If anyone's going to Germany this Christmas, here are some shows you might be interested in:
12.19 -- Munich -- Superpitcher at the Palais
12.26 -- Cologne -- Michael Mayer and Tobias Thomas at Studio 672
12.27 -- Berlin -- Justus Koehncke U. Band live at Metronom
11.27.03 @ 09:18 PM EST [link]
Quick note while I'm in London --
Had lunch w. none other than Woebot yesterday. Supercool dude! I took a photo of him even but I can't post it cuz he wants to stay MYSTERIOUS.
Spent last night drinking with a buncha friends and then came back to my homey G's pad in North London, where we watched some really funny British version of 'Cops' ('Street Crime UK') in which the police lackadaisically go around busting people being drunk and disorderly on the street. No guns or nothin', just people pounding each other into a bloody pulp on the sidewalk after having too much to drink. I found it to be very strange. Then watched Sugababes videos while G-money tried to convince me that Marmite was actually good on toast (it doesn't taste so bad if you're really drunk, I've found.) Aw Sugababes are everywhere here! It's really too bad their recent album is so awful. My favorite is Mutya since she shares my weaknesses for piercings and crazy eye makeup.
The M. Mayer Fabric mix sounds better every time I listen to it -- tops of the year for sure. I wanna see an APT mix as well...if you went to that show (sighs) send me the reports...
I'll be in Paris in about a day or so -- hopefully I'll post something of more substance then. Also check out the new web locale of Matos and update ya linx!
11.27.03 @ 09:42 AM EST [link]
off i go!
Ooh even more jealous that I can't make it to the M. Mayer shindig at APT on Tuesday. Finally got to hear that Fabric mix and it's so nice! I recognized several of the tracks on it from other places (ha fear my trainspottin' abilities) Really loving the awesome sticky stutter of 'Run into Flowers' which I'd never heard before. It's not the most upbeat mix though, is it? I mean I find some of this music to be really pathos-drenched -- some of these guys certainly don't shy away from the minor keys. So much emotion! So cinematic! Germany is like a black and white movie in the wintertime. I can't wait to go back there again.
Ha when I first heard Archigram's epic track 'Carnival' sometime last year, I thought it was a really sad song! A really sad French carnival. With sad clowns.
I'm going to the UK tomorrow, so blog updates for the next week will be less frequent. But expect lots of photos! On my heavily medicated flight over the Atlantic (flying is much easier with Klonopin, I must say) I have the following packed in my bag to listen to (thanks guys!): the aforementioned Fabric mix, 'Superlongevity 3', Tobias Thomas' 'Smallville', that Matthew Dear album...and the Stones. Ha.
11.23.03 @ 08:12 PM EST [link]
My god Penman's back in the 'sphere! He's here!!! Ian Penman we loves ya!
11.23.03 @ 12:32 PM EST [link]
you don't need a weatherman
I went out tonight and got completely drenched in the massive downpour while walking through Union Square. I knew I was too steeped in ILM parlance (been reading for almost 3 years now!) when I mulled over the essential question 'torrential downpours: classic or dud?' and thought 'actually, they're kinda classic' while getting completely soaked to my skin -- then freezing, teeth chattering on my way to the bar, thinking 'hmm okay, maybe dud.' Naturally in typical Geeta fashion I remembered to wear knee-high boots in case of rain but completely forgot an umbrella! My partner in crime and I hit a refreshingly quiet Mona's, and I got all sentimental when 'I'm Set Free' hit the jukebox, like I could see my teenage years flashing by me in one big acid-clouded haze, all melting together in one big ooshy-gooshy mess. Mona's started to get crowded, so we hit the Raven and it was all terrible goth music, but it was so nice and warm and comfortable and had the Ice Cream of Beers(tm) on tap so we stayed. Then 'These Days' came on and I lost my train of thought as I was talking, paused, thought 'hmm you know Joy Division was actually a lot more funky than I give them credit for', then thought 'haha'.
'Sorry, what was I saying again?'
11.20.03 @ 02:08 AM EST [link]
the push is crazy
On the microtip, someone totally needs to mix the chorus of Ellen Allien's 'Push' with Schaeben and Voss' 'The World is Crazy (2)'. If someone could do this for me that'd be awesome, ha.
