Everyone who has an interest in the strange,the unknown, outer space, time travel, weird chicks, or high-concept art should like Bjork. If you don’t like any of those things, just pretend to and people will think you are cooler than you really are. If you aren’t sure if you like any of those things and want to at least attempt to be cool through merit, give Bjork a try. Her new album is called Biophilia, which means love of life or living systems. That’s sooooooooo deep. I like, totally love living systems man. They are so…alive and stuff. Also interesting to note, this album will be released as a series of apps for the iPad. For instance, the song “Virus” you watch as cells are being destroyed by a virus. You can try and help save the cells by touching the screen or something, and you can defend against the virus. The problem with that is the song will stop when the virus has been defensed, and will only begin playing again as the player relinquishes his defense of the cells. Whole Lee Shit that is deep. Now all I need is $500 and an iPad.
You know what else I love. The work of Michel Gondry. He kind of has a thing where he and Bjork make amazing videos together (Those of you who grew up in the 90’s will remember the video for “Human Behavior”. It was the one where Bjork is prancing around in the woods with a creepy hipster hunter chasing pedobear around the woods, and Bjork falls out of a tree and almost gets hit by pedobear who can drive a car. Yeah, that one). The first video from the forthcoming Biophilia is “Crystalline”. Michel Gondry has once again created something strangely familiar, yet strangely unique. I think the imaginary readership might like this. I hope that someone sends me an iPad for free so that I can get the Biophilia app and be cool. In the mean time, I think I will watch “Crystalline” again.
And just because I’m nice and so that none of you have to go searching for “Human Behavior” here it is.
And for those of you who want more Michel Gondry videos:
Normally, I do not try to influence the social activities of the imaginary readership. Sometimes I like to try and give your raft a little pull closer to my raft as we gently glide down the “Lazy River” together. However something important is happening and I want to raise the awareness of the imaginary readership of this important happening.
The Hill City Roots Festival is being held in Concord, Va on September 17-18. Some of my friends are putting it together and asked me to share my thoughts on the festival, and also some of my friends are performing at the festival and would love to reach new audiences.
As far as I am concerned, I think the festival will be a rousing triumph of positive experiences and two days of incredible music. Oh and beer.
Tickets to The Hill (World’s) City (Greatest) Roots (Music) Festival (Festival) can be purchased for $20 at www.hillcityroots.com this is an incredibly inexpensive price to pay for the multitude of original bands. Also did I mention that you can bring your camping gear and camp out Saturday night between the musical awesomeness? Well, you can. Also did I mention that there will be delicious food for sale from Mangia? Well, there is. Also did I mention that I will be there staring awkwardly at your girlfriend (if she is hot)? Well, I will be.
This is something that I am very excited about, not only because I get to see a bunch of my friends who will be in town playing the festival, but also because nothing like this ever happens in the area in which I reside. I want to do whatever I can to support it, and to encourage all of you to do the same. This is not a bunch of 58 year old dudes playing Allman Brothers covers for three hours. These are legitimately talented people who take the time to write their own music and are trying to make a living playing music, and will share it with you, and probably hang out with you afterwards if you will choose to pay $20 and support them.
“Well I haven’t heard of any of these bands!” you say. Well, lets familiarize ourselves with them, shall we?
