Monday, October 31, 2005

So pervasive.

This weekend I read three articles with references to the Simpsons in them. Two from Popmatters and one from Pitchfork Media.

Within the past month, one of the FSView A&E writers made a reference to the Simpsons in one of his movie reviews.

It's nearly impossible to imagine to what extent The Simpsons is pervasive within and inseparable from modern culture (example: Family Guy would not have existed without it).

Good thing I've been on the bandwagon for about a decade now, littering my speech with references that are usually wasted, unless a sibling is within earshot (or... web...shot? online?).

But too bad I've given up watching current episodes... Oh well, probably catch them in reruns.

Who shot what in the when now?

... Dr. Cheeks, just makin' my rounds and, uh, I'm a little behind.

Is the poop deck really what I think it is?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Everything Is Illuminated

Everyone I know should see this movie. Do not let the Rotten Tomatoes (un?)freshness rating fool you--it is cinematic gold.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Mountain Goats.

Broom People

'36 hudson in the garage,
all sorts of junk in the unattached spare room,
dishes in the kitchen sink,
new straw for the old broom,
friends who dont have a clue,
well meaning teachers,
but down in your arms,
in your arms, I am a wild creature.

floor two foot high with newspapers,
white carpet thick with pet hair,
half eaten gallons of ice cream in the freezer,
fresh fuel for the sodium flares,
I write down good reasons to freeze to death
in my spiral ring notebook,
but in the long tresses of your hair
I am a babbling brook.


Palmcorder Yajna

Holt Boulevard
Between Gary and White
Hooked up with some friends at the Travelodge
Set ourselves up for the night

Carpenter ants in the dresser
Flies in the screen
It will be too late by the time we learn
What these cryptic symbols mean

And I dreamt of a house
Haunted by all you tweakers with your hands out
And the headstones climbed up the hills
And the headstones climbed up the hills

Send somebody out for soda
Comb through the carpet for clues
Reflective tape on our sweatpants
Big holes in our shoes
Every couple minutes someone says he can't stand it any more
Laugh lines on our faces
Scale maps of the ocean floor

And I dreamt of a camera
Pointing out from inside the televsion
And the aperture yawning and blinking
And the headstones climbed up the hills

If anybody comes to see me
Tell 'em they just missed me by a minute
If anybody comes in to our room while we're asleep
I hope they incinerate everybody in it

And I dreamt of a factory
Where they manufactured what I needed
Using shiny new machines
And the headstones climbed up the hills


Dance Music

alright I'm on johnson avenue in san luis obispo
and I'm five years old or six maybe.
and indications there's something wrong with our new house
trip down the wire twice daily
I'm in the living room watching the watergate hearings
while my step father yells at my mother.
launches a glass across the room, straight at her head
and I dash upstairs to take cover.
lean in close to my little record player on the floor.
so this is what the volume knobs for.

I listen to dance music.
dance music.

ok so look I'm seventeen years old,
and you're the last best thing I've got going.
but then the special secret sickness starts to eat through you.
what am I supposed to do?
no way of knowing,
so I follow you down your twisting alleyways,
find a few cul de sacs of my own.
there's only one place where this road ever ends up.
and I don't want to die alone.
let me down, let me down, let me down gently.
when the police come to get me

I'm listening to dance music.
dance music.


This guy is best administered in large doses.

God save Stars.

I just edited quite possibly the worst article I have ever read. Ever. To put it into perspective, the average article from The Verge is about 1.5 times better than this article I just edited. Heck, this article is William-freaking-Shakespeare compared to what I just read (though I would argue with Ms. Bortner's claims that "In college, balancing time is an essential skill that is needed to succeed in life," and "college takes determination to actually work.")

The worst part is the article was supposed to promote this great band, Stars, that is coming to campus for free (for students). Instead, the writer chose to essentially write a review of a couple of the band's songs and albums, and explain in the last paragraph what Stars will be doing after the show here (he basically just took a look at the band's tour list of cities and made general remarks about geography). Then he went into a bit of poetry (!!??!?!) for his closing sentence:

"So come one, come all to see the Stars. It shall be a parade of affairs and dreams. Don’t forget your jackets and jeans."