In other news, who loves the rain? Who cares that it makes plants grow? I do! New York is even more showstoppingly gorgeous than usual when it's grey out.
11.19.03 @ 01:46 PM EST [link]
Jurgen Paape is one of those 'microhouse' producers who really wears his heart on his sleeve. Paul played 'Mit Dir' at my birthday party, a gorgeous wisp of a song that gave me the shivers while I was at the bar getting another drink. As with all microhouse with vocals on top, I spend an inordinate amount of time picking out what the lyrics mean (having taken German lessons for several years in the past), even though vocals are often just overlaid for texture or emotional affect rather than meaning. The vocals, spoken in sing-songy German, are half-obscured here but it sounds like she is saying "from far away there comes music", (oder: von weiter er singt Musik?) but it sort of blends together with what she says next, I can't pick out much except "wuensch" (wish), but anyway, it all melts with her echoing mit dir -- mit dir -- mit dir -- mit dir -- ("with you, with you, with you, with you...") She doesn't have an all-powerful-diva voice at all; she sounds surprised, bemused even.
11.19.03 @ 12:17 PM EST [link]
freedom of choice
Just got this email from a friend:
Woah, just saw an ad for Miller featuring a remix (cover?) of Freedom of
Choice! There's a line of people falling over like dominoes except for this
one guy who has the freedom of choice to drink Miller beer. But does Joe
six-pack know that "freedom FROM choice is what you want"?
Can anyone tell me more about this? I liked the Swiffer commercial with 'Whip It'
(err, I mean 'Swiff It') just fine, but this seems like it's taking irony a bit too far!
11.17.03 @ 09:27 AM EST [link]
I had a wonderful time this weekend -- special shout-outs to Paul and Simon for valiantly holding down the decks at my birthday party despite problems with the bar's system! They deserve some kind of medal for their efforts. And thanks to all y'all for stopping by -- I hope you had as good of a time as I did. I spent all of Sunday with five of my old friends from college who had all come down from Boston the previous night to surprise me on my birthday (!!!!) and it reminded me how much I love seeing New York through someone else's eyes: everything in the city seems new again whenever I have visitors. After drinking mimosas with brunch to soothe our hangovers (never a terribly good idea), we ended up at the Met in the afternoon and spent almost our entire time there in the 'Arms and Armor' wing, looking at old gun designs from the 1800s and samurai stuff. Normally I would've breezed by, but they were so enraptured by the most minute of details that we ended up spending several minutes staring at each object. Things get more interesting close-up.
A nice surprise while leafing through the Sunday Times: an article by Douglas on James Brown's 'Live at the Apollo'.
11.17.03 @ 12:48 AM EST [link]
I love old magazines. I have a pretty sizeable collection of old mags and fanzines from the past couple of decades -- once I finally break down and get the money for a scanner (and a working computer) I'll have to give 'em the quadruple-gatefold full-color stereo-surround TWANBOC treatment. I'm of the firm belief that you learn most when researching anything by paying attention to the back pages -- the classifieds, the advertisements, the capsule reviews. Lately I've been unearthing a bunch of mags mostly dating back to the late 70s/early 80s. Loadsa gear mags, music mags, etc. Here's an awesome classified ad from a 1981 musicians' mag:
SKINNY NECKTIES. 100% polyester with a satin finish. Pink, Pink-Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Sky-Blue, Navy-Blue, Beige, Brown, Dark-Brown, Black,White. Send money order for $4.50 each to: Ties, PO Box ---, Pacoima, CA 91331.
And here's one that made me crack up:
DRUMMER WANTED: Avante [sic] Christian art-rock band seeks percussionist with definite Palmer influence. High-tech kit a must. Presently recording Demo at 24 track facility. Send recent photo, kit description, and cassette (any quality). Angel Wind Productions, PO Box ---, Chicago, IL 60680.
'Angel Wind'! 'Definite Palmer influence'! '24 track facility'! Jesus wept!
