I was just expressing my appreciation for the Jesus and Mary Chain and how refreshing I found their albums, coming in the dark days of radio hair metal during the mid to late 80’s. I recently heard some of those songs for the first time in a while and was struck all over again how good they are. Much like the Sonic Youth of the same time period, they made noise accessible and enjoyable. Via WREK I heard a lot of the unadulterated stuff back then and mostly couldn’t take it. When it was married up with just enough pop sensibility ala “Just Like Honey” I was all over it. I only saw them one time in the 90’s with Mazzy Star opening up and it was a good enough show but those albums are really where they were at.

I have a highly uncommercial band concept – a Jesus and Mary Chain tribute band. Maybe you could get a Skinny Puppy tribute band to open at your sparsely attended gigs in deranged venues.

V For Vendetta

Last night I went to the beach to see V For Vendetta. I had really wanted to see this in the theater before it left, and was surprised to find not only that it was still showing in my area but was in the IMAX format. I’ve been a fan of the story since I was a teenager, and was enough of a geek to have read the incomplete story in the British Warrior comic magazine and waited for years to have the story finished by DC Comics.

I thought the movie was very very good. Visually it looked fantastic and did a great job of capturing this morally slippery story in all its complexity. I’m especially glad that they didn’t feel a need to “Hollywood” up the story. My worry was that they would shim in some sort of bolted-on resolution about who V actually was, which would cut the heart out of it. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter who he was and that’s the point of the whole thing. The bits of philosophizing about the difference between the tangible and the symbolic were highly interesting and sufficient as they were, without some sort of phony “aha” moment about the identity. The “aha” moment was entirely about the actions.

The original story was a reaction against the Thatcher government of the 80s but it certainly has a lot of resonance in today’s American political climate. Watching Stephen Rae’s powerful performance as Finch, investigating the wrongdoing of his government while getting enormous political pressure to drop it certainly has a different set of baggage brought to it today than it would have a few years ago.

All in all, great movie and I’m glad I saw it on a screen large enough to park a battleship on.

High and Low

Tonight we went on an impromptu evening dog walk at the beach. Man, do I love living in a place where that is possible. When we came home, we had some Qdoba burritos and then watched the oldest movie taped on our DVR – Requiem for a Dream. It’s been on there since last October and finally we got to it.

It was definitely a good, well made film and entirely a downer. It wasn’t really unlike what I was expecting, but was even a little more extreme in the final act. I think this would be a good movie to show to kids to straighten them up. It was way more effective than any anti-drug PSA I’ve ever seen.

EGC Clambake For May 22, 2006

Here is the Bittorrent link and direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for May 22, 2006.

I play a song by Headlights; I play a clip from the Penn Jillette show and talk about how I’d rather hear someone express their human, fallible opinion than pretend they have all the answers; I play a clip from Jack Black’s Nacho Libre videoblog; I play a song from Uma Floresta; I talk about seeing Over the Hedge and the joy of the movie going experience; I play a piece from the Onion.

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High Tech Old School

Whenever I use Audio Hijack Pro (of which I am a proud paid customer and give my highest recommendation), I always use the VU Meter plugin. Maybe this is my radio background showing in the romanticization of old affordances, but watching that needle bounce to the right and into the red is infinitely more satisfying than any sort of LED or progress bar style meter of the same information. Sometimes an analog view just hits you right there, you know?

Aimee Mann Channels Abbey Road

I recently watched the episode of the Henry Rollins show that had PT Anderson talking movies and Aimee Mann as the musical guest. That led me to break out my copy of Bachelor No. 2 and spin it. When I first got this album, and even before when I had MP3s of a few of the songs, I listened obsessively. I must have listened to “Ghost World” and “Calling it Quits” hundreds of times each. I never really noticed before how much the album reminds me of Abbey Road in some strange way. The way the lead guitar sounds, the feeling of the songs and all just put me in mind of it.

This might be because my subconscious mind is always trying to connect everything to Abbey Road at all times. Anytime I see one of those lists of the best albums of all time that has Sergeant Pepper up top, I always scoff and point out that it isn’t even the third best Beatles album. If history was different and they had released the single disc White Album without some of the weaker/weirder stuff, SP might not even be in the top half.

Hammer Down

The last week and change has been slammed. My time from the trip to Raleigh last week through the weekend was filled with solid work. From Monday to Tuesday we took a super fast trip to the beach at Wilmington NC – not the best time for it but we’d had it scheduled since before I knew about the deadline at work. I ended up getting up at 4:30 AM Monday and putting in a nearly full day before we left. It was damnably difficult to leave and come back here Tuesday, I can tell you. Monday the weather was kind of crappy and cold and windy, and Tuesday it was just perfect. We managed to get a little beach time in that morning so we didn’t feel cheated. While up there, we got a little retail time in at stores they don’t have around the Grand Strand. My beach book was Mike Grell’s novelization of his Jon Sable Freelance comic book series of the 80s. I made it about 70 pages, and once the carnage started I had to stop reading to pack up our stuff. I can say without a doubt it’s not a particularly good book, but it is a page-turning enjoyable book. It helps that I’m pre-approved to like the character.

