Friday, April 28, 2006

Tonight involved playing a Table Tennis video game in a Bowery loft that Rockstar Games rented out for the express purpose of showing off a new product on extremely nice TVs set in front of no-less-nice couches near tables full of beer and pizza (Domino’s, which isn’t especially common in New York for reasons that needn’t be gone into). I wasn’t very good and don’t take to video games all that much, but the sound-design was impressive indeed. Time to pull out that Safety Scissors Vs. Kit Clayton Ping Pong EP from a few years back. Strange to think how a techno record from 2002 now seems so ancient.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Do you think CNN chief national correspondent John King talks like that all the time? Like telling his friends about a vacation or just gabbing with some old woman in a grocery line? I mean, the guy never trips up while coursing through information prioritized and pared and cross-referenced for pertinence across several layers of inference and innuendo. You can actually hear semi-colons in his speech. Follow his flow and you start to see the kind of outlines you learned in school girding answers to questions he couldn’t possibly have rehearsed. The guy’s a robot of the most lovable and valuable kind.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

I’d never had a professional massage before but after cashing a gift certificate tonight I found myself face down in my underwear under a sheet on a table in Gramercy Park with the sounds of lilting piano and ocean waves crashing quasi-serenely as a woman I don’t know and only barely looked at spent a rigorous hour reminding my body of its status as just that, a body. It was weird and wonderful. I couldn’t help but sharpen every now and then and wonder what particular music was playing or what would happen if I brought a Merzbow CD to request as an alternative. But mostly I was just there, a mess of receptors molded into something more holistic by the end. I can’t recommend this highly enough. You deserve it even if you don’t.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

After a S.H.I.T.T.Y. day that involved lots of staring into space and wondering what, if anything, differed between me and the space I was staring into, I stewed up a few euphoric hours reading Robert Musil’s The Man Without Qualities (I just started this book but already my fingers tremble at simply typing its title) and listening to the excellent new Uusitalo album Tulenkantaja. The only logical next step was to put down the book and crack the new Journey Into Paradise: The Larry Levan Story compilation on Rhino. Last night a Modernist, a Finnish dub fiend, and a DJ saved my life!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Right now my (Russian? definitely Eastern European) neighbors upstairs are hosting a party that involves an unbelievable amount of singing and stomping on the floor, Toby Keith is talking to a Scottish talk-show host on TV, and I’m finishing off a bottle of Primitivo that stayed drinkable under a hand-pumped vacuum seal for longer than I would have thought possible. I’m killing time. Or biding it. By all means the difference is notable, but I’ve been busy trying to think my way out of dualism so I will let that difference lie. You know what’s good when the need for grounding announces itself? Reading Raymond Chandler in the rain. (So too is buying a new baseball, the excited acquisition of which, unlike that of most things of late, exercised precisely zero misgivings about commodity-fetishism.) A beautiful new baseball goes for just $3.99. This is a bargain, people.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Of all the single-malt Islay scotches I’ve become devoted to in recent months my favorite is generally whichever one happens to be in my cabinet. Right now it’s the Bruichladdich “Moine Mhor” Second Edition 3D, which swings with a bit more style and panache than more stately Islay malts from Ardbeg, Laphroaig, and Caol Isla, all of which I’ve taken to cycling through on a rigorous mission of sorts. I’ve long liked whiskey, ever since giving up on beer early in high school (I’ve recently corrected for that, but that’s beside the point). Part of it owes to growing up in the South and attaching a certain sense of romance to bourbon and various treasures from Tennessee. But more of it owes to whiskey being whiskey. For those who might not know, scotch from Islay—an island off the southwest coast of Scotland—is regarded as especially harsh and mysterious, suffused with a brooding sense of darkness and hints of the sea. It’s the kind of stuff that makes tasters trot out notes of “rotting bandages” and “sun-dried brine” (not quoting directly, but I’m sure they’re there to be cited). It’s strange and enigmatic, a taste that demands to be approached on its own terms. Spend enough time with Islay malts and whiskies from elsewhere, in their comparative sweetness and just plain drinkability, seem almost to pander. They’ll go down smooth and sometimes reveal impressive complexity, sure, but rarely give pause and make me just stare into a glass dumbfounded.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

—So what is served by serving no one at the expense of another? Except for everything. That’s so lacking in structure as to be meaningless.

—But so what solace is there in structure then? It’s not like it shouldn’t have to answer for itself.

—It does.

—Tautologically at best.

—Tautology is unfairly maligned.

—But to be resolute is not a virtue.

—It is if you believe in the virtuousness of it.

—But to what end?

—It’s a way of cauterizing the end, however artificial.

—I would say arbitrary.

—Same thing. So what’s the knock?

—What’s the purpose?

—The purpose is in the process.

—I don’t buy it.

—It’s not for sale. It’s shareware.

—Used by whom?

—Those who choose.

—The choice is a fiction.

—So is its negation.

—You think?


—I don’t know.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I just played five tracks and spoke about them for the "Aesthetics Of Pop" podcast series on Stylus Magazine. It's 38 minutes (and no, the first track isn't messed up) and hearable by clicking on the red box here.

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