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 26

psyk(e)!, it's about music

the problem with my newest toy is how it should be called. it's a cd player, and "dj cd player" doesn't sound that much more exciting, nor even "dj dual cd player." but it is exciting, and not just because it has more colorful lights than anything else in the room besides the cyclotron. it's a crucial step in the transformation of our living room into a night club. and it's further blurring the lines between the listening to of music as a passive and active undertaking. file that one away for consideration in the eventual music-as-religion expostulation, i guess.

more good musical news, arriving i believe on the same day as the toy - maybe a week ago, this being one of several blog entries i've started a number of times since then. the fire boss actually scooped me on this one, but i suppose the fire is her domain, after all. anyway, the sun destroyers will be making their for-all-intents-and-purposes debut there on october 5th a week from wednesday. gabe says his cousin joe might be there. that's my gabey's band, in case you missed it - come out and support! you should see the awesome poster advertising it on our fridge.

along with bridge season, apple season, beard season, and uninteresting-movie season, concert season seems to be back in swing these days, after an oddly quiet summer. three out of the four evening performances i attended last weekend were musical, four if you count the incidental percussion and semi-diegetic sounds that accompanied leah stein company's intermittently engaging and pleasantly ambient "bardo." what do i have to say about those, before i start talking about music some more?

dungen, four tet, and orchestra 2001 doing crumb & tan dun were all fairly exceptional experiences in their way. come to think of it, i'll leave it at that.

i love how going to concerts, and talking to people about music, and wandering down the hallway of a college dorm (theme: the hall of disney villains. kickass!) to hear of montreal playing on some college kid's iTunes, belie the monolith of internet music journalism, with its subtle implication that there's an inside and an outside to this thing, and reminds you that these are just a bunch of bands, and people listen to them. i owe some folks (mostly myself) some thoughts about the arcade fire, and maybe sufjan stevens (whose concert i'm probably going to stand outside of on wednesday, waiting patiently for a miracle.) in the mean time, thanks to peter baker, who suggested that their performance with david bowie at "fashion rocks" [video links here] might be a cure for my crisis of AF faith. also, i listened to the clapyeah album and the wolf parade ep today and i must say that so far i am not feeling the '05 indie nu breed.

as i was wandering philadelphia yesterday, manipulating the world well, i encountered plenty of furniture as well as a question which i'd like to misappropriate here: "is new music in your cd collection or in your dna?"

interesting question, if only because it's difficult to read. i'm habitually more concerned with the first part of the question, and you might notice that, although that's certainly an affirmative, it might be more notable that old music is in my cd collection - which is to say, the new music in my cd collection is old music. or rather, i might be listening to more old music than usual.

[by the way:
ten top 2004 albums in 2005
adem - homesongs
aberfeldy - young forever
delgados - universal audio
dfa comp #2
dj /rupture - special gunpowder
jens lekman - "when i said i wanted to be your dog"
jeff hanson - s/t
matthew sweet - living things
roots - the tipping point
wilco - a ghost is born

oh, and nellie mckay. no headsmacks necessary.]

let's start over. one question is what do we mean by "new music". that's not what i mean. it makes a lot more sense to think about old music being in ones dna, right, because how could it get there if it's so new. so the way to parse that is actually "...or is the compulsion to seek out and listen to new music intrinsic to your person?" and the first part of the question becomes retrofitted something like "does the new music you buy just sit there on the shelf?" the two being far from mutually exclusive, of course; indeed their combination is a familiar and destructive syndrome. check out this refreshingly messy confessional (and the effusive em/pathetic response to it), which covers a lot of ground and says a lot that probably should have been obvious but probably needed saying anyway. that piece, along with my musing spiritual dilletantism last-post, serve as leading tones for a discussion about generalism (and genuine-ness) that will come along next time.

but how about this one as a specific case scenario. i'm pretty comfortable with my identity as somebody who seeks out, engages with, and selectively internalizes new-to-me music [and, a seemingly obvious but occasionally problematic corollary: information-about-music] at a sometimes alarmingly high rate. i have no qualms about my pursuit of these activities being genuine and "pure", whatever that means (i almost never find myself listening to things 'academically,' i don't even understand what it means to do so 'ironically') - but at the same time i think those are generally uninteresting qualifications. i am concerned, though, that my attitude toward music not create limitations on the potential discourse about music. issues of musical opinion seem to get conflated with issues of identity politics distressingly easily. if i put a record on, people might think i would be offended on behalf of the music if they don't like it.

i don't think we need to draw lines between being genetically predisposed towards new music and just listening to it. i do hope i can help people feel comfortable thinking and talking about music. but before that can happen they have to feel comfortable listening to it for themselves.

katie asked how booze-soaked cakes are supposed to taste, and i said "good." the nice thing about good is that we're all equally qualified (and unqualified) to determine it.

and because some of you will be bemusedly exasperated if i don't, let's let on that the question came from starbucks promotional hoo-hah, and no i don't think that makes it any less weird or worthy.

more philosophy next time, unless you really want stories instead.

[i'll] be it in my own good time
being kind to myself
'til i become one of two of a kind

you know you wanted to write pskye! i should stick that dj/rupture album on my overlooked.

2005-09-29 18:25

i think that optional (e) was solely a reference for myself to a review of optimo's "psyche out" (which i need to hear btw) that made special note of the e in the title.

also wanted to nod to lillie d's preferential spelling, but i couldn't find it on her psyte.

i love special gunpowder so much more than that other /rupture album.

2005-09-29 20:28

ps I have psyche out if you want it, I could ysi or email. I haven't even listened to it yet! i'm obsessed with this aly and aj album…disturbing.

2005-09-30 17:40
yeah, actually, i have psyche out too, and i've even listened to it a little bit. but i feel kind of dirty listening to it in mp-form, cuz the transitions are all skrewed. whatever that says about me.

maybe you better make me a tween-pop mp3ix?

also, i call your attention to the girl groups boxset rhino is releasing next week (drool). that i'd take as ysi if you manage to get your cursor on a copy.
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