....??!Jackets and Jeans???!....

He also chose to write the article 100 words under the minimum wordcount.

While many, including me, usually subscribe to the view that any press is good press, I believe the poor quality of this article would be negatively associated with the band, thus repelling people who read it and didn't know about the band away from the concert.

God save Stars.

More Open Source applications?

Open Office

And you thought you only got open-source things for applications that were free anyway.

Thanks to Stephen and, probably, his roommate for this one.

(I guess it basically has all the stuff in MS Office, 'cept for free. Which is, in my definition, better.)



(The asterisks [*], as seen in IM conversations, are used to representation a performance of the action.)

(The circumflex accent [^], or carot, as it's commonly called, is meant to read "raised to the _______ power," where the number [or letter] following it is placed in the blank.)

("Raised to the ______ power" is a mathematical phrase meaning to multiply the entity to which the circumflex accent applies [commonly called the "base"] by itself the number of times indicated in the number following the circumflex accent [called the "exponent"].)

(Sigh: 1a. To exhale audibly in a long deep breath, as in weariness or relief. b. To emit a similar sound: willows sighing in the wind. 2. To feel longing or grief; yearn: sighing for their lost youth.)

Monday, October 24, 2005

Serenity Now.

I've got this... the spot on the left side of my face where my jaw meets my skull keeps clicking, like, you know, when you feel like you have to crack a joint? But it's my jaw, and it keeps popping/clicking a little bit, and I can't help but try to make it pop some more. Really weird, been going on for days now.


Our resident movie-reviewer and gamer told the staff today that he got a hate email for his review of Serenity. He gave it a C for some reasons or another, and this graduate student took the time to look him up in the student directory, and sent him an almost six page email on how he didn't appreciate Joss Whedon and Firefly and how he was ignorant, and how Rotten Tomatoes gave it 81% and 87% in the cream of the crop.

Well, I haven't seen movie, series, or any other Joss Whedon stuff (minus Toy Story)(I plan on seeing it sooner or later on recommendation), but Rotten Tomatoes isn't always right, you know. There are very similar marks for Red Eye, the worst movie I've seen this year (yeah, it beats out Must Love Dogs), and definitely the worst thriller movie I've ever seen (yeah, it beats out the remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre). So, that's that.

The staff member sent everyone his correspondence with this fangirl, and she... well... she really likes Joss Whedon:

I've read LOADS of Serenity reviews and I'm glad you acknowledged most of them have been positive. There is one clear trend among Serenity reviewers -- the less you know about Joss Whedon, the more you don't understand the film.

I've seen Serenity 8 times and will see it every week it continues to play in theaters.

And, she signed the email

Her Name, grad student.

Like it was infinitely important that she list her rank of grad student so she's taken more seriously. Well...

And I just realized I'm totally late for class but hey, I'd rather defend one of my greatest loves than take that ten point quiz any day.

Now, that's quite a grad student.

Luckily, our staff member responded very logically, pointing out that one should not require background information to enjoy a movie (it should be self-sufficient) and that he had even just seen an episode of Firefly, and liked it, but defended what he said about the movie because, well, he didn't think it translated well into a movie.


I guess that the bottom line here is that I want some friggin' hate mail. I'm just gonna start reviewing everything, and giving everything F's until I hit something.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Influence(s).

If two of my favorite bands, who have each changed the face of rock in their own ways, started out listening to less-than-great music in their formative years (but eventually surpassed such influences), where does that leave me, having them in the place where they had these other less-than-great acts? I suppose it would be easier to name names.

I read part of the biography, Rivers' edge, about Rivers Cuomo of Weezer. From general Weezer fandom, I knew he was a Kiss fan, but I read this section where, as a teenager, he learned every single Kiss album, playing them with his first, high school band. Kiss? If Kiss influenced anything in Weezer, it was certainly not in Pinkerton. (I guess I can't boldly state that, as I've only ever heard "ROCK 'N' ROLL ALL NIGHT".)

