|May 14, 2013 | Stuffs
Thanks to everyone who sent a concerned email – I wasn’t at the parade, and nobody I know got shot. For a heartfelt, informed, local-style take on the situation, see here. “ Our open-air culture and its availability to all is the truly distinctive thing about New Orleans. Lose that, and we’re Omaha. Omaha without even a stockyard. “
|April 9, 2013 | Stuffs
If I lived in L.A., I would totally go to this.
|February 19, 2013 | Stuffs
I’m constantly amazed at how un-self-aware travel ads are.
Egypt advertises itself with the music of an Italian – Verdi’s Aida. Which, while being essentially a story of ancient pharaoh-folk, is a bit like Japan advertising itself with the soundtrack from The Mikado. And to the rising arias, there’s film of someone playing golf and galloping on a horse. If you’ve been to Egypt, you’ll know that golf and horses are not the lasting memories. Where is the shot of the tourist with his head in the toilet? Where is the man in a nightie flogging a donkey to death? Where are the charming and ornamental military policemen, the attendant urchins chanting ‘ Manchester United, jingle bells, jingle bells, give me a dollar! ‘ And where is the soundtrack of omnipresent Egyptian pop music, the frantic tinny twank of unrequited love and chicken slaughter?
Last night I saw an ad that looked like a modernist Finland in the sun, with a lot of people dancing around in a ’70s-hippie-California-esque encounter-group sort of way. Then someone played golf, and a girl in a bikini swam, and there was a close-up of an eye with gold makeup. Where were we supposed to be? Where was it that I wanted to be? Not only couldn’t I tell the country, I had no idea which continent I was supposed to be hankering after. It turned out to be somebody’s approximation of Greece. Greece? Where was the cloud of smog? Where was the fat bloke with hairy shoulders in the wife-beater selling bellybutton rings and ouzo bottles in the shape of a penis? Where were the queues of coaches on the terrifying road up the mountain? The plastic menus with pictures of livid puce kebabs? Where was the inexplicable bloody theme tune from Zorba?
Playing beat-the-intro on tourist ads is a great indoor sport. The American one playing here at the moment features the titles for films with states in the title, and invites you to visit the sets. Understandably most people would be attracted to America by what they’ve seen on the big screen, but it’s a hostage to sequels. They don’t, for instance, include Mississippi Burning or Paris, Texas, or even Birth Of A Nation. There are far more movies that would terrify you into never wanting to go anywhere near America. Oklahoma, for instance : aggressive baritone cowboys line-dancing in gingham. What they don’t advertise, of course, is the fact that most aren’t even invited to America. I know for a fact that they don’t make a Spanish version of this commercial.
- AA Gill
|January 11, 2013 | Stuffs
It’s interesting that the quality of certain things, things you’d naturally assume would get better as we jet into the future, has actually declined. For example, you can’t fly as fast as you could in the 1970s, because they had The Concorde then. And if you could go back in time and spy on yourself and your friends listening to music as kids, back when everybody had stereo systems, I think you’d be shocked at how good it sounded. People come over to my house to check out their mixes and test-pressings a lot, because I’m the only person they know who has an actual stereo. Have you talked on a land-line phone recently? It’s a freaky experience.
|January 1, 2013 | Stuffs
Still, I think, my favorite New Orleans movie ever. Watch the whole thing for free here.
|December 16, 2012 | Stuffs
Sonic Youth, Smart Bar, Chicago, 1985. It is so strange to me that this is an album now, because I was at that show. In fact, see below, I’m standing somewhere to the right of the photographer. I’d just graduated from high school. If I could look at a complete list of the interesting gigs I went to 1984-1987, it would probably freak me out.
There was highbrow stuff like this and Einstürzende Neubauten and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and then there were times like at the end of that same year when my friends and I saw Hanoi Rocks at The Metro ( Razzle was killed a couple days later ), and then we went downstairs to the Smart Bar to see Samhain.
You want to hear something really, really weird? The way we found out about the death of Razzle was that RF was coming through my amp at practice, and a DJ on an AM radio station ( WLS, maybe? ) commented on it. Swear to god.
Anyway, Death Valley ’69, y’all, I still like it. Still love the photo of SY on the back cover of the 12″, in the old car, in their hoodies. Young people on tour. Summer disappearers.
Thai cigarette cartons are now mostly covered with horrific cancer photos and giant warnings. If you’ve ever smoked, you’ll know that this won’t deter anyone.
Chiang Mai, Thailand. Young novice monks watching TV with golden buddhas. There were No Photos, Please signs about, so I took out my phone and squeezed one off as I walked past ( I am the Ugly American ). I also saw a monk talking on a cel phone, and another one with a bottle of rice whiskey. There probably aren’t rules against any of these things, but I was surprised.
You make a donation, pick a number, and receive your fortune :
” Be faithful and firm. Watch your step. Support can be obtained from among honest people. Bad omen foreseen. Refill oil to the lamps at this place, and unfavorable situation will be alleviated. Patient recovering. No Child forthcoming as yet. No luck. Legal case defensible. Refill the oil. “
|November 26, 2012 | Stuffs
Farther now. Hey, I’ll let you know what it’s like, if and when.
|November 8, 2012 | Stuffs
|November 3, 2012 | Stuffs
* Capacious – having a lot of space inside : roomy.
* Carapace – the hard upper shell of a turtle or crustacean.
* Catamount – a medium-sized or large wildcat, esp. a cougar.
* Chiasmus – a rhetorical or literary figure in which words, grammatical constructions, or concepts are repeated in reverse order, in the same or modified form, e.g. ‘never let a fool kiss you or a kiss fool you’, ‘I had a teacher who used to say good fiction’s job is to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable’.