Here's a bit from a letter to the editor. The year is 1981:
Not so pleasant, however, was the apparent anti-New Wave bias harbored by some of your writers and readers. Will this stupid denunciation of Punk/New Wave ever cease? While this hatred of the new movement among otherwise intelligent people is unfortunate..."
Rock on dude! Nothin' but agreement here (I was 2 years old when this letter to the editor was written, mind) -- it continues:
Most of the hopeless shlock that plagues and hampers New Wave emanates from this side of the Atlantic, and so it is only natural that most of the New Wave-haters reside in America. What sensible person wouldn't dislike punk poseurs such as Blondie and Pat Benatar and the rest of their ilk?
Ooh girl-hating are we? Women can be punk-rock too you know! Asshole!
On the other hand, it's genuinely difficult to imagine what sad state our beloved rock and roll would have fallen into without the kick-in-the-pants impetus of the best of the new music (in my humble opinion the Pistols, Jam, Clash, XTC and Heads). Anyone who thinks New Wave is a musically constricted fad should simply lend an ear to Sandinista, Sound Affects, or Remain in Light.
I don't recommend that ANYONE lend an ear to Sandinista! What a worthless album it was (a triple album too wasn't it -- very prog!) Sorry Mr Alex circa 1981 I was with you about the kick-in-the-pants impetus...but your baseless Blondie hatred lost me, man!
More engaging tidbits from old mags (and further one-sided dialogues with ancient letters to editors) to come when I get bored enough to type them out!
11.14.03 @ 09:04 AM EST [link]
la la la
I quoted both Thoreau and early Devo (circa 'Freedom of Choice') in my latest psychology book review for Publishers Weekly. I wonder if I'm getting bored with psychology. (I have a short Erase Errata review this week in the Seattle Weekly here, if you're interested in reading. I've been spending my days writing reviews, going to the library, researching ancient synthesizer gear, and working on PhD applications. I've been spending my nights going out. It's not a bad life. Not bad at all. Some live reviews coming soon.
11.14.03 @ 07:27 AM EST [link]
transient random announcements
Ok! two things!
a) if you're pals with me and haven't gotten the notice yet about my birthday shindig in NYC on saturday, please let me know and i'll send you the details!
b) i'm going to be in London in two weeks -- just for a few days. if you're in town drop me a line! the email link is on your right.
11.12.03 @ 03:44 PM EST [link]
My iBook died yesterday and is in the shop now. There's nothing more frightening to someone on deadline (two reviews due tomorrow!!) than having your only computer go kaput. It appears my screen is broken, which will be a few hundred dollars to fix. Anyway, the gist of this tragic story is that there might not be blog updates for a few days while I somehow magically come up with the money to fix it. (I'll still be accessible via email, but I'll only be able to check once a day.)
On the positive side of things, I checked out Metal Urbain and Rah Brahs last night at Tonic -- fearsome! I take back all those jokes about the French. Well, most of 'em. Un deux trois let's go!
11.09.03 @ 01:22 PM EST [link]
we want more pill box!!
I am sad that Ian Penman's blog seems to have gone on hiatus for the time being. But I can forgive him for that because the new Wire has loads of stuff by him, and it's all dead-on and funny (gasp! funny!) -- particularly his kick-ass-and-take-names (re)charge of the 'Outer Limits' review page. On 'Jean Baudrillard & The Chance Band' (Jesus wept!) he writes: ""French PoMo theorist Jean Baudrillard's speaking voice is tryingly queasy, like Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau as a humourless PoMo zombie; more, he sounds ever so slightly bemused -- as if he's only just realised how clunky and teenage Gothic some of his latterday prose sounds in English...This CD should probably have been disseminated as a rumour, rather than actual object: Baudrillard in a gold lamé suit in the middle of his beloved American desert in a tacky casino (his "American universe of greed and emptiness"), reading out p(r)ose extracts over a pick-up avant garde rodeo band, including artist Mike Kelley. To listen to, however, it sucks the Beeg Wan." Love him!