I read this book, Please Kill Me: The oral history of punk, and in it there is this section where The Ramones play in the UK and The Clash were there, just worshipping them. The Ramones? Okay, I can see this a bit more clearly with The Clash, but if The Ramones influenced The Clash, it was certainly not in London Calling. I remember a punk band (could have been the Clash) saying something about the era being just kids in the audience saying that they (themselves) could play better than the Sex Pistols, and then the kids just set out to do just that.

I guess I could say the same about Morrissey, who has released a collection (essentially a personal mixtape) of his influences, Morrissey: Under the Influence, since one of the songs is from The Ramones. And I guess I could mention something about the Smiths covering "Golden Lights," by Twinkle, but I don't know anything about her original recording or other music. Just that that cover by the Smiths is bad.

(One of the Amazon reviews of Under the Influence is particularly amusing. Entitled "I wish *I* were under the influence while listening to this," he notes

"All that is My Own" - Nico
I really hate Nico. I really hate this song. I don't hate this song as much as I hate "Fire and Ice".)

So where does this leave me, the aspiring musician? I'm certain these groups weren't the only ones Weezer, The Clash, and Morrissey (and The Smiths) listened to, but they sure do seem to play a large part in the start of their musical careers.

I guess that is kind of a selfish, arrogant, partially ignorant question, but I'm going to pose it regardless.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Andy Rourke (Part Two)

In addition to his signature, I got a couple of good pictures of Andy from a couple of different angles. Funny part was Matt lent me his digital camera, and when I got to Big Daddy's and turned it on, it flashed "Low Battery" and turned right off. I was major bummed and ran (literally) down to "Mike's Beer Barn" to see if I could buy 4 AA batteries. They, somehow, only had AAAs and 9-volts... ? So, on my way back, as I was dialing Matt to get him to drive down with some batteries, I spotted Rick's Toy Box, and... well, yeah. They had batteries. And they sold them individually. So, you have Rick's to thank for these photos.

This is Andy's setup: an Apple laptop, an iPod, two huge CD changers, and this mixer in the middle (with which he used to turn up the BASS).

Side view.

Andy relaxing. He didn't really dance or move around much, but he did do the occasional air bass guitar and handclaps.

Tweaking knobs.

Andy putting on his (Pioneer) headphones near the end of "Stop me if you think you've heard this one before," in preparation of selecting the next tune.

And, the kicker:

(Is it me, or does he have a David Bowie look going on? His shirt said something about Ziggy Stardust and Johnny Rotten, but his coat never opened enough for me to read the whole thing.)

His setlist, from what I wrote down of what I recognized, was as follows:

"Stop me if you think you've heard this one before," The Smiths. (He didn't open with this one--I think he started when I was getting the batteries, and I didn't start writing down the songs until I heard this one.)
"There She Goes," The La's (Sixpence None the Richer did a well-known cover of this.)
"This Charming Man (N.Y. Mix)," The Smiths (from my CD!)
"Train In Vain," The Clash (I was stoked when I spotted his London Calling CD before he started playing songs. ... I also saw he had the MIA CD, but he never got around to playing a track off that.)
"Such Great Heights," The Postal Service.
Some modern song with "rama lama ding dong" in the lyrics. I googled but could find no answers (don't think it was the Edsels).
"Touch Me," The Doors.
"Last Nite," The Strokes.
"Should I Stay or Should I go," The Clash (apparently he likes Mick's tunes better... maybe just for dancin')
"Take Me Out," Franz Ferdinand.
"Monkey Gone to Heaven," The Pixies.
"Smells Like Teen Spirit," Nirvana (Matt will tell you it's ironic he followed the Pixies with Nirvana, evidencing Pixies' "U-Mass" as the inspiring riff for this song.)
"Been Caught Stealing," Jane's Addiction. Heck Yeah, man! Barking dogs and all!
"Here Comes Your Man," The Pixies.
"There Is A Light That Never Goes Out," The Smiths.
"Somebody Told Me," The Killers.
"Debaser," The Pixies.
"Sympathy for the Devil," Rolling Stones (I correctly remembered this song title! Woohoo!)

And, over two hours of music later, Andy Rourke of The Smiths decides to close his night as DJ at Big Daddy's on Monday Oct. 17, 2005 with...

