acquired taste again

Leaving aside friends and loved ones, I gotta say that having over-developed taste in music is the prime armor I’ve got against stressful times and the wide/deep river of connotations that come with Fall.

Those monthly mixtapes that I sometimes post on the blog? Putting those things together, maintaining ’em, and revising ’em throughout the month is just about the closest thing to “direct action”-ish self-help that I’ve got. In addition, of course, they’re a nerdy glimpse into the mp3 slice of “Lex charts.” So what do I care if you don’t care? I’m just trying to stay alive out here.

I maintain that an obsession with truck racing might pay equal morale-dividends -and I’ll defend to the death your right to be so-obsessed or otherwise-obsessed- but for me it’s record albums that help me help myself orbit my girlfriend, my political longings, my workaday commitments and various other lighthouses. Without those monthly soundtracks (and, it must be said, my righteous headphones), I’d probably be a lot less courageous about, say, going outside, etc.

It’s a goddamned miracle, and I’ve never regretted the time or energy spent loving and overthinking the shite.

Right Quick Horn

My girlfriend is here so I’m largely off-machine, but here’s a few things I thought I’d hip you to while she receives telephone bday wishes:

LISA LISA AND CULT LOEB – Why Bad Men Love Good Loeb – Vice Magazine

Lisa Loeb vs. Lisa Suckdog?!? The stuff of legend.

Dusted Reviews: Mission of Burma – The Sound The Speed The Light

This band is so much better than my band.

Pitchfork: Billy Corgan’s Latest Round of WTF: Doll Wrestling!

Obviously this guy is a fucking disaster, but just as obviously, I don’t seem to be able to avert my gaze. Unlike M. Jackson, I don’t think he’s a danger to anybody else — but, golly, the wrestling fixation….and the dolls?  There’s some actual, sad “lost childhood” shit here, for everybody to see.

The Dull Sound Of Sharp Math: Frank Sinatra- In The Wee Small Hours

This is my fave record review in a while, from a very good blog of otherwise rather out shit. You’d do a lot worse than to check out this album, get past your associations of Sinatra with assholes in hats, and commune with its one-of-a-kind moodiness.

Survey: Now, You Play!

First I go: All these (old time-y hat) bands influenced by Tom Waits are making me hate Tom Waits.

Now You Play: All these bands influenced by ________________ are making me hate _____________.

Prisonship Poll: Who Gets Callbacks from Your Truck Company?


Check out this conversation kighl and I had on twtr. First, I said:

When Jeebus finally gives me my own truck company to run, you’re not going to be hearing Dennis Leary doing voiceovers for ’em.

Then Kighl said:

@lexdexter I imagine Bleachy* would qualify in your list of callbacks.

Think of it! Think of it, and then answer my question: which 2-4 individuals do you think would sail through an audition, earning a callback for voiceover work with YOUR truck company? (If at least 7 people respond, I will share my top 4.)

* Do you really not know about Bleachy, by now? You should be ashamed. Obviously you have not read this weblog (‘blog’) for long?

We Talk about Adoration of the Monstrance Sometimes on le Pship. Here’s an In-Depth, Insider’s View

Jesus Present Before Me: The Beauty of the Eucharist
Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 1:51pm

As a result of a very generous person who reads my blog and has recently shopped in my Amazon Wishlist, I am sitting here tonight sipping on a nice Chilean white wine and reading Jesus Present Before Me: Meditations for Eucharist Adoration, by Father Peter John Cameron, O.P. What an excellent book this is and I am very grateful for the gift.

One of the things that I often reflect on is the beauty of the Eucharist and particularly how we capture the beauty of it when it is celebrated in Mass. Liturgy and ritual has a lot to do with getting a glimpse of this concept of beauty found in Eucharistic celebration that is to take us beyond the appearances and to the Something of love found in beauty. It is for this reason that I would like to see a bit more regaining of the theological/liturgical notion of worshipping in the beauty of holiness. ‘One thing that I ask,’ says the psalmist, ‘to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the Lord’s beauty.’ Father Cameron’s meditation on this point of beauty in the Eucharist is very moving and worthy of the time to type it all.

It is crucial for us that the Eucharist be “beautiful.” Why? Because, as the Catechism teaches, it is the human person’s ‘openness to truth and beauty…his longings for the infinite and for happiness,’ that prompt the human being to question himself about God’s existence.

Our fascination with beauty leads us to God. Beauty makes us believers. The playwright Jean Anouilh commented that beauty is one of the rare things that does not lead to doubt about God.

At the same time, our need for beauty shows us the greatness of ourselves–that we are made for something “more.” For beauty is a kind of sign that refers beyond itself to something else, and we are designed to detect that. As Monsignor Luigi Giussani, founder of the Communion and Liberation, has observed only the relationship “beyond,” with “something more,” makes the adventure of life possible. Our will to penetrate the beyond gives us the energy to seize the here and now. The beautiful is what gives us that will, that energy. In fact, Giussani continues, the only thing that moves us to say yes to something new that comes into our life is beauty. Only beauty has the power to suppress all our preconceptions, our cynicism, our negativity. Beauty draws out our heart, preventing is from decaying into nothingness.

For beauty possesses a winning attraction. What attracts us is something attractive is not the thing itself but the “Something inside something.” That is why, in looking at what seems to be a nondescript wafer of bread, we refuse to stop at “appearances.” We see the Beyond of the Eucharist…and it is pure Beauty. Saint Bonaventure tell us that in Jesus we contemplate beauty and splendor at their source.

The truest beauty, says Pope Benedict XVI, is the love of God–that is the Something within the something of the sacrifice of the Eucharist. The effects of receiving Holy Communion confirm the ability of the Eucharist’s beauty to transfigure our lives. Saint Proclus of Constantinople said that Christ appeared in the world bringing beauty out of disarray, giving it luster and joy.

The Eucharist continues to beautify the disarray of our lives, giving it unimaginable luster and joy. And that is why we rejoice in the words of Pope John Paul II who said that beauty makes one feel the beginning of fulfillment. It seems to whisper to us: “You will not be unhappy; the desire of your heart will be fulfilled.”

Prayer: Lord Jesus, the experience of beauty convinces me that I am loved by Someone who is as great as beauty is irresistible. Let me surrender myself completely to the attraction I find in you.

To hear Catholics balk at Eucharistic adoration as something no longer necessary for the Church is really missing this point about Beauty himself in the Blessed Sacrament. Looking beyond the appearances into the beauty of God’s heart is something irresistible when we see how God’s attraction for us causes him to surrender himself and his love completely for us.

Airiel – Sugar Crystals

Heavy Ulrich Schanuss remixing on this track by Airiel, who otherwise play hyperworthy “shoegaze rock band” rock from their chicago base camp.

Seemed like the appropriate ice vibe for an uneasonably warm Sunday that’s nonetheless capable of being called, among other things, “reasonable,” and, paradoxically, “chilling.”

Neil Halstead Witless or Wise Official Music Video

Great song, great video, both built around simple ideas that are allowed time and space to seek their own level.

That guy on extra guitar is a semi-known ex-footballer friend of Neil’s and genuine badass. Everybody needs to see this stuff live, if they’re given the opportunity: even if it strikes you as dullsville-ish in this recorded context.