Adam Faucett (http://www.adamfaucett.com/) is a cool effing dude from Arkansas who happens to stop by the pizza shop a few times a year. His music will jolt your concept of life. If you don’t believe me watch this:
or this one I shot myself last month:
Speaking of Arkansas, my dear friend (and boy) Blake Reams will also be travelling up from down that way to play for those lucky enough to be in attendance. He is the official spokesperson for Camel Filters and promises to eventually have an album ready for purchase. In the mean time, we have this:
Speaking of crazy, The Hawk & The Rumor, led by John Hawkins will also be something everyone should experience. Just imagine if Bruce Springsteen ate mushrooms and went to black church. Also there should be lots of people playing random junk (literally), lots of foot-stomping, and metal chain tossing. You could, in fact, see God. Or you might freak out and run away into the dark forest of Concord, Va never to be heard or seen from again. You will stumble upon a creek and fortify your new existence in the wilderness, living off the land and befriending the local white-tailed deer population until one day you remember where you parked your car, shave off your beard and return to society a new man (or chick (who can apparently grow a beard))). You can learn more about them here: http://www.facebook.com/thehawkandtherumor
Buy your tickets today as space is running out. Please help to make sure that this is a successful experience. Purchase tickets now www.hillcityroots.com. All the info you need is on their site, like how to get there and whatnot. Don’t be left out. If anyone has any questions you can ask me and I will make something up. If you aren’t sure what to wear wear something flannel if you are a dude and low-cut if you are a girl. I hope to see you all there.
I would like to start by apologizing for taking a month off from the blog. I had to kind of figure out this whole thirties thing before I could go on unlocking the universe for the imaginary readership. I have decided to not listen to Ryan Adams for a while. Just to kind of see if constantly listening to depressing things could be contributing to the (seemingly) constant level of depression I was experiencing. I have instantly started to listen to The Smiths even more than usual, but that seemed counter-productive as well. I plan on letting Ryan Adams begin playing around the apartment the day that the new album comes out. On to the future.
When I was a child the Ghostbusters franchise was very popular. I saw the movie at an age that my parents were still married so this makes me think that it was 1985 or 86. I cried hysterically when they kill the Stay Puft Marshmallow man, because I thought he was cute, and since the character was clearly clumsy and thus undeserving of his fate, despite the clear threat to the structures of then-modern day New York City. The reasoning behind this cruel and upsetting ending was explained to me by my parents. The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man was not a good guy, he was a bad guy and thus needed to be destroyed. I hated this reality. Also the whole damn place is covered in marshmallow, something that I did not like. I should point out that I also used to cry whenever people got pies in the face on Bozo (not every time, but most of the time) and also when Cookie Monster chased my mom up the aisle at Sesame Street Live around the same time period. Fucking Cookie Monster. I don’t like food fights in movies. I don’t like unexpected interactions with foreign objects, especially the kind involving food (it is funny when people get hit by kickballs or other non life-threatening objects though, especially if it involves people I don’t really like).
I never saw the Ghostbusters movie again. I did see the second one a few random times. I would actually like to see the first one again. It just never seems to be on television. They had a cartoon in the 80’s that was pretty good. I happen to remember a few specific episodes. Slimer was kind of a good guy in the cartoon. The dude that played Bill Murray’s character did a relatively distracting vocal rendition of Murray, which almost ruined my enjoyment of the series, but eventually, I grew used to his inefficiencies and was able to enjoy the show. It is from this cartoon, based on the movies, based on who knows what that my entire concept and outlook on the calendar year were formed. You see I had a Ghostbusters calendar.
This Ghostbusters calendar was not unlike many other calendars that were a part of my life’s experiences in that each month had a different theme and it was based on a broad generalization of the months and the implied weather patterns of the specific month. Where this calendar differed was its arrangement or grouping of the months. I assume that most people look at the calendar and think of 12 months, have the year separated into quarters and halves and that is it. When I think of the year I literally go back to the physical layout of my Ghostbusters calendar and have divided the year into thirds. The first third of the year is Jan/Feb/Mar/April. The cool part of the year is May/June/July/Aug. Then the school months of Sep/Oct/Nov/Dec. I don’t specifically remember each individual month and what the picture was. I do remember Dr. Venkman was April and had an umbrella to shelter himself from the obvious never-ending supply of rain that happens the whole month of April that the creators of the Ghostbusters calendar would have you to believe. Perhaps they were from Seattle and this were actually true. It isn’t true in Michigan or Virginia.
