Tuesday, March 30, 2004

What are the odds that Black Dice's shift from nihilistic art punk to latter-day naturist noise happened after watching Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds with the sound turned way up? It's a very Black Dice movie.

Friday, March 26, 2004

One of those nights when I all want to do is sit around reading Donald Barthelme's 60 Stories from now until the end of time.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

So I more or less liked Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind and haven’t stopped thinking about it since Saturday, but I can’t help but fixate on the movie it isn’t more than the one it is. It’s hard to think of a film more enthralled by its admittedly neat conceit, but very little of it takes a breath and wonders what kind of actual movie to build over top its framework. Charlie Kaufman and Michel Gondry spend so much time priming their conceptual engine (someone just watched American Choppers*—who was it?) that it rarely feels like more than a neat puzzle game. And all the best ideas—the way memories meld and smear, as in the parts where J. Carrey drags his lost love into bizarre childhood episodes—arrive only by virtue of a belabored chase scenario that hews closer to the infamous third act of Adaptation than I bet Kaufman would feel even close to comfortable owning up to. Doing the work to follow his clever story actually made me think Kaufman is wholly consumed by the conventional movie logic he's supposed to be subverting—the slight-of-hand gotcha! twist around Kirsten Dunst's character, the screwball interludes centered on Mark Ruffalo and Elijah Wood, the ham-handedly reiterated ending. He’d be so much better if he’d learn to treat one of his ideas for a movie as an idea for a movie rather than an end unto itself.

* The best show on TV right now, hands down

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Tonight I saw David Byrne and he was funky! Way more rhythmic than his past few albums have been, lots of percussion, great clipped guitar runs, and all the weird wiggle moves I can’t get enough of. (It’s a top-of-mind goal of mine to someday do that s-curve squirm he does in Stop Making Sense…which one is it, “Slippery People?”) He played two Talking Heads songs, too: “This Must Be The Place (Naïve Melody),” with the keyboard riff played on xylophone [let’s all take a moment to consider what it takes to do xylophone geometry with two mallets in each hand…], and “Life During Wartime,” a rousing news-peg encore if there ever was one. He was great, just oozed music from the moment he stepped on stage.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

I’m not so into snow in March but it has made a recent window-cleaning seem more worthwhile than it already did. Take a paper towel, spray on some Windex, and everything looks different and better.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Nothing validates vacant channel-flipping like happening upon Rem Koolhaas on TV, talking. He’s so good at reconstituting bewilderment over architects’ insistence on actually getting shit built into rhetoric that throws up walls and interacts w/ space on realer terms than most buildings I’ve been in. He’s the person on the planet I most want to play records to.

Q: Can the deliciousness of Altoids Apple Sours be overstated?
A: No.

Q: How about the value of double-tipped Sharpie pens, with regular and thin options on either end?
A: Yes, but…

Q: How about being called out for not saying enough when, after what seemed like worthwhile deliberation, using “nondescript” in conversation?
A: Back to no we go.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Though Robitussin is not without its charms, it feels better to be feeling a little better. Spot of the flu has me listening to way more music while stationary than I otherwise would, which is valuable in its way. Even put on some jazz; how long that muse has slept! Alice Coltrane. There’s a plush blue bear leering at me from the corner of my desk, blood dripping off its mouth and claws…it’s Japanese! And a ceramic bottle-top figurine w/ rosy cheeks, a three-horned hat. And a magical expanding rubber seal for which my dad conceived a way to make grow even more than the 600 percent advertised. And a candy with Mexican chiles inside. From the living room the sound of a nice lite-jazz version of Kenny Loggins’ “This Is It” from some George Kuchar video my roommate is watching. Chamomile tea, to soothe. Latest blood orange crop a bit disappointing, it must be said. Cursed OS X.1.3 the worst kind of limbo. Plaid on plaid something to be considered, with caution. And Captain Drumstick, a rubber chicken-leg w/ army helmet, ammo belt, big black boots…an imposing figure not. to. be. fucked. with.

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