Once we got back, solid work from the moment I walked in the door through today. A man shouldn’t be this tired two days after coming back from the beach. Such is my life.

EGC Clambake For May 14, 2006

Here is the Bittorrent link and direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for May 14, 2006.

This show is about work: my relationship to it, my (seeming) inability to ever stop thinking about it in one form or another, how layoffs affect the expectations of employees and a tale of the worst job I’ve ever had and the only time I’ve been let go. Music is provided by the Decemberists, Butthole Surfers and MC Plus+ .

You can subscribe to this feed via RSS.

To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5.

Links mentioned in this episode:


Heavy Metal Thunder

It’s Bike Week in Myrtle Beach. Conway sits between MB and most everywhere else, and we live between the highway route to MB and the business route to MB – in the audible range of both. we’ve been hearing the rumble of pipes for days now, with another 8 to go.

John Scofield Trio in Conway SC

Here’s one of my photos from the Rivertown Jazz and Arts Festival last week. It is the John Scofield Trio, taken from behind the stage looking out. I like how this turned out, with the lights and the way they are kind of symmetric and framed by all the gear. I also like the vaguely sinister look on Steve Swallow’s face.

Back in Town

I spent the last few days in Research Triangle and Cary NC. It was lots of work at HQ, with a little bit of doing big city stuff in the evenings. I made my now traditional trip to the Apple Store in Durham, hung out at the mall and chilled in the suburban retail paradise. I looked into buying a replacement battery for my iBook but $129 seemed too steep for an impulse buy so I ended up just chilling and using the wifi and doing some guerilla promotion by going to the demo computers and navigating on Safari to AmigoFish. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Now I’m back, and wiped out.

Story of My Life

Workety work, work, eat, workety work, work, sleep, work. The only thing breaking the routine is that right now I’m working while listing to last week’s Hour of Slack, which was a rerun from 1987 of Rev. Ivan Stang interviewing Robert Anton Wilson about Subgeniusism, the Illuminati, the 24 conspiracies that rule the world and all the weirdness you would expect. Ahhhhhhhh.

Speaking at PME

I’ve been invited again to speak at Podcast and Portable Media Expo, about which I’m quite happy. My talk will be Friday, September 29th from 10:30am – 11:30am. I like this better than the previous one because I can get in, do my talk as one of the very first things and then simmer down for the rest of the conference. Last year, my talk was toward the end which gave me a long time to think and worry about it.

The tentative title is “TRACK 4: Podcasting As A Hobby – For Those Who Create Purely for Enjoyment”. This is certainly in my beat and kind of follows on from my previous talk about connecting with an audience. I have to turn in my abstract and stuff today, which sort of snuck up on me. I had several days to prepare but was busy with other things and now have to do it this evening. Procrastination R Us, of course. I’m not going to do the exact same thing I did last year with the slide show of faces, but I might be willing to do a similar thing with logos of shows. The hardest part of all this is writing the abstract today and having it actually represent what I talk about in 5 months. I have a lot of thinking to do and I might well change my mind on what I want to say in that time. I’m wide open for input for what people want to hear in such a talk. Leave me comments, friends.

I’m thinking about altering the title to something more value neutral than the slightly tilted one I was provided. The one thing I sincerely want to avoid in this talk is creating an underclass or second tier of podcasters the way about 3/4 of mainstream news coverage does. You know the kind of story, the one that has as a subtext (or even text) “There are some serious grown ups trying to suck money out of this and then all these knuckleheads who do this for free because they LIKE TO! How crazy is that?” If I have one bit of agenda here it is to acknowledge and celebrate the legitimacy of pursuing this for the sake of edification of yourself and others.

Scofield Rocked

Whew, busy weekend with no blogging or podcasting. The John Scofield show Saturday night was really fantastic. We got to the festival fairly late, walked around a little and got some coffees. We set up our camping chairs and got good seats for the African dance troupe. They were quite enjoyable, and an hour of just drums and dancing flew by quickly. After taking a break, I set up on the other side for Scofield and had a nice seat about 30 feet from the stage. I enjoyed his show even more than I was expecting to. I was a little familiar with his work as a sideman but completely ignorant of his solo work. My (slight) worry was that it would be too “smooth jazz-y” for my tastes. Within 3 minutes, that was no longer a worry. He played good ballsy jazz, not afraid to approach the blues or Hendrix-y guitar rock at times.

Overall, it was a great evening. Just a few things that would be better for the festival: for a thing billed as a “jazz and arts festival”, play jazz on the PA between sets. Using Steely Dan sends a mixed message at best. Also, why were there no Scofield CDs available at the merchandise table? I walked by after the set and would have picked some up, but they weren’t there. The festival should just pick up a few boxes of each in print CD, try to get a returnable deal with the record label, sell what you can and send the rest back. It’s nothing but upside that way – the festival makes more money, the headliners sell more records and gain more fans, the attendees get their horizons broadened.

Those are nits. Conway, SC did themselves proad putting on such a good show.