Perhaps there are others out there who had the Ghostbusters calendar who are at a similar disposition. Perhaps I am smarter than everyone else. Perhaps I am at a severe disadvantage. Perhaps this explains why I sometimes have a hard time understanding the world that I live in or conforming to the implied rules of our society. Perhaps this calendar has been shaping the way that I handle time for the last twenty five years. I do not always make the best use of my time (see my entire twenties). I like to work hard, but only after lunch. I like the middle third of the year, but neglect to enjoy the months of April and September as much as I should because they have the distinction of being a part of “the winter months” which are a little bit less dramatic in Virginia as opposed to my Michigan childhood. Do other people feel the year slipping away more, because their more frequent (quarterly) evaluation of the calendar year makes them more aware? Am I just some weird out-of-touch dude who goes through life with such a loose leash on life? Can I go back and sue the people that created the Ghostbusters calendar that has minimized my life’s experiences by ruining my whole concept of the evolution of time? Or should I track them down and thank them for setting me free?
I don’t have the answers. I did just finish a book. It was my first ebook and I read it on my iPhone. It was a Dave Eggers book titled “You Shall Know Our Velocity”. It has nothing to do with Ghostbusters. It’s just that I liked it. It was depressing. I like the ebook format, for many reasons. One of these reasons is I feel like I enjoy the book more not truly knowing how much more I have to read. The book has a gauge that tells you how many dots you are in relation to where you started and where the book ends, this may seem like I know where I am at in the book. This is mostly true. However, I am free from physically feeling the weight of the pages shift from the unread to the read side of my book. I also don’t know what the hell 1457 pages left means because it isn’t really pages I am reading, it is like page fragments. This means that i enjoy the book more because I don’t really comprehend how much I have left to read. I can let the story draw me in and not get to the usual 100 page mark of a book before it becomes a permanent fixture of the landscape of my nightstand. I feel like now that I am in my thirties now, I need to read more. I also need to figure out if I am better dividing the year into thirds fourths or halves. I also need to explain that all of this came about because of my dad.
I was visiting him in Michigan a few years ago. In his bedroom on the closet door was a circle that had been divided into twelfths. Next to each division was a month of the year. There was seemingly no complex ideas being shared. I asked him about the graphic and it’s meaning. He explained that because June is the sixth month and there are twelve months in a year, that he had always assumed June first or 6/1 meant the year was half over. This obviously is not the case, and the year is not half over until the end of June. My dad had falsely believed the year to be half over an entire month too early. The purpose of the graphic hanging on the inside of his door is to help reprogram his concept of the calendar year, something he had been miscalculating for 50 years.
It was this conversation that led me to try and trace back my own concept of the calendar year and how it was formed. I knew instantly that it was the Ghostbusters calendar. I had always known. I just never stopped to examine why I thought that way. I had no concept of whether half of the year was over or left, because I divide the year into thirds. I knew the year was half over when I go to the visual image in my mind of the calendar (the Ghostbusters inspired one) and cut the cool months in half. It isn’t because I have ever thought to question why I know this. Just that it has to be half way through on June 30th because it made logical visual sense on the imaginary Ghostbusters calendar in my mind.
So today starts the last third of the year. I am indifferent to this. It means the cool part is pretty much over. September first is always kind of the point in the year that it hits me that whatever year it is is almost gone. It seems like it’s New Years Day (in which nothing changes) then Valentine’s Day (aka I Want to chase Drain-O shots with cyanide Day) then St. Patrick’s Day then Summer then September. It used to mean the start of school. I would take the trash at my parents house out on the afternoon/evening of the first Tuesday after Labor Day (which is always such a bummer holiday, not I want to chase Drain-O bummer, but close) and think to myself “Got Damn it’s already fucking September. Where does the time go? I hate taking out the trash. I hate school. I hate getting up in the morning for school. I hate the asshole rednecks that I go to school with. I hate the cross-country team too. Fuck running. I wish I was old enough to buy beer. September. God. I do love the endless blue skies that come with September. Too bad I’ll be sitting in fucking class all day and won’t be able to enjoy it. At least Michigan won. Fuck Notre Dame. September man. Weird.”
