Saturday, April 23, 2005

This Fucking Spine Is Giving Me the Eye...

I've not been in a chatty mood of late, and I feel no particular obligation to post with regularity. (I enjoy your feedback, of course, being the sort who relishes engagement.) Still, it's been nearly two weeks since the previous unspooling, and guilt looms...

I receive a lot of promotional CDs; most sit unopened, stacked to the ceiling. (My larder, mammoth though it seems, is miniscule compared to that of Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore's, which extrudes from the third floor of their home and arcs over the Smith College campus in a 50-metre-wide swath which blots the sun and seeds toxic alkalines into Northampton's once-prized rose gardens.) In my stash, one album is really busting my balls: Mira Calix's 2001 Warp release, Prickle. It just looks so fucking soporific; I can't bring myself to play it, regardless of its content. It sits sandwiched between Simian's Chemistry Is What We Are and Kool G Rap's Roots of Evil, which themselves are anchored within a larger, aging promo gift brick from Astralwerks containing Neu! and Virgin/Front Line reissues and Femi Kuti discs.

Fuck, I'm totally grateful, really; every time I visit various label offices I'm always presented with a huge-ass bag of swag, and I never sell any of it. (Well, almost never.) Instead, I prefer them to sit in dusty obelisks, shrink wrapping intact, unheard, context dissolved. They serve as humbling reminders that my albums likely rest in such static configurations, mere curiosities too bleak to confront, too odd to discard.

Anyhow, I've no doubt that Ms. Calix is an outstanding citizen, a goddamned saint (she looks kinda cute in her discogs gallery), but... can't... reach... incinerator... beam!

Monday, April 11, 2005

I Turned 49 Today and I Don't Care. (Or, I Am an Ancient, Cur!)

A very good day, though likely prosaic as fuck for the vast majority of humanity.

May I please bore you?

6:30 AM Chat with Elvira. (It was 2:30 PM in Yaroslavl.) She sent lots of new snaps and mini-vids... Nourishment enough for weeks.



We shared a good laugh emoticon over her Wire mention. A career springboard! Music for Solo Cosmetics, produced by David Cunningham...

(Even by The Wire's habitual, spiritless standard, the God and Country slag was deliriously fatuous.)

(Elja is repped by CAA.)

9:30 AM Location scouting in Quitman, Georgia for "Nigger Branch" documentary with classmate Callie and George Rimes, local NAACP president. (More on this later. In short, our aim is to assemble a narrative from the video testimony of survivors of and witnesses to an apalling spree of lynchings in southern Georgia in the late 1930s.)

12:00 PM Meet at Odum Library with fellow PHI students to plan Wednesday project. (On bell hooks and Paulo Freire.)

2:00 PM Lunch. Chinese waitress strikes up conversation. She asks me where I'm from; raising the stakes ever higher, I ask her where she's from. We speak Mandarin for a minute. I am amazingly rusty, but still manage to mangle six or seven otherwise perfectly banal phrases. She smiles, I leave. She forgets me immediately. (Or, waxes quasi-lyrically in Mandarin blog footnote.)

2:45 PM Catch rays in the back yard. (Today was glorious.) D'bst'p mixtape sends me to quick slumber. Ninety minutes later, still pale, but pinking.

4:20 PM Dicking around.

6:30 PM Sis and her husband arrive. We trade pleasantries. They are executives, toiling in relative private. I am a layabout, reviled/revered by loutish shut-ins in a "public" arena. This is illustrative of the price one's parents pay for genetic diversity.

7:11 PM Off to gym, then some movie, probably. (Sin City. Okay.) Then, the library.

Now, with your patience snuffed, off to oblivion!

Your Pedant,

TS

Thursday, April 07, 2005

On the Pyre, 6 April 05

(Revised 13 April 05.)

Lots of reading today. A light breakfast warm-up with Sasha Frere-Jones' March 21st New Yorker overview of grime (which I'd been only too happy to postpone, but which I wasn't too terribly appalled by). I'm requesting a moratorium on further explications of the g**** gesture, however. An aside to the hacks: plz nix the wearying fractal analogies.

(Beautiful girl with too-enormous ass enters café; my thought train derails. Oops, she's sitting with the semi-hot Kyrgyzstani lass from the quad dining hall. And now the even hotter Russian gals are piling in. The correct ass size is established... Must rub orbs. Cute domestic female leaves carrying bag inscribed with "RehabWorks" logo. Good God... The purposely geek'd glasses girl with the great legs ambles through. (Points off 'cuz she knows they're great, but points restored for moxy.) Scruffy sorority slags in soiled sweats chew gum and scream into handhelds... The red-dyed Russian is back. (Oh fuck, her arms are wayyyyyyyy too thin.) Must compose rebuke and brush-off... Three homegirls gawk over a Yin Yang Twins webcast. One of them is country as fuck, but very lovely. Her lipstick seems to be a shade of green! I'm digging.)

Noon-ish, after class, a romp through Ellen O'Gorman's New Lit. History essay "Decadence and Historical Understanding in Flaubert's Salammbô." Fave (or, most resonant) lines (at least in terms of my own research), re the sacking of Carthage in 146 BCE:

Indeed, kindling the French torch on the altar of the Capitol initially appears to have the vaguest of temporal references, but the flames of Corinth can be carbon-dated. Even at the moment of her destruction, a moment which apparently guarantees the future of civilization, shows us perhaps that Carthage as absolute irredeemable decadence is as difficult to assimilate fully into the narrative of progress as it is to utterly exclude it.

That, and a rotten apple, will buy you a date with a Dutch donkey.

(Or win you an aisle seat on Delta Song's express flashback flight to an 1848 Parliamentary debate on child labor... All hail the Thesis of Determinism by the Base!)

While putting off the creation of PowerPoint slides for a Ethics and Technology presentation, I chortled through Gordon Downe's "Aesthetic Necrophilia: Reification and the Commodification of Affectivity" broadside in the Summer 2004 ish of Perspectives of New Music.

Music of an affirmatory and conformist complexion capitulates and seeks to accommodate and reconcile itself to commodity form, by placing the very communicative fabric of music at the service of capital.

(Like, no dung!)

Still, it beats Byron Coley's recent Parade profile of M.I.A.

Really enjoyed the Barry Hannah interview in the new Paris Review; specifically, the slashed and ink-strewn manuscript proof page from his forthcoming tome Long, Last, Happy:



Awesome!

Clogged synapses after eight with "Off the Beaten Ring," an article on roadside oblast curiosities appearing in the Mar/Apr 2005 issue of Russian Life. (I have some familiarity with the tongue, after all, and, as some of you may have surmised, my honey lives along the Volga in one of the primary ring cities. Я говорю по-русски, да, но не очень хорошо.)

As we came into Pereslavl, we found a luxurious suburban hotel, "Lesnaya Skazka," with wonderful grounds, a pond, and plenty of trees. Along the banks of the pond, to the glee of young Katya, roamed a little white goat. Cottages were comfortably dispersed around a rather large territory. But, in a place visible from anywhere on the property, there was a small cage, in which there paced a bear, driven crazy by his confinement.

(Strictly Model-T prose, but an accurate snapshot.)

Alright, once the Moby lookalike wanders in, it's always time to bolt. Back to test prep. (Tomorrow afternoon, on the Upanishads.)

Post-Vedic, I remain yours, humbly,

TS