DEF LEPPARD'S "Pour Some Sugar On Me"!

I guess I was wrong in the last post--Andy played just as many Smiths songs (3) as he did Pixies.
So, he just played a lot of popular stuff, and not the obscure Bristish stuff I thought he would (although, the night of music was neither entirely "80s," nor "indie," as the name of the event proclaimed. Oh well, he's freaking Andy Rourke, he can play whatever he wants.)
This list is incomplete, as I did not recognize 15-20% of the stuff he played. Several times throughout the night, inebriated girls would go up on stage to talk to him and point as his computer screen (apparently requesting something?). One time, a girl tripped over a wire and stopped the output of the music. Everyone started booing--it was hilarious (a simple plug back in brought everything back roaring up). It's amazing how different familiar songs sound at such a loudness (vocals seem higher pitched, for example).

I didn't go back on Tuesday, though I kind of wanted to. I studied instead.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Andy Rourke (Part One)

Allow me to take in this moment:

(Photos of him to come shortly, hopefully.)

When I arrived at Big Daddy's, the second band of the night had yet to start their set, and it was already 10:30 p.m. I knew this was going to be a looong night.

I walked around the place for a couple of minutes, then noticed this average-height, somewhat skinny fellow walk past me and sit at the bar. He had reddish hair and tinted glasses and red Converse sneakers. I looked around and walked past him a few times. I took a stool next to him at the bar after a while, and the band started, and he turns to watch them. In between one of the songs, I say "Excuse me, are you Andy Rourke?"

"Hey! How's it goin?"
"I'm a bit tired. Jet lag."
"Oh, where'd you fly in from?"
[He rests his head face down in his elbow]
"Uhh ... L.A."
"So, you're on tour?"
"Yeah, I'm in the states until November 7th."
"Hey, would you mind signing something for me? Would that be alright?"
"Yeah, sure."
[I take out the above CD; somehow I had the good sense to bring that one--I was thinking about bringing Meat Is Murder for the longest time.]
"Oh, I'm not familiar with this. With this format."
[He plays with the cardboard fold-out front a bit, asks my name, signs it.]
"Yeah, it's, uh, it's a CD of remixes. This is my favorite single."
[He nods.]
"Oh, ... it has the New York mix! Do you mind, do you mind if I borrow this? I'll give it a spin tonight when I DJ."
"Yeah, no problem."


I'll flesh this recollection out later, when I have photographic evidence. I'll even include a list of songs that I recognized from this ones he played while he DJed (bet you can't guess what song he used to close! And what group he played the most songs from [no, not The Smiths, although he did play a few of those--including one off my disc!!!]).

He's going to be back at Big Daddy's tomorrow... with no cover charge (I paid $8 to get in tonight).

I'm considering going back with my old, wooden, three-quarters fender bass guitar and having him sign that, too. That would be so frikkin' tight...

I shook the hand that played the "This Charming Man" and "Barbarism Begins At Home" basslines!!!

Saturday, October 15, 2005


Bass Tab for The Police's "So Lonely."

This is my first submission to the ftp site. Next time I'll pick a more difficult song. I just wanted to see how long it would take to write one of these up, and, for anyone also wondering, it doesn't take long at all.

Yeah, it doesn't take long at all... especially when everything you've written is completely wrong.

Look, I'll do... say, Rush's "YYZ"

q w er ty ima doofus
|--3---------------------------------| Repeat Ad finitum (86 X-s)

You get all the half steps played in the loud chorus, but you can't tell he's (blatantly) playing half-steps in the verse too? And when you write mysterious letters overtop, at least have a legend (yeah, I know what they mean, but that's just dumb). "R"s? C'mon.

And then, somehow, every single tabs site only posts your crappy tab (Oh, sometimes it looks like they post an alternate version, "Bass Tabs 2," but it's still just your tab). Come on Derek, get with the program.

At least reading your tab made me realize something new: I had known Sting's real name was Gordon Sumner, and that Andy Summers played in The Police, but I never put two and two together. Sumner and Summers. And Copeland.

