of this creepy, gorgeous record.

For Crying Out Loud - The Yayhoos. Very little music says "Sewanee" to me as much as does that of the Yayhoos, although I really got into it in Knoxville. Wonderful, 70s, FM guitar intro to start this deep cut, which could be off of Zuma or Heaven Tonight. I'm writing this from Oregon but in my mind I am buying a half-rack of pack of Pabst and some Camel Lights at the Sewanee market. Would you believe this is the guy from Georgia Satellites? I would, cuz I've never heard Georgia Satellites.

I Will Dare - The Replacements . I am not sure whether or not I will ever love the entire Replacements canon as much as some people I know, but there's about 7 songs of theirs - like this one - that're absolutely smashing and singular. This vocal performance is almost up there with the best of Paul W's hero, Alex Chilton. And that ain't no faint praise.

Dear Sara - Anders Parker I got to see Anders Parker three times in the last year, and one particularly thrilling life-moment came as we watched Patterson Hood and talked about 1970s arty, folky songwriter records (see above). This is a gorgeous, tremendously well-sung song that culminates in a perfectly righteous guitar crest.

High, Low and In Between
- Townes Van Zant. To be played at pattyjoe's funeral and/or bris.

When Your Lover Has Gone - Frank Sinatra I'm from Jersey, so you can color me fed up with the experience of having some asshole playing "New York, New York" on his asshole boat. But there's actually outrageously terrifying Sinatra out there: I recommend Where Are You?, In the Wee Small Hours and No One Cares, the trio of albs arranged by Nelson Riddle. This is some absolutely abject, sorrowful shit.

Resurrection - Touchforce. Are these guys still at it? Definitely on the short list of dangerous and awesome (post-ish-)punk bands in Eugene. Boom.

Saddest Colour - Heaviness. My favorite post-contemporary shoegaze band from Europe. Huge chorus, so much energy in the electric guitar washes, drum sequencing and glum vocs. Mebbe it's not your thing, but it's my thing. Kyle's thing, I think.

Leonard Street Revival - Computer Cougar. Most underappreciated Jersey band of their time. I had the pleasure of playing my first show on a bill with these guys and Ted Leo, RX. They were veterans of serious hardcore bands like Born Against and Rorschach, but played a Big Boys and Wire-inspired, 'charge and jangle' punk way before it was cool. This record and the great first two New Bomb Turks record are among the few punk albums I really LOVE from the 1990s (that would be a good thread, I think).

Heart On the Ground II
- Jay Farrar. From the understated and underrated Terroir Blues . It's a beautiful thing, the whole song, but the plaintive way he delivers the chorus of "You Don't Have to Twist the Knife" takes us right back to the horrible, sad place we were at with the Sinatra song. What was going on with me in June 2007, exactly?

What'cha See is What You Get
- The Dramatics. Speaking of vocal performances... Have you all seen WattStax?

The Bombardier - Abilene. How I love thee... Oh the ebbing, falling, rising dynamics of this music. Is this what sex is like?