some birds are funny when they talk








Stuck in my Head
"Kiss Me Harder" by Bertine Zetlitz
"Hot" by Avril
"Brain Problem Situation" by They Might Be Giants

Now Reading
Number 9 Dream by David Mitchell
Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munro

Recently Finished
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by David Eggers
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Mad Tony and Me by Carl Hoffman
Sweet Soul Music by Peter Guaralnick
This Must Be The Place: Adventures of Talking Heads in the 20th Century by David Bowman
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Movies Lately
4 Months 3 Weeks 2 Days
Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts
Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour
2 Days in Paris
United 93
The Savages
The Bourne Ultimatum
Sweeney Todd
The Departed
What Would Jesus Buy?
Ghost World
I'm Not There
She's The Man
Lars and the Real Girl
Romance and Cigarettes
No Country for Old Men
Into the Wild
I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With
Across the Universe

Shows Lately
Damo Suzuki/Stinking Lizaveta @ Mill Creek
Death and the Maiden @ Curio
Devon Sproule/Carsie Blanton/Devin Greenwood/John Francis @ Tin Angel
Assassins @ The Arden
Oakley Hall and the Teeth @ Johnny Brendas
Isabella and Flamingo/Winnebago and Map Me and Gatz and Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven and Sonic Dances and Strawberry Farm and The Emperor Jones and No Dice and Hearts of Man and Principles of Uncertainty and Isabella and BATCH and Addicted to Bad Ideas: Peter Lorre's 20th Century and Car and Sports Trilogy and Explanatorium and Wandering Alice and Must Don't Whip Um and Festival of Lies and A Room of Ones Own and Recitatif @ the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival/Philly Fringe
Martha Graham Cracker and Eliot Levin and Kilo etc. @ the Fringe Cabaret
Lullatone and Teletextile @ Boulder Coffee [Rochester]
TV Sound @ the M Room
Aretha Franklin @ East Dell, Fairmount Pk.
Romeo + Juliet in Clark Park
Daft Punk @ Red Rocks
Spoon @ Rockefeller Park
Ponytail at Pony Pants' House
Mirah/Benjy Ferree @ the 1UC
Tortoise @ World Cafe Live
Hall & Oates...ish
"Nuclear Dreams" - Mascher Dance Group, x2
The Four of Us @ 1812
Machines Machines Machines Machines Machines Machines Machines by Rainpan whatever
Mascher Dance Group/Nathaniel Bartlett
Cornelius @ TLA
Sloan @ World Cafe
In Fluxxxx
Slavic Soul Party!/Red Heart the Ticker @ I-House
the Fantasticks @ Mum
Peter Bjork + Jorn/Fujiya + Miyagi @ fkaTLA
John Vanderslice @ Johnny Brendas
The Books & Todd Reynolds @ 1UC
Into the Woods @ LPAC
The Fishbowl @ the Frear
Caroline, or, Change @ the Arden
Low & Loney, Dear. @ 1UC

Monday, September 12

firth of dorks

a query for the lazyweb, from the fire boss and the blue boss-woss:

of the following,

1) Seu Jorge at the First Unitarian Church Sanctuary
2) The Dandy Warhols at Beyond Nightclub (?)
3) Leslie Gore at the Tin Angel (!?)

[yeah, lazyweb in this case means i give up on providing links to those artists and venues, oh well]

which is the coolest? which, if any, are cool? is it possible that one or more are cool in the abstract but wouldn't actually be cool to attend? it's sort of an academic question at this point, but it struck me that these might be three unusally apt test cases for coolness theory. they're all happening tomorrow night, in any event.

so, i fixed my blog, and hopefully you can read this and you could go down and read my previous post, which you couldn't have done until now because the important half of my template code got somehow eaten. i managed to functionally reconstruct it, i think (let me know if it's not working for you), even with some (intentional) modifications. which should be good practice for some unprecedented changes that i'm toying with the idea of unleashing on this beast.

in the meantime, although you couldn't read about it, i have accomplished the mission set forth at the end of that last post:

i biked. to swarthmore! yesterday, and back again to phila today. along baltimore, which possibly is not the most pleasant way to go about it, but it ought to be one of the more direct.

there are a good number of hills - well, better, there are a lot of dips, which are much preferable, because you can use the momentum of the decline to get you much of the way up the incline, if it follows close enough, and the timing of lights and whatnot works out reasonably favorably (which is a fun little game in itself.) i guess that's obvious, if you spend any time on bikes, in places that are not completely flat. but this is all deliciously new to me, and i must pronounce: bikes are sweet! dude, how sweet are bikes!

it didn't take very long - an hour or slightly more from west philly (starting at 40th and balto), and well under an hour on the return trip (more downhill, and i didn't bail on any of the inclines, as i did one or two on the approach.)

it probably shouldn't be much of a surprise that it's not so hard to bike to swat, but it still bursts a little lingering psychological bubble or two to actually traverse the distance on your own steam. also a very nice way to make use of two excellently sunny days.

