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

Tuesday, March 28

my sucking funny day... [plus! folk as puck vs. funk as polk]

...was actually last tuesday. more funny than entirely sucking, but i did feel kind of funny the whole time pretty much. mentally, not physically - some of the emotional detritus of self- and world-questioning thoughts interpolated from the whole gluttony episode, which i didn't have the time to start negotiating at the end of the last post. the cyclical dose of aimlessness - was there something else? happily cut short - an excellently-timed restorative yoga class worked some wonders and got me back on track.

but wednesday was my day for bodily sickness. fine in the morning, but an hour or two into the workday i was sneezing violently and getting rapidly sore in the face. no stomach stuff (but that's still been recurring episodically in weird ways - it's back now for instance.) came home earlyish to rest, make some yummy miso and watch the gold rush (joe claims chaplin is great medicine). was going back and forth but finally decided to attend the animal collective show anyway - the sick definitely ruled out the option of going to swat for jean dielmann 23 quai de commerce..., which i had spent the previous 24 hours trying to convince myself i wouldn't actually rather attend than the concert (my last chance to see the film until who knows when?) i pretty much figured i would be mostly bored either way. probably true - at least, i only enjoyed the a.c. show about exactly as much as i had anticipated. but whatever. just a shame that we missed all but the final minutes of openers nix noltes (sp?), who seem worth watching.

well, part of the problem was that following right on the heels of a mini-crisis of faith about all this cultural-consumption excess, last week was a particularly excessive one, with almost every night involving an at least semi-actual decision. (the philly music festival, remember?) thursday went to poet in new york (and not the go! team), friday to the mates of state, not to angela's friend's video/music collective thingy at danger!danger!, saturday (this was the crusher - really the only two i cared about) to the books and not billy bragg. which is at least my third time missing billy. oh well. the books was absolutely a correct decision. easily the best show all week

(so i won't bother talking about the others, unless you care - nadir was almost certainly stonery audience dude totally botching "starman" in failed attempt to help save kori gardner's voice)....

well death vessel turns out to be a band after all, not just a girl-faced boy, and somewhat the less for it. still pretty tho. but jose gonzales, man. crikey. spellbinding. (but i'll not be bound to spell with the correct diacritics - nyah nyah.) he's from sweden, of course (what is it with these people?) (so far the record doesn't really approach the potency of the life, but "heartbeats" is pretty perfect - i never realized the lyrics were so decent.) then the books. i guess they were sold out of their the books oven mitts, and their "french elevator music" 3"s, so i didn't buy any of their murtch, although i kind of really wanted a freedom from expression t-shirt. not so much for the image (guy hunkering down in a crater hole?) as the phrase, which seems exactly right to me - except, what do you guys think? i'm curious how it understands itself to you. because i feel like i could use some freedom from expression, or at least freedom from feeling a necessity to express. don't you see that's a positive thing? well, maybe depending on your (?) response, i'll think about getting a shirt.

anyway so like, i really really like the books. as angela pointed out, that's kind of a no-brainer, because the books are also really like me. except maybe (even?) cleverer and funnier and still spiritual and emotional and thoughtful. (and they're not, for example, angry or anxious or melodramatic or redundant or closed-minded.) i should really come up with better adjectives. sigh. they do things that i would really like to be doing, or that i value a lot, using words in interesting ways, combining them with musical and other sounds to describe, but never proscribe, moods that aren't just textural but complexly humanistic, coming up with music that is simple and elemental and straightforward in its process but utterly affecting and unexpected (and unique) in product. that may not really be a reasonable bunching of words. anyway, they make beauty by the careful culling and ordering of non-extraordinary elements. (it's a kind of sublimation?) and they're just really nice! (still on the like me tip?)

i've never been a collector of sounds the way they are (although i think i appreciate sounds in similar ways), but maybe i should be. and images! seeing them live was great just to be able to focus on the music the way you only can at a concert, and also absolutely to put (two) human faces to the name and sounds (they're so nice! i would really like to have lunch with them, or spend a weekend at their house - and that's not something i would say about many famous people i don't know), but most especially, considering how much of the sound was necessarily non-live, the video component really clinched the show. found-footage collages with precisely that same books wit and humanity, and all very neatly synched to the songs, not for the most part over-overshadowing them. but if they ever put out a dvd of that video, i would buy it in a second. so they really should! maybe most effective use of video in concert i've seen?