11.07.03 @ 09:06 AM EST [link]
After listening to all the ringtones on dizzeerascal.co.uk, I've come to the conclusion that the reason why they fall so flat for me (and aren't even very satisfying as ringtones) are cuz they're not microtonal. Dig the "I" in "I luv u" -- it's not a discrete tone; it's the sound of the space between notes. Though the cheesy midi factor of ringtones is what makes them so loveable, it doesn't work here, because the hook itself (unlike a lot of pop/hiphop hooks) is in itself microtonal, so you can barely detect the hook at all in the ringtone.
Eventually I will find a novelty ringtone that meets my approval.
11.06.03 @ 08:35 AM EST [link]
has a wasp synthesizer
While trawling for information on Wasp synthesizers, I came across these alternate lyrics for Mere Pseud Mag Ed. in a live recording:
Has a sneer which was weird
Some time ago
Heard Kraftwerk in '81
Has a WASP synthesizer
A real male, make-up as well
Didn't get far
In computer teaching job
His dream girl sings adverts for Renoir perfume...
I kinda like the 'his dream girl sings adverts for Weetabix' of the original better, cuz that part always makes me laugh. (Speaking of cereals, 'Bananabix' = TORTURE. I mean Weetabix are gross too, they're like cakes of sawdust, but Bananabix are like twenty times worse. I bought Bananabix on a whim at the store the other day and it's like the artificial banana flavor from a Now-or-Later candy baked into every unsuspecting Weetabix.)
A modified Wasp synth was later built into the keytar we all know and love (upcoming Original Soundtrack special on the cultural significance of keytars urgent + key!!)
11.06.03 @ 08:07 AM EST [link]
Hey if you're in NYC and wanna hang out, this is my show-going schedule for November:
Nov 6: Pantytec (Perlon) + Phil Sherburne (who needs no introduction) at Filter 14
Nov 7: Sightings + Metal Urbain at Mighty Robot
Nov 12: T Raumschmiere + Ellen Allien + Apparat at the Knitting Factory
Nov 15: my birthday extravaganza (email for details)
Nov 25: Michael Mayer + Reinhard Voigt at APT
11.05.03 @ 07:46 PM EST [link]
Nathalie has switched over from Phenotext to Punktum -- awesome name! Which reminds me -- I haven't touched any Barthes since college and I should try again (haha). Hurrah for the female music-blogger er, massive!! (it'll be massive eventually, just you wait, boys)
11.03.03 @ 07:38 AM EST [link]
dance dance dance to the cooking show
Proof that the post-punk revival of the past few years knew no bounds: The Post-Punk Kitchen, a new cooking show on Brooklyn community access television. The tentative title for the first show is 'Sushi and Cupcakes'. Check it out Nov 10.
11.02.03 @ 01:20 AM EST [link]
lost in lameness
Finally saw 'Lost in Translation' last night -- whatta waste of time! Self-involved, irritating and worst of all boring! Nice soundtrack though. Gotta go w. what Gygax said on ILX -- 'edit it down to 10 minutes and you've got a great video for 'Just Like Honey' (extended 12" remix)'. (Speaking of which, playing 'Just Like Honey' at the end + wide-angle shots of city streets = easiest, cheapest form of emotional prodding ever! Come on, at least try to do something creative and/or interesting!) I felt the same way when the My Bloody Valentine song 'Sometimes' came up during footage of bridges &c. -- at least do the beauty of the song justice! You can make anything feel 'deep' by soundtracking it to a good song!
Even from a cinematography/photography angle I don't think that the scenes of Shibuya were all that great -- so tentative and wobbly, not nearly as expansive or heartbreakingly grand as I would have liked, nothing to bring that dislocation/disconnection/isolation home like say Wenders circa 'Wings of Desire'. I felt zero empathy for the characters, too -- Murray on autopilot in typical sad-clown-mode, Johanssen wooden, simpering, one-dimensional. Plus was it really necessary to derive the only humor from the film at the expense of making fun of Japanese customs/mannerisms? The complete failure to engage with Tokyo on any genuine level made the characters seem to drift against a cardboard background that could have been ANY foreign city -- ok some might use that as an argt for the film's 'universality' but instead it makes all the sentiment fall horribly flat. All I can say is I'm glad someone else paid for me to see this one.
11.01.03 @ 08:45 PM EST [link]