Saturday, July 29, 2006

Guess What I Have...

Besides an IQ either well above 160 or far below 40? A shockingly vile case of herpes? A wee orange sailor blouse and matching tennis skirt? The support of both Hezbollah and NRA border patrol loons? All (or none) of the bewtixt?

How 'bout advance copies of Noon and Eternity?



Happyjoy! (Etc.)

Street date is October 31. See you then!

As for me, I've off to test drive this bugger in the HQ mobile. (I did. I love.)

Kisses,

TS

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Bass 'n' Bass Blowout: April-July Jury Sequestered!

(Begun July 17; completed July 23... Updated 7/24-25!)
(Sound files removed 8/25. Thanks for downloading, listening...)

Done! (Whew...) No good need goes unpunished, etc.

--

Synopsis: in the last few weeks we here at Omniscience HQ have been rather unimpressed with d+b futures; conversely, dubstep stocks have surged. This dire trend seems to have been reversed yesterday (July 16) with the arrival of a flood of top-notch of jungle platten. (Joy exudes through Mudville Estates... Team Shave, to the slipmats!) Although we were blown away by two new Skream releases (including the much-anticipated - here, at least! - Skreamizm Vol. 2 EP), our lil' grim(e) pals must stand down for the first time in aeons...

(Crawl slowly forward twenty-three hours, ditch the editorial we, and...)

---

Okay, here's what I've been listening to for the last three months. Each track is recommended w/o reservation, although in retrospect I find I like the odd selection a little less than I had previously, or now enjoy one with greater avidity. These are arranged not by descending subjective order, but rather alphanumerically: "10," "Babylon," etc.* Each resides on my 30 GB Phillips GoGear (sorry, but I'm not a fan of the iPod) as a specifically coded set - "omdnb 0706b" is the most recent addition.

*Sometimes, just for the sheer fuggg of it, I go Z-to-A. Yes, my life is wholly without worry...

I'm perhaps revealing a bit too much of myself, but by now everyone should know that I genuinely love this music, and feel very little, if anything at all, for those genres with which I am too often associated. "So," a waggish heel might propose, "why doesn't TLASILA sound like this stupid club shit?" (A similar comment was inexplicably expressed on a message board following our appearance at NFF 2004.)

What would be the point? We don't want to be identified with anything! We like what we like, unreservedly. If something should filter into our lives, then it may leech into our art. (Or, it's just as likely that it will not.) Très simple, non?

Mashups are either carefully x-faded or just crushed-the-fuck-together; each contiguous segment is in strict setlist order, so triangulation should be a snap. Click on set numbers for associated mp3s. Mashups edited and normalized by TS; pix lifted from various label sites, discogs.com, Juno, scanned from my own collection, etc., and tossed about in Photoshop.

April 2006

Set 01 (omdnb 0406a)

01 Alpha Omega - 10 Faces of Death
02 Limewax - Untitled 666
(No, as it turns out, it wasn't! Thanks to Transposition Killaz MC for the bloodshot eagle orbz...)
03 Skitty (feat. Nolige) - Babylon Dub
04 Alpha Omega - Discard the Truth
05 Gein - Father of Lies
06 Skitty & Heist - Ghost
07 Gein - Hate
08 Theory & Dr. Know - Krakatoa
09 Roughcut - Lion Dub
10 Counterstrike - Motherfucking Skulls
11 Counterstrike - The Power to Distort
12 Mashnum PI - Wannabeatz (7")





Set 02 (omdnb 0406b)

01 Equinox - Antartica
02 Gremlinz & Stranjah - Clapback
03 Alpha Omega - Entities
04 Unknown Error - Flipfunk
05 Gremlinz & Stranjah - For Heroes
06 The Force - Keep Rockin'
07 Survival - Kensei Rise
08 EBK - Meltdown
09 Kryptic Minds & Leon Switch - More Like You (Unknown Error remix)
10 Danny Holdtight - Motel
11 Robot Death Squad - Space Crawler
12 Desimal - Sun Destroyer
(Desimal, aka Graham William Marsh, died on May 23... I hadn't previously known. He was only 25. -TS)
13 The Force - Untouchable



(Above, lower right corner, Desimal. RIP...)

May 2006

(Although the plates below - mostly dubbed-out ragga with static-infused furrows - were superb, it was not the greatest month. Too few worthwhile releases...)

Set 01 (omdnb 0506a)

01 Ill Skillz & Calyx - Colours of Noize
02 A-Sides (feat. MC Fats) - Crazy 2006
03 Ill Logic & Raf - Inside Out
04 Bladerunner - Leave Dem Alone
05 DJ Hazard - Murder Tonight
06 Outrage - Recall
07 Bladerunner - The Rocker
08 DJ Hazard - Talk Like a Girl
09 G Dub - Touch Me
10 Amit - The Tube (Outrage remix)

June 2006

(Things picked up a bit, but the month's dubstep plates still seemed superior. Of course, there are always deadly IEDs hidden within curbside detritus...)

Set 01 (omdnb 0606a)

01 DJ Anarxx - Universe
02 DJ Anarxx - Stained Glass Lantern
03 Harm - Scary
04 Propaganda - The Real
05 Silent Witness & Break - The Question
06 Atom & Cell - Presure (Noisia remix)
07 Alliance - Lost Contact (Psidream remix)
08 Fanu - Last Solo Before Dawn
09 Silent Witness & Break - Hollow
10 Double Zero - Gangsta Shit
11 Prolix - Choke Hold
12 Cappo - Bristol Pressure (VIP dub mix)
13 Nero - Bad for the Brain
14 Propaganda - Axis and Allies



Set 02 (omdnb 0606b)

(This group easily bucked the downward trend; each of the bloodshot, thoroughly rinsed tracks below is exceptional...)

01 Ewun - Black Nines
02 Bad Matter - Blood for Blood
03 45 Thieves - Day-O
04 Calyx & Kontrol - Drums Take Control
05 Dylan & Raiden - Future's Futile
06 Code Blue & Panacea - Graveyard Twist
07 Code Blue & Panacea - Headtone Shuffle
08 The Riot - No Love
09 Dylan & Raiden - Preacherman
10 Infiltrata, Mason & D Star