* Chilblain – a painful, itching swelling on the skin, typically on the hand or foot, caused by poor circulation in the skin when exposed to cold.
* Chimera – 1. in Greek mythology – a fire-breathing female monster with a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a serpent’s tail. 2. a thing that is hoped or wished for but in fact is illusory or impossible to achieve.
* Chuffed – ( British ) pleased or very pleased.
* Coextensive – having the same limits or boundaries; sharing the same area.
* Cogent – ( of an argument or case ) clear, logical, and convincing. having the power to convince; a cogent argument is believable because of its clear, forceful, or incisive presentation.
* Colloquial – ( of language ) used in ordinary or familiar conversation – not formal or literary.
* Comedy Of Errors – a situation made amusing by bungling and incompetence.
* Comedy Of Manners – a comedy that satirizes behavior in a particular social group, esp. the upper classes.
* Concinnity – the skillful; and harmonious arrangement or fitting together of the different parts of something.
* Concomitant – naturally accompanying or associated / a phenomenon that naturally accompanies or follows something.
* Concordance – 1. noun – an alphabetical list of the words ( esp. the important ones ) present in a text, usually with citations of the passages concerned. 2. formal agreement ( ‘the concordance between the teams’ research results’ ). 3. medicine – the inheritance by two related individuals ( esp. twins ) of the same genetic characteristic, such as susceptibility to a disease.
* Conflation – ( to conflate ) to combine two or more texts, ideas, etc., into one.
* Conterminous – sharing a common boundary; having the same area, context, or meaning.
* Coprophagia – the eating of feces or dung.
* Coruscating – flashing, sparkling, brilliant, striking.
* Coverture – 1. literary – protective or concealing covering. 2. law, historical – the legal status of a married woman, considered to be under her husband’s protection and authority.
* Crepuscular – of, resembling, or relating to twilight.
* Cupidity – greed for money or possessions.
|November 1, 2012 | Stuffs
Getting that thing in the mail and putting it on your turntable for the first time? It’s the best.
|November 1, 2012 | Stuffs
Excerpted from Tell Me What To Do, by Rachel Monroe.
Not everyone has the problem of too much time. Some people are in medical school. Me, I am a freelance writer, which means that every day stretches out in front of me like a wide piece of butcher paper. On bad days, blank is the best word for it; after all, blank is just a neutral version of oblivion, one emotional inflection away from utter despair. The desert, the moon, Antarctica: these aren’t places anyone lingers long, if they can help it. Too often, you end up with a stitched-together creature of a day, the long hours an unmarked landscape in which you’re chased around by a monster of you own making.
These days, I’m not the only one in the coffee shop with a haunted look, a complicated relationship with my watch. But it’s not that we don’t have anything to do. It’s just that absent babies and/or a full-time job, the days feel loose and baggy around us. We work from home, or we moved back in with our parents. We’re on food stamps; we’re part-time at Starbucks for the health care; we’re hiding out in grad school, getting a master’s degree that will actually make us less employable ( experimental theater! ); we’re home for a few weeks before we go out on tour again; we have half a job, or three tenuous quarter jobs; we’re twenty-eight-year-old interns; we’re our more successful friend’s personal assistant.
And we are always on the computer. It used to be that staring intently at a screen meant that you were busy and important, but the person who fills up her own days knows better. For us, the internet is a sneaky marketplace where we exchange perfectly good hours for stupid facts ( did you know Michael Crichton was six foor nine? ) and come away feeling like we’ve made a bad bargain. If you had to conceive of the exact opposite of a harmonious unity, the internet would do nicely.
|October 7, 2012 | Stuffs
In the 90s, you were going to, for the most part, take bad pictures. With your little point n’ shoot, and the color ” Good For Snapshots ” film you’d get at the drugstore or 7-Eleven, and your crappy built-in flash. On a day off, you’d go to a shopping mall, and you’d spend an hour browsing at Sam Goody Or B.Dalton ( whoah, that does take me back ), and you’d pick up a plastic envelope full of prints and negatives. Full of anticipation. And they always looked like shit.
You meant well, and you carried that little camera around and you tried to document what was happening, but all the photos had the same small, flat look. Indoor flash made garbage, but if you turned the flash off, your snaps would turn black. Famous people looked the same as random people on the street, because you couldn’t capture charisma, or aura. ” Here we are at the hotel in Germany “ was identical to ” Denny’s parking lot, Tucumcari NM “. Pretty soon, you just took weird, bad pictures of odd things, or old things which were going, you could just tell, to disappear soon, or things that you found amusing, like vintage silhouettes of guitar players.
The left one is from a sports arena we played in upstate New York. Utica, maybe? Jimi, on the right, was, I think, on the window of a music store. Somewhere.
|August 12, 2012 | Stuffs
” The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is given to the less talented as a consolation prize. “ –Robert Hughes
“ The only important elements in any society are the artistic and the criminal, because they alone, by questioning the society’s values, can force it to change.” –Samuel R. Delany
” Andy Warhol is the only genius I’ve ever known with an IQ of 60. “ –Gore Vidal
|July 9, 2012 | Stuffs
|July 1, 2012 | Stuffs
|June 28, 2012 | Stuffs
DJ Jimi :
” Trick, stop telling that lie
We done hit you from the back for some Popeye’s
You got a three piece white, a small cold drink,
Some red beans, a biscuit and small fries “
Also DJ Jimi :
” Trick, stop talkin’ that it
And buy a juvenile his outfit
I want a shybe Girbaud shirt, Polo socks,
Girbaud shorts and a pair of Reeboks “
DJ Jubilee :
” Trick, stop talkin’ that ish
And buy Jubilee his outfit
I want a white tee shirt, some khaki pants,
Some all stars and some money for the dance “
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