I understand how

I understand how certain people could find the occasionally histrionic falsetto n’ chug of bands like Braid as a bit too far down the “emo” road, past Rites of Spring and Fugazi’s corrective reintegration of personhood into hardcore and unacceptably close to emotianalism or even sentimentalism.

But Braid and the Get-Up Kids don’t tell the whole story on the mid-90s, midwestern emo. There’s also VERY HIGH, almost Louisville-level high points like Boys’ Life and Giant’s Chair and the best Joan of Arc. But I’m sure you’ve already plumbed that terrain…so let’s go deeper, no?

You can fill in some necessary, math-y blanks at disturbingly great rates ($2!!)  over at the Polyvinyl Garage Sale.  Seriously, they’ve got really cheap vinyl by a whole, wide swath of serious, canonical shite like Kerosene 454 and Radio Flier….that you simply can’t not own if you like Slint or Unwound or Fugazi a lot. I don’t know about you, but that’s still my favorite stuff, all this Jackson Browne and Jayhawks lifestyling notwithstanding. There’s also unrelated but still luscious and plump stuff like Ida, who I never thought I’d come to like, because they have always evoked a kind of ‘indie rock 10,000 Maniacs’ thing with me, be it fairly or unfairly.

everything’s coming up grunge-y

  1. wonkette tears one of portland’s two alt-weeklies a new whatever and, so doing, cannot avoid indulging in some low-blowing. ha! here: If you thought alt-weeklies were the last refuge of aging grunge losers, this interview (with Barack Obama) really isn’t going to change your view.The main concerns of the Willamette Week staff, obviously, are smoking marijuana and getting tattoos. This is the primary economic activity of the balding ’90s “Pearl Jam” fan, other than wearing calf-length giant shorts and incorrectly describing everything as “ironic.” (Ha ha, this was the last generation of Americans who could even read.)
  2. Eugene’s very own alt-weekly is nice enough to blurb about me and tout my true-blue identifications with the American SW, flannel and early grunge….almost none of which I knew about, for reals. But I know now. And I’ll take it.
  3. most importantly, the great rock blog detailed twang is off blocks and back strong, letting us all know that, cripes, there’s an anniversary edition of Superfuzz/BigMuff waiting at our record stores. read Jay’s liners here, oh what a bad-arse. Happy grunge day, anywho.

This is Neoliberalism part 791

oh jeebus, oh jeebus. we’re gonna be living off lotto proceeds, kids. lotto proceeds!

from le financial times

Arnold Schwarzenegger is looking to California’s lottery to solve the state’s budget crisis and wants to raise billions of dollars by selling bonds backed by future profits from the game.

With the slump in the property market and an economy that is nearing recession, the governor revealed on Wednesday that state revenues had fallen $6bn, leaving California facing a projected deficit of $24.3bn.


like unions, rock bands and political parties, baseball teams often don’t do well with pronounced, semi-autonomous sub-cliques. thanks to cosloy for adding to my checklist of gripes with this ugly glimpse into my beloved-but-simultaneously-unlovable New York Metropolitans.

thanks for eugene, mr. james

very nice blog-blurb from soon-to-be interview subject Molly at EW, praise be. ‘nice to have the opportunity to clear the air about a) Falcon, b) “Doubles,” c) my Sewanee buddies, d) doo rags.

delightful day today. mouth stitches? removed. checking account? overdrawn. printer/scanner? misbehaving. president? “bullshit.” album art?  down to the wire. academic progress? “unsatisfactory.” Kojak Season 2 on dvd? Not yet. rehearsal space? unavailable. drive to-from portland tomorrow, probably for ritualistic purposes at best? damn right. renewed sinus pressure from the suture removal? you know it. needy parents? needy everything, even my windshield wipers called me “princess” earlier this afternoon. needy me? buy the album.

speaking of annoyances, join us Saturday at Sam Bond’s and Cd World for a handful of hot-wing-core!

embarassing press rules

tomorrow there may be a blurb or no blurb about my record somewhere. regardless, i never thought anybody would write about my band in the paper or on interweb. my daydreams of indie rockery were pretty much reached by the time congratulations played with firebird, let alone when the squids opened for Dinosaur.

that being said, it’s easy to find joy in even the most derogatory reviews. but best of all are the ones that are just incoherent, like this ink19 take on the falcon (punctuational weirdness is all theirs):

  • �Picking Up Sticks in �96� has a more traditional country feel, with lead singer Patrick Hayden taking a vocal tip from Mick Jagger, just to spice things up.

(EDITOR’S note: actually, it was mashed potato who suggested “spicing things” up. as for the song’s traditional country feel…? )

  • �Squadron� opens up the album with a furious pace reminiscent of The Hives’ early work � until halfway through the song, when they abruptly slow it down to a radio pop beat, which seems unnecessary.

(EDITOR’S note: again, this was all mashed potato’s idea. I wanted to keep punk rocking on through, like the Hives do on all those albums of theirs that I am physically obsessed with – but mashed potato wouldn’t have it. “Radio-Pop, Radio-Pop!” he screamed, but I could also hear the sun set on my major label, pop-punk dreams. Yes, the setting sun makes sounds.)

7% Solution

My aforementioned Clinton insider confirmed rumors that both ongoing Dem campaigns are considering cabinet positions – or even, please, Attorney General – for John Edwards.

That’s right, John Edwards, who took 7% of the vote in WV despite a turnout that reflects Obama’s inevitability vibes AND despite Hillary’s contrived solidarity with the people of Appalachia.

Meanwhile, while Chris Matthews and Terry Mcaullife are having it out in a ‘who’s a bigger wanker’ derby (spoiler: it’s the latter), emergent smartest guy on MSNBC Chuck Todd describes how the timing of Edwards’ withdrawal, and his subsequent non-endorsement, was one of five factors that sunk Hillary.