So in honor of September, the beginning of the end of my concept of the year, the start of a new (and sure to be disappointing) football season, and in honor of the completion of my first ebook, I would like to share with you some of my favorite quotes from the book. The coolest part of ebook reading is the ability to bookmark, highlight, and define words or groups of words for future enjoyment/sharing with the people who read your blog.
I will share them in chronological order and without personal reflection. Enjoy the rest of your year.
“We buried this shame in the drawer next to all the inequities, and ate.”
“”I’m losing my fucking mind. Use contractions, goddammit. You sound like an alien.”
“We were all world travelers who defied God and moved and beat time in planes and rented cars.”
“Fuck regular “movement”. Fuck cars, rental cars, and wheels, and engineering, and great metal machines that were always too loud and used that ridiculous kind of fuel, so goddamned medieval-“
“He liked, most of all, Wu-Tang clan, but we didn’t have any Wu-Tang Clan. We had Dolly Parton.”
“As we walked under the infrequent streetlights we had two and three shadows, as one light cast our shadow up and the other down, sometimes overlapping. The lights didn’t know what they were doing. The lights knew nothing.”
“I was a looker- someone who looked over at every car at every traffic light, hoping that something would happen, and almost never finding anyone looking back - always everyone looking forward, and every time I felt stupid. Why should people look over at you? Why would they care?”
“I would want to dance. I would be too sober, and would be watching the purses. I would sink into the booth, grinning for them, soul scraping me from inside.”
Everyone go buy this book and read it. I promise it’s less depressing than A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius .
So I’m 30. It feels…….a lot like 29. I have decided not to complete the “Further Down the Twilight (Not That “Twilight”) series for two reasons. One reason being I am no longer interested in sitting around thinking about my twenties, and the other reason being I feel that now that I am in my 30’s I shouldn’t be such a Mesus. I also took the bottle opener off of my key chain because someone said you can’t have those either.
Instead I will share a quote with you I had planned to end FDtT(NT”T”) with and a trippy music video by the band The Horrors. It is (as of today) my favorite song of today. (However it is only 4:00 and this could change) I hope that you all take the time to watch the video because it is a lot like magic. Which we all know I love.
“Successful in most things but not in the one effort that all men try at some time in their lives - trying to go home again. And also like all men perhaps there’ll be an occasion—maybe a summer night sometime—when he’ll look up from what he is doing and listen to the distant music of a calliope*, and hear voices and the laughter of the people and the places of his past. And perhaps across his mind there’ll flit a little errant wish, that a man might not have to become old, never outgrow the parks and the merry-go-rounds of his youth. And he’ll smile then too because he’ll know it is just an errant wish, some wisp of a memory not too important really, some laughing ghosts that cross a man’s mind.”- Rod Sterling from the Twilight Zone episode “Walking Distance”
I thought that was a) a badass ending for an episode of The Twilight Zone, b) fitting for me to recently watch, c) one of the longest (which upon further review I confirmed) endings of a Twilight zone episode, and d) a good way to tie up the post I am never going to write while at the same point departing with my twenties and moving on. So I moved on.
Batman has always been my favorite fictional character. This is due partly because he has the coolest costume ever and mostly because he is the coolest ever. This is not debatable. Other nerds are just wrong.
Since childhood I have always felt that I somehow possessed some of Batman’s greater qualities. This was completely insane of me and inaccurate. I am almost the complete opposite of Batman. I do share some qualities with Bruce Wayne (handsome, perpetually single, up late every night, black car) but there are many more qualities that I don’t share (incredible wealth, superior detective skills, good business sense, a butler).
I often would engage in activities that I thought Batman must practice. One of these skills in particular I noticed I still practice, which inspired the realization that a) I am nothing like Batman and b) There is a reason I am single.
