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…