Continuing our look at how Clinton got to this point… John Edwards hasn’t endorsed Obama. In fact, for a while, the thinking was that if he’d endorse anyone, it would be Clinton. But in our latest installment of some of the big — yet underappreciated — turning points in the Democratic nominating race, we look at how Edwards ended up greatly helping Obama, by deciding to stay in the race after New Hampshire and then exit it before Super Tuesday. Throughout the Dem contest, this fact often was overlooked: Edwards won South Carolina in 2004. And four years later, per the exit polls, he narrowly beat Clinton among whites, 40%-36%, with Obama getting 24%. Obama ended up getting 78% of the African-American vote, which fueled his victory. But with Edwards and Clinton essentially splitting the white vote, that resulted in Obama’s overwhelming 55%-27% win over Clinton — which was the biggest victory of the first four Dem contests. Had Edwards withdrawn beforehand, the results might have more mirrored the 55%-43% black-white split in the race, which wouldn’t have been as impressive a win for Obama and may have led others to echo Bill Clinton’s inarticulate attempt at marginalizing Obama’s South Carolina victory.

*** Three’s a crowd? Then, heading into Super Tuesday, Edwards dropped out of the race, which raised this question: Would his exit benefit Clinton (because the white vote would no longer be split) or would it benefit Obama (because the anti-Clinton vote would no longer be split)? Well, even though Clinton won states like California, New Jersey, and New York, Edwards’ departure clearly helped Obama: The Illinois senator won more contests and netted more delegates on a day that always seemed to favor Clinton. But would Obama have enjoyed as much success if Edwards had stayed in the race? How many delegates would Edwards had netted in the big states which might have come more out of Obama’s count than Clinton’s. As they say, timing can be everything…

out in the bist, out in the post-anti-anti-post-feminist weeds

on the one hand, here’s a compelling glimpse into the post-traumatic political identity of Hillary and Bill Clinton.

on the other, I’m not sure I don’t want to part ways, uncharacteristically,  with the vaunted
and inspiring Barbara Ehrenreich, who goes mebbe too far in rightly denouncing Clintons’ sub-rosa race-baiting, hawkish gesturing, etc.

the only thing less interesting that reading along as a dude acknowledges, alludes to and internalizes feminists’ thinking is reading along as he disqualifies himself for being a dude. that said, being a dude certainly isn’t a good reason for me to proactively weigh in on ‘crap/not crap: Hillary.’

i’d merely say that she has waged an at-times brilliant campaign, that nobody besides Barack Obama could have beaten her, and that he could take a lesson from her when it comes to evoking the welfare state and specific public services amidst all of his “let’s rise above this” abstraction.

strategically, remembering only Hillary’s hardball tactics, and not her unprecedented resilience and increasingly savvy stumping, will not help as we go about building the coalition necessary to win.

sportsy, myself

do you know what? i don’t blame Willie Randolph for the Mets not being very good, but then again, i don’t like it when my favorite teams are too, too good. and i love semi-famous, local legends who were very good, but not truly great, in their youths.

coffee round the horn with jattypo

  • who the hell would possibly buy an album of tom waits covers by a movie star? who the hell listens to tom waits albums, these days? too many people, if you ask me. a bunch of ersatz tom waits posturing from ex-punks in old time-y hats is about as engaging as a head cold. but maybe i’m just bitter becuz waits auditioned and apparently passed over a friend of mine recently.
  • seriously, though. brecht? i mean, sure… but really, this isn’t a brecht moment we need to be having. we need to be having a godard moment, which is why it’s so effing ahhhhsum that they are re-releasing La Chinoise.
  • Dean Baker’s “Beat the Press” blog over at the American Prospect should rightly be called “Examples of Why Patrick Has Ceased Reading the New York Times”? Or the Washington Post, as the case may be….

Failing to Meet a Pension Obligation Isn’t “Like” Breaking a Contractual Promise, It is Breaking a Contractual Promise

The Washington Post has an extraordinarily cavalier attitude toward commitments to workers. Today it has an article in which it reports on the status of public pension funds. At one point it quotes a researcher at the Pew Center on the States as saying that defaulting on the pension funds would make public officials feel “like you are breaking a contractual promise.”

Defaulting on pension obligations to workers certainly should make public officials feel like they are breaking contractual obligations, because that is exactly what they would be doing. These workers worked for their pay and their pensions.

While the Post implies that meeting these obligations is a matter of choice for public officials, (earlier the article asserts that fund managers will “have to choose whether to continue paying out or renege on benefits promised to retirees”) in reality, they have little choice except declaring bankruptcy. If governments do not meet their legal obligations to retired workers, then the workers will be able to go to court and seize public assets such as the city halls, police and fire stations and school. They will be able to sell off this property to collect the benefits owed them by the governments.

  • somebody got raenie the new thalia zedek cd for her birthoversary day: it sounds like Come. but it also reminds me, here’s something i’ve been meaning to say: Damn it, i think that violin can be at least as disasterous for guitar-based music as saxophonones. It gestures towards the genre universe where “baroque” and “romantic” have surpassed “filthy” and “ethereal”* as the going conceits.
  • Madness in Bolivia, see a report from NewLeftReview luminary Forest Hylton here. I will forego opining, inviting Lupine Dave instead to assume the mantle of Pundit Prince. I am interested to hear if Price’s defense of the market-based liberal democracy in Latin America extends beyond Chavez and his purported personality cult, over to Evo Morales and the Bolivian Movement Towards Socialism. Your ball, Pricelass.
  • happy anniversary, boithday, Mother’s day to the woman i love.

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