I was at a local drinking establishment the other night and noticed that I entered the bathroom and peed in the urinal without making a sound. I was intentionally trying to not make a sound for multiple reasons a)the sound of peeing is gross, b) the dude next to me was peeing very loudly, c) making others aware of your presence in urinal situations may induce the unwanted and untimely exchange of pleasantries with random strangers, and d) because for many years I have occasionally tried to maintain total silence in my movement and actions. This I assume is something I started in an attempt to be more like Batman.
*(Ed Note: There are some very disturbing images that pop up when you image search “urinals”. I do not recommend it)
Batman uses the element of fear and his ability to move rapidly yet quietly to his advantage in numerous situations. I use social fear and an ability to urinate rapidly yet quietly to my advantage in one situation. The bathroom at a bar.
That is the only Batmanesque skill I have ever developed in 20+ years of (somewhat) trying to be more like Batman. I have no fighting abilities. I have no gadgetry (unless my iPhone counts, which I am pretty sure it should). I have no unquenchable thirst for justice that can only be tamed by dressing up in a costume and fighting criminals in my city. I don’t have a Batcave either, but I do keep the lights very low and/or off most of the time. I have a computer, but it is not the Batcomputer. Its just a laptop.
*(Ed. Note; This never happens at my apartment)
I would be a really terrible Batman anyway. I am too passive. I don’t like to hurt people. If people tried to kill me or punch me or whatever I would just shoot them and claim self-defense and let the courts figure it out. I would probably make a better butler.
*(Ed Note; Kids this is Mr. Belvedere. He is a fictional butler from an 80’s sitcom.)
I should also point out that I am terrified of bats, and that part in Batman Begins when adult age Bruce Wayne has the moment where the gillion bats fly all around him would look nothing like that if the same were to happen to me. I would pee my pants (rapidly and silently of course) and die of a heart attack soon thereafter. If I did somehow live, the years of therapy required to deal with that experience would be far too expensive and time-consuming for me to ever endure. Also I would never, ever go back in a cave.
For those of you who thought I was Batman, I apologize (because you clearly must be imaginary). For those of you that suspected otherwise, kudos to you (and your basic intellect).
Thank God those ass-hat Republicans didn’t cut funding to NPR because us cool kids can now enjoy a live recording of P J Harvey, recorded in San Francisco. The show is almost as amazing as her new album. In fact, it might be exactly as awesome. Just follow the link to spend the next two houres with Miss Polly Jean.
I should point out that she looks like a less attractive version of the only true ex-girlfriend I hopefully will ever have. Her name was Kristin and she is happily married and has a beautiful kid and I am happy for her, but I am also happy that I was able to share P.J. Harvey with her in the time I had.
I never got to share the 90’s P.J. Harvey with her, and hopefully, she can discover it on her own (although I doubt she has time, or even thinks about, or even cares to know what she is missing). I will fill everyone in based on the experience I had in discovering P.J. Harvey and will hopefully be able to encourage you to love her too (P.J. Harvey, not my ex-girlfriend).
I started loving P.J. Harvey earlier than her 1998 album Is This Desire? but it was the opening track of that album “Angeline” that hit me hard. I have no idea why I was ever exposed to it. It was never released as a single, and I wish I could tell you I was cool enough to have ever owned the album, but I will have to guess that I read about it in Rolling Stone when it came out and probably Napstered (is that a word? ((It should be))) it. Regardless, it reminded me of a lot of girls I knew at the time. I was too young to realize how many girls this song would eventually remind me of. Is This Desire was kind of P.J. Harvey’s first really mellow album. This song is clearly kind of mellow, but still powerful and depressing (which instantly qualifies it as a classic in my mind).