okay, enough about the books. one other thing about that show (haha!) was that although i didn't quite realize it yet, it helped me decide/realize that i'm more interested in folk music than i thought. or maybe i think i should be. i just randomly arrived at that as i was biking home the next day after half-accidently (?) purchasing both vashti bunyan albums (the one from 1970 and the one from 2005) at two different record stores. it's all making sense - now i see why i bought that other richard and linda thompson album. for the true test, i pulled out one my old nick drake cds, and much to my chagrin discover that i sort of like it. (?) so, brit/britty folk anyway. 1968-72. produced by joe boyd. and espers. (if i go to the jack rose/fursaxa show, maybe i could finally figure a philly scene to align with? but when will the tickets be on sale?)

well, i figured, this shall can be a week of peace, and folk is peacey. the books put me at peace and so is waking up on sunday morning and well go forgive the devilicious silk ("uh, you mean sin?") city brunch-special hedons, you see also this is a week of exercise. (folk and exercise.) because, i am cacheing in my free weekly "trial" (?) membership to the phila sports club that i won in a drawing about two months after the fact. oh man i am using that thing up. sunday (1) i went and ran on the treadmill and used the nautilus equipment, last night (2) i took a "clubyoga" class and today (3) i took a "vinyasa yoga" class. maybe tomorrow i'll use the big inflatable balls. or do core body workout? well no, i'll probably run some more. the yoga was ohkay, at least yesterday was pretty good but the vinyasa teacher was the corniest you could imagine, she kep making preposterous jokes and of course she was the only one who could laugh at them anyway. but the best part of course is the sauna and the steam room. (except you want to hear something kind of weird, there was a guy masturbating in the steam room, like after this other guy and i were already in there. i thought that was pretty strange but whatever. who knows how these things work. i'm not used to being around just men like that, i suppose there is something sexy about it.) well in any case you won't see me signing up for jim membership, but i will try to make the most of this week and see what i can learn about this business. interesting because gyms are about yourself and also about other people, very much so. with any luck it will make a perfect transition week because by next week it will be so balmy outside i can just switch to doing all my exercise in plein air.

was there anything else i was supposed to tell you? oh yeah, i saw body worlds yesterday. yeah, it's really cool. really pretty amazing they could do all that. hard to keep remembering these are actual real bodies. most disturbing was "obesity exposed," where i guess they finally figured out how to preserve fat, (and make it white?) and laid out vertical cross-section slices of a 140-pound person next to a 580-pound person. most of it was not really gruesome or upsetting though (even if it sometimes made janine think of beef jerky or prosciutto.) on the spectacle/science/art rubric, it definitely scores unambiguously highest in the first and second categories (i feel like i need to go through it with somebody who really knows anatomy though - especially to figure out how much of what is really real) but there is some undeniably aesthetic jawn in there as well. most especially the vascular systems, with all the blood vessels infused with a red-dyed polymer that preserves even the tiniest branching capillaries (although there were definitely little broken-off pieces at the bottom of the cases.) some bizarre choices though, especially with some very obviously fake and added lips and nipples and bellybuttons, and also a propenderance of penises left intact. (even on specimens with just, say, the muscular and skeletal systems preserved.) so, that's all sort of going through my head as i think about my own body and doing things with my systems. but sort of not.

after the museum, i bought a book by witold rybcynzski, whose name i will learn to spell by the time i finish reading it, about the weekend and the development of the concept of leisure. which seems particularly relevant to me, and to some of the ideas and discussions/concerns i've been having lately. because i have a lot of weekend and a lot of leisure. i'll let you know how it goes.

speaking of discussions, i forgot how droolinducingly awesome this looks - the experience music project conference taking place in a month - just look through the schedule of the different panels and read the paper titles. (only slight problem is i'm not sure "shame" is something i'm all that interested in thining about vis-a-vis pop music, relatively speaking of course.)

also i discovered on rainy saturday night that my shoe has a hole in the sole. yuck. where should i buy noo shews?

well i think that's it. maybe next time will be more frequent/shorter. peace.

i get on my knees!

[p.s. why do i keep thinking of dire straits when i think about the clientele. they don't sound anything like them, although they do share a sort of genteel british restrained thing. it's probably mostly because of that "juliet" line. anyway i finally really like them, but maybe i'm just making myself. that "be my baby" glockenspiel rip is clutch.]