happy weekend

almost too much action this weekend.

1) tonight the squids (i’m a squid, btw) open for this much-ballyhooed indie-sabbath band called pearls and brass (representing the drag city record label.)

2) tommorow finds me in a weird-arsed, highbrow portland hotel.  here ensues the President’s Conference of a labor union with which I’m affiliated. between the reactionary and the mediocre fall davey, goff, courtney and moi. i do hope they’ve a pool at the joint. regardless i’m bound for an emotional, very special reunion with ex-deke falconer mashed potato dave clark, slated for dive bars city-wide.

3) sunday is best of all. sunday = jay farrar + anders parker = gob iron! this rock show is going down at a bar called the doug fir where the squids too have rocked. it’s a tiny place (200 people, maybe) with pro sound. i’m going to drink whiskey and shed cathartic tears, all stereotypical-like. if you knew how due i am for a good cry, you’d know how necessary this’s.

quite a few days, these ones ahead. nobody’ll get hurt, i’m sure.  gotta go string my gtr.

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PrisonShip Imaginary Seven-Inch Series vol 19

Scott Walker, Plastic Palace People b/w Black Sheep Boy

Best we let Scott speak for himself. I’ll say only that his recorded output is probably the most singular and expansive work of any ‘pop’ musician since 1960.  Included here are tunes from the younger, easier days, though – before everything changed. I’m posting ’em cuz I felt like hearing ’em today. If you dunno about Walker’s subsequent, literally unprecedented career turn, lemme know.

An only-vaguely-related, Bowie-inspired rant. Being a record collector geek means knowing how Roxy Music easily outdoes him on the art-school front, and how Scott outdoes him on the weirdo Brechtian crooner front. None of this lessens Bowie’s importance for me, but it does point to the fact that he’s more of a great up-the-middle pop/rock guy than any sort of vanguardist. Rather than his experimentation, its’ his genius for cultivating an amazing crowd of co-conspirators (Mick Ronson, Eno, Fripp, Lou, Iggy) and mastering the song form that makes him who he is. Sorry, but I’ll take “Queen Bitch” and “You Shook Me Cold” over anything on Low.

helmet?

more influential (on subsequent bad alterna-rock) than nirvana?

this stuff’s a bit dated, sure… but the band doesn’t deserve to live on only through korn and that other crap. we forget how largely ignored drop-d tuning was prior to them 90s.

the instrumental break in the middle’s cool, too. i’m gonna go home and listen to their pre-Buzz Clip album (on amrep), so as to see if it still stands up.

more dusty rhodes

for some of you, more dusty rhodes footage is a necessary thing. others can simply disregard.

and then there’s Oaxaca

where’s the mainstream US press on this, by the way? crazy to think that as recently as this summer, Wallerstein suggested that the leftward turn in our hemisphere has to  seep into Mexico to truly threaten US hegemony. well, here you have it, kids. note the violent repression at play, and don’t be surprised to hear of the electoral fraud perpetrated upon Mexico with the same goshdarn machines from Florida ‘2000.

one more time

Seriously, people, the most insightful, incisive 60 minutes of talk re: iran, iraq and latin america is available for your listening pleasure right here on Doug Henwood’s radio program. The interview with Ali (New Left Review editor and maybe subject of the Stones’ “Street Fighting Man“) offers a way more nuanced take on the Middle East and U.S. foregin policy than the New York Times could ever muster. It also does a lot to debunk the almost wholly-unsubstantiated “Hugo Chavez as monomaniacal demagogue” discourse currently in circulation. Plus, Ali and Henwood are both funny and enthralling polemicists.

Seriously, consider streaming or downloading this interview the next time you need to clean the house or sharpen your ice skates or whatevers. It is well, well worth it. If you’re somebody who’s not necessarily fascinated by political talk, you might find that listening to smart, cool people’s opinions on such matters is an entirely different experience.

Attention Nick Bishop

‘very impressed by this guerilla marketing/disinformation bit over here; scroll down for some weird, cartographic deconstruction.