NO, I will not post my own tabs, nor stop making fun of people I don't know on the internet, just because. Because I don't wanna.

(This would be really funny if I was wrong about the notes in this song, but I just listened to it 20 times, so... probably not.)

Friday, October 14, 2005

List time!

I haven't made a list in a while, so (seeing as how I will not present a title, interpret this list in anyway you want) here you go:

1. Joseph Heller

2. Graham Greene

3. Clive Staples Lewis

4. Isaac Asimov


I guess I'll make another list now (since this entry deserves a list all its own):

1. Bill Watterson

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Picture time!

This is a wrapper from a candy my sister and I got in Georgia over this summer. It was comprised of a jelly center that was kind of like an orange slice candy (minus the sugar coating), except purple, and a thin layer of chocolate on the outside. It wasn't that good, but the wrapper is hilarious! "Full of Eastern Promise"!

I sketched this from a picture I found on the internet in anticipation of painting something on canvas. I never did paint anything, but I kind of like the sketch (it's supposed to be a fox, but it looks more like a wolf).

This is most of the photo (all that fit in the scanner) that I bought today from Theresa Kereakes at Vinyl Fever. I wrote an article about her for this event, and it turned out pretty cool, although I thought she was going to bring dozens of pictures, laid out all around, but there were just about 20 over on one spot on the wall. She signed this picture I bought (it's of Debbie Harry... of Blondie, you know?).

Friday, October 07, 2005

Club Jade.

We had a clever performance at Club Jade tonight. Neither the promoter nor we could scrounge up another local band to play with us, so we just did it ourselves (our first "headlining" gig?). The atmosphere was pretty good, it was spacious enough, and the mix of instruments was as good as I could imagine without mic-ing everything (miking?). Turnout wasn't spectular, but we had a good time, were invited to play a Halloween show there (Club Jade), and even got paid?!

I butchered many a lick tonight, I was really tired and kind of hungry (dumples?), and tensed up a little when playing. How strange the mind can be when you can play freely in a practice room, but tense up when in front of a dozen or so people on a stage... with lights. It was a good experience, and the promoter seemed pretty open to us "playing whenever (we) want" (she told us we could play as long as we wanted since we were the only band--we only made it to about 40 minutes since I decided playing the first song we ever played together wasn't such a good idea), although we need to learn some more songs so we have more to offer our core audience of close friends. Then I wouldn't mind playing 2-3 times a month (yeah, right)! Start a scene around here; start a movement.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Anyway, my last post referred to my quest to access free student webspace. I followed all the guidelines and posted some crappy code, but then I still couldn't access it. I finally broke down and emailed the computer dudes, and they responded that I needed to manipulate stuff in Unix (they didn't even tell me how to switch to the unix template in my sftp program). So, I type two lines in and hit enter, and suddenly I'm allowed to view my crappy code:

That was just my test page to see if I new what the heck was going on-- I do have a template I got, but I dunno, I'm thinking of roughing it and looking up ways of formatting on my own. For now, those two ridiculous pictures and that section at the top (that was just an exercise in manipulating text) will remain until I think of something good to put up, and some way of organizing the good things I'll put up. (Then, I guess, I'll put those things up!)

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


The people over at ACNS tell me I need to alter some code in Unix to get my webspace to work for me.


Monday, October 03, 2005

Funny Stuff.

I found this while narcissistically searching for myself earlier:

Unique Originals

Evidentally, this is the name of an EBay user, which I find immensely funny, since my Ebay ID is "uniqueoriginal".

Reminds me of (quoted from memory) "Well, then we had to change our name, because there was already this group named The Originals. So, we became The New Originals."


I just googled my name again, because I was talking about narcissistically searching for myself, and I found my name turn up on the first page of results on, which wasn't that strange, but then again, on a Missouri campus newspaper (note: link may not work because site requires free subscription). I knew that the FSView ran articles by other schools, and that such a practice would be mirrored elsewhere, but that's just weird. I wrote that about a band that was playing here (although I didn't make it that obvious, I guess), and they just run it? That's also cool, though. (Here's the same Jimmy article on the FSView site, for those of you who can't access the Missouri site, and actually care about reading it.)