what did i do there? it turned out all the actual students are too busy for me, so i pretty much just palled around with d=mcc. we explored some previously undiscovered nature/culture warzones in the vicinity [huzzah for the ultramundane, ultramontane quotidian. have any of you been to smedley park? it's ridiculously awesome for us not to have been wasting valuable time there for the last five years, and it's right across the pike!] we explored some of the avenues of inquiry laid out in that post you haven't read yet [i don't want to get back into it yet, but i'll mention that contemplating evolution provided some interesting thoughtstuff, and dave had a nice formulation of the problem - "the present has an undue influence on the conceivable" - which however doesn't yet get at everything i'm wanting to get at]. we discovered a pair of furniture-scale green wooden triple helices behind ware (but we call dibs, unless you can think of a better use for them than as kick-ass speaker stands.) we watched a couple flicks.

that's such a weekend in itself, i almost forgot that there was another half previously, where i tagged along with gabe and two visiting hornellian hellions, and also spent a little minute at the liberty lands music fest - long enough to unwittingly buy a couple yard-sale cds from jeff of need new body, and chat with him for a while about the old days. good thing this is getting put an end to in a matter of hours.

but just to delay your gratification a little further, here is some cultural reportage that i started to do last time out, and to which i'll have a few to add:

2046 = smoke weed every day. which is to say, much horse. i enjoyed this substantially more than other of wong kar-wai's films, which i have traditionally claimed not to like as much as i wanted to (my fault not his), this mostly positive musing notwithstanding. (funny, i totally forgot that i have seen following. which is to say, more precisely, that i saw it. eh?) well, 2046 turned out to be a lot more normal than i expected. there may be and are plenty of subtextual nuances to ferret out, but narratively speaking it's pretty straightforward as things go. more like a series of short(ish) stories than a big 136-minute arc, which comes off refreshingly fresh. folks are probably right that a second viewing is critical, but one was sufficient for me to at least come away with a satisfactory sense of plot, and, more to the point, lots of lovely images and sounds.

oh yeah, and the previews: oliver twist, an unfinished life, everything is illuminated, and {proof}, made it hit harder than anything that summer's on the outs, 'cause here comes serious, pedigreed movie time, and just as i thought i was losing some interest too. weird thing is i even think i want to see all of these movies. (better get going if i want to read some of the books first, huh.)

while i'm on the subject, anybody: should i see the constant gardener, cronicas, and/or kings and queen? on the first two especially, i'm intrigued because of the directors but very little else.

sigur-ros, friday night, at the tower theatre (takk takk takk to rob and his poppy!) = mmmmnice. soporific in the best possible way you're not supposed to say that about a rock concert. (odd too, how much they really are just a rock band, drums-bass-guitar-keys.) the dark, the spaciousness and grandeur of the setting, and the fact that we were sitting made it more like a classical concert experience, a contrast even to seeing them at the 9:30 club.

sort of fitting then how, on the bus there, a funny old man asked me about my wsrn shirt and then somehow parlayed my admission that i like classical music into an excuse for a long, tenuous and mildly frenetic pseudo-dialogue [really just him expounding, occasionally pausing to pepper me with do-you-follow? non-questions like "you've heard of koussevitsky, right?" and "of course you know that long-playing records weren't introduced until 1948"] that somehow ended in him telling me the best place to find accomodations for a trip to tanglewood. it was pretty wonderful.

maybe it's just repeated listening, but i gotta say the numbers off aggybyrjun are still untouched; they have some true musical uniqueness and magic while the later material so far seems just off normal. i did enjoy the new stuff - a lot of it seemed to have more going on structurally/compositionally than is typical, and there were some pretty good rock-out moments (i loved how intense the drummer was able to get playing with brushes and barefoot.) but i think i'm always going to struggle with sigur ros - they've always been a band my friends are way more excited about than me. but that's okay too.

(rob though jonsí was having a lot of trouble with his voice - i didn't notice except that he did seem to maybe be singing less than usual.)

man or mcenroe, the only thing i've seen so far at the fringe with the possible exception of green chair dance, was top-notch entertainment, and that way totally unasks the question of whether we're supposed to like theatre because it's theatre-like or in spite of that. i don't know anything about mcenroe (the players claimed not to either, and that much is pretty convincing), but gabe insists he's the best, in i guess whatever context you want to suggest. you should see the show - it's easy and only five bucks - but you probably won't hear this, because it was ad-libbed, in the question-answer portion, from the audience - where did he go to school? you know that's a funny thing, he never went to school a day in his life, he graduated from harvard.

hmm, if i have anything to say about ohayo or she's gotta have it i guess i'll save them for later, and go eat mango now instead.

i'm working my way through the blur singles box that i finally attained today after a good amount of biking around in north philly.

i'm not sure i quite agree with the single choices from mlir, except for 4 2morrow - isn't "star-shaped" obviously the best pop on the record? "popscene" almost seems more significant than enjoyable, in contrast to popsicles, although it is both. on the other hand, i could listen to "there's no other way" in three pretty similar versions and then some. awright, none of you care. parklife b-sides are getting more distinct and, at least, immediate.

sorry i haven't e-mailed you yet: l, r, a, d, m, h, m, a...

now she's eating chocolate to induce sleep