My first name Angelene Prettiest mess you’ve ever seen Love for money is my sin Any man calls I’ll let him in
Rose is my colour and white Pretty mouth, and green my eyes
I see men come and go But there’ll be one who will collect my soul And come to me
Two thousand miles away He walks upon the coast Two thousand miles away It lays open like a road
Dear God, life ain’t kind People gettin born then dying But I’ve heard there’s joy untold Lays open like a road in front of me
Two thousand miles away He walks upon the coast Two thousand miles away Lays open like a road
It seems so far away I see men come and go Two thousand miles until I reach that open road
My first name’s angelene
P.J. Harvey released Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea to much critical acclaim in October of 2000. I was in my second year of college and this record was one of the few from that period of time that still seems new in my mind. It was by far her most decorated album, netting two Grammys and the coveted Mercury Prize (which she accepted via telephone on September 11, 2001 after watching the terrorist attacks at the Pentagon in person from her Washington D.C. hotel room. This album was eagerly anticipated by me in the first place because Thom Yorke from Radiohead made guest appearances on the album. The album rocked even on the songs that Yorke did not sing and was an intentional progresion away from Is This Desire (meaning more guitars and easier to listen to).
In 2004 I was dating Kristin and I assume I bought her Uh-Huh Her as a present. She loved it. I also bought her B-Sides which followed Uh-Huh Her in relatively quick fashion. I am a nice boyfriend and let her actually keep the cd’s in her possession and never really got the chance to listen to them. When we broke up (or as I like to refer to as “the divorce” ((because it sure as hell felt like one))) I naturally let her keep them. I have never been emotionally stable enough until the last few years to even think about exploring the relatively uncharted albums of Mrs. Harvey, it’s just that I have so much music to digest (and perhaps, I am still not emotionally capable).
Anyway, White Chalk came out in 2007 and the song “When Under Ether” is really all I have ever heard from this album. This is due in large part to my Ryan Adams obsession that isolated my musical tastes during this period of time, as well as my infatuation with another woman. At least I still have music. I like anything to do with Ether. I do not even know what ether really is other than the fact that Curious George should not open the vial of it, and that Courtney Love proclaimed “I’d eat ether,” in the song “Miss World” from their landmark (in my world) 1994 album Live Through This.
In March of 2009, A Woman A Man Walked By, was released as a P.J. Harvey and John Parish album. It has a 1996 predecessor Dance Hall At Louse Point, but I have never explored its potential brilliance. This renewed my appreciation of P. J. Harvey and the first single, “Black Hearted Love” is still a regularly played song in my musical journey to nowhere. The album was written by John Parish, who has been a long time contributor to most of Harvey’s work. She sings all the songs, which makes it good. ”Black Hearted Love” has some pretty wicked lyrics, most notably,
When you call out my name in rapture I volunteer my soul for murder I wish this moment here forever
I’d like to take you; I’d like to take you to a place I know My black hearted ;
Which brings us to the present. Let England Shake is the best album that has been released this year. All apologies to Radiohead and The King of Limbs (which I have already ordered the “Newspaper” edition vinyl blah blah blah with literally 621 small pieces of art (or some shit)for $53. Let England Shake was streaming on NPR for about a week and I probably listened to it 20 times before I bought it last Tuesday, the day it was released to the US. It is enchanting. It is magical. It is way better than anything my beloved Ryan Adams has released in years. It has renewed my interest in all of her unexplored earlier work and even the semi-explored but-I’m-still-afraid-of-emotionally stuff. Just see for yourself.
That video is a direct reflection of my existence. (ok, not the puppet part ((by the way the girl puppet is totally dressed like the Bernstein Bears mom))) I’m kind of like an empty carnival. All I need is one really mind-altering girl to get on the empty merri-go-round……………..Not really. This part is made up, but what a cool video. She is so hot.
But wait, there’s more.
Anyway, I hope you actually watched at least 4 of the videos. Please go out and purchase Let England Shake. Also Kristin, if you do ever read this, I realize that you do not see any resemblance between yourself and P.J. Harvey, but whatever. I have my own little world, and I do not mean to offend you in any way. But I mean come on…..