Friday, April 30, 2004

People, if you live in New York, do not take for granted the fact that Theo Parrish has a monthly residency at APT. I saw him play last night…maybe 60 people there, all very into it, all his for the taking. The guy's a genius.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

There's a piece I wrote for the New York Observer about this really great Messiaen marathon last weekend here. (Not sure why there's no byline; let it be known that I'm in fact not George Gurley, though.)

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

You know what would be cool? If J-Kwon didn’t talk about how he could’ve bought a beat for the intro to Hood Hop but didn’t, how instead of buying another beat he picked up some jewelry, rims, etc. It’s hard to do the math for why that fills me with so much rage…but really? Beats? Buying/not-buying beats as a power play in the money game? Is that really what it’s come to? So nakedly? The music? The fucking BEATS? Which are not exactly an incidental element of hip-hop, it goes without saying. What a knob!

Thursday, April 22, 2004

“Wow, great dog! Corgi?”
“What’s its name?”
“Mark Robinson.”
“No, no.”
“He likes Unrest though.”
“You don’t say.”
“I just did.”
“For the ages.”
“Depending on your metric, I guess.”
“I like metrics.”
“I couldn’t live without them.”
“Suppose you could.”
“Is that rhetorical?”
“I’m just saying.”
“…did you hear the one about the corgi and the man on the street?”
“Not in so many words.”
“How many?”
“All but the important ones.”
“How do you feel about adverbs?”
“Best of the bunch.”
“I love you.”
“I love you too.”

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Hockey coverage is so weirdly understated. Tonight the Vancouver Canucks scored a game-tying goal with six seconds left, in game 7 of a playoff series, and the announcers were just kind of like ‘Wow, I can’t believe it’ and little more. Bizarre disconnect between the drama and the way it was all matter-of-factly shot, replayed, then shoved aside for talk of things to watch for in overtime. Seemed like a sport out of time for that reason, or at least one resistant to the overripe melodrama grafted on to so much sports coverage these days. And when is someone gonna make an album of hockey sounds? It’s so mesmerizing on a pure sonic level: slapshots, skate scrapes, board bangs. Very textural and percussive.

Stereolab, for their part, were not in the least bit understated last night. They rocked hard and loud, layered all the careening song-shifts and rhythm fits of the new album with the gristly overdrive of Transient Random Noise Bursts-era chug. They seemed very excited by who they are and where they’re going, which struck me as something very exciting indeed. They played into their burgeoning role as a disco band, going off on an extended version of the super-disco outro to the new album that got beat-matched to whatever they played next. Some of the house thump was aggressively house enough to qualify as would-be rave fodder, though the deep 4/4 grooves weren’t necessarily the core of what they seemed to be after. Made me think how vitalizing it might be if dance music took a hint and messed around with song structure, figured out a way to move more out of its frame.

And is there any working writer weirder than Michael Wolff right now? Just read his first piece for Vanity Fair, about the fight for corporate control of Disney, and had to stop and reread certain sentences to make sure they were as tangled and knotty as they seemed. They were. Somewhere between very bad writing and heroically evocative fractiousness. Graphing those suckers would be a feat. Try it at your next party.

Friday, April 16, 2004

Something’s off when not even Donald O’Connor doing “Make ‘Em Laugh” can make a flat line curl, but surely there’s something around here. Or elsewhere. A little bit in hockey, which I’ve found fun to look at these past few days. And a little bit in memories of Wrigley Field, which I plan to revisit in a few weeks. Maybe in rubbing words together, though that’s been a pain of late. Perhaps in strings, but it’s seeming like I might’ve played most of what I have to play in the tuning I’ve stuck to for like three years now. Spring wouldn’t hurt, that’s for sure. Nor would a lessening of administration. Above my desk in a frame is the most amazing Chris Ware comic clipped from the NY Times Book Review—through five panels, a woman sits at a table, stares at a plant, pulls the plant closer a few inches, and resumes staring. That helps a little. But Spring is the thing, methinks. Six years away and my body’s still tuned to the Georgia seasons, deadness less lingering, calibration less a stretch. I mean, softball starts soon and not a sight of green to be seen. Weather page promises a peach for tomorrow, though, so…

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Instructions for robot-building:

1. Make them strut
2. Names needn’t be mechanical
3. Give them opinions, stop short of a world view
4. Always romance
5. Hide if/when you must
6. Lead them to water
7. Reveal the dangers of debt before it’s too late
8. Address all details
9. Teach them to look fastball and adjust accordingly

Friday, April 02, 2004

Henry could still taste the gum drop on his tongue, but granting it significance would take time. He hadn’t expected to be here still, waiting outside as she tended to matters she wouldn’t reveal. She stepped out, or in, nearly twenty minutes ago, and the moon seemed to have moved. The cars on the street arranged into a kind of coda. Talk of the film had dissipated. People went about their way. Henry stood, still. He tried to remember when they’d met, aware he was just going through the motions. A tune sprang into his head. He hummed it, distractedly. Where was she? What did she think he was thinking? He didn’t know. He kicked a stone, checked his phone. No calls. He thought of the rings he would like to hear. The moon ducked behind a cloud. It was misty. Pigeons looked haunted, high-stepping at night. The city was being a city, on cue. It hadn’t occurred to him then, upon meeting, that he would be here now, straining to remember. The dance they had done was tangled, their steps both anxious and serene. He believed in fate, also in fate’s flirtation with control. The world was his to form, but she squirmed at the first suggestion of touch. The gum drop was cool, its granules stabbing. Still, now, attending? To what? He hadn’t had a gum drop in years, if ever. He thought she was kidding when she asked to put it there. He laughed, in discord with her solemn stare. “It’s just a piece of candy and a bit of flesh, that tongue of yours.” It felt green, lime. A bicyclist passed by, peddling backward, making chain sounds. The clock on a gothic building uptown said 12:29. The airplane overhead didn’t show up on his radar. He noticed he was noticing less. All of it had wrapped up for the night. Two days with no sleep had gotten to him. He couldn’t imagine where she was, or why. Her matters seemed to be of some import, judging by time. It was a city like a city in movies. “Goodie goodie…” Their first conversation was awkward. What is it about birds, especially when they walk? His brother had thought of calling, but got pulled away. It was Saturday night. Her response to his query as to what matters exactly: “Oh c’mon.” A doorman down the block whistled nothing in particular. It was then, here now, that Henry decided.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Having pink eye sucks. So does first suspecting you have pink eye while sitting through Lars von Trier’s abysmal Dogville (equal parts iron- and ham-fisted, a cinematic dream for those in search of the value-added fisting experience).

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