Wednesday, December 31, 2003

I had never seen a snow-tipped evergreen before. Or a ridden a T-bar up a mountain white and instructive on its glacial face. Or gotten a massage at a bar in ski clothes. Or seen at least three hockey games in any setting that bothered with TVs. Or gathered what it might feel like to spring and float on powder snow. Or been so concentrated and diffuse through every painstaking move. Or leaned back in a hot tub to let flakes fall on my face. Or found assistance in knee-brace shopping from a drugstore stock girl who knew instinctively how and where it hurt. Or taken a 15-minute run down a bed of pillowy bumps while seeing precisely zero other people. Or known what’s the deal with Gore-Tex. Or focused so rigorously on light not in Tuscany.

So, back from ski vacation in Canada and trying to acclimate to a life full of piles of things, blinking screens, errands, and so on. Blah.

And tonight I saw Errol Morris’ The Fog Of War, a film that scrapes the bottom of the interesting bar just enough times to reveal how bizarrely, disturbingly empty it is as an exposé of any sort.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Just back from seeing Mark Kozelek play a magisterial solo set at Fez, where he commanded a crowd for 2.5 hours as powerfully as, um, well, hmm ... Jeff Mangum's the only name I can summon from firsthand experience. Red House Painters have always been pretty much my favorite "band" at the end of the day, to the degree that I'm a circumspect source. But there's a lot to be said for the sense of community such bands create--where a couple hundred fans show up without fail, all with their own "if only" requests, and leave under the spell cast upon lifers and lifers only.

Here's the Top 10 I'm filing for The Onion:

1. Basement Jaxx, Kish Kash (Astralwerks)
2. Matthew Dear, Leave Luck To Heaven (Spectral/Ghostly International)
3. Ricardo Villalobos, In The Mix: Taka Taka (Cocoon)
4. Various Artists, Schaffelfieber 2 (Kompakt)
5. Bubba Sparxxx, Deliverance (Beatclub/Interscope)
6. The Fiery Furnaces, Gallowsbird’s Bark (Rough Trade)
7. The Rapture, Echoes (Strummer/Universal)
8. Michael Mayer, Fabric 13 (Fabric)
9. Dizzee Rascal, Boy In Da Corner (XL)
10. El Guapo, Fake French (Dischord)

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

T-minus 25 hours until Matthew Dear plays live at Filter 14 for "Micromini," a monthly that rocked me ruthlessly hard last time. Tick ... tick ... tch/chti>kuhkkk ... ... ...

After tomorrow's is filed and book-review duties take a rare break, I have every intention of soaking into Proust's Swann's Way, the new Lydia Davis translation of which I've been keeping bedside as a lure to pull me through pre-vacation's last days. I'm very excited about this.

And so why, again, does Lou Dobbs have a job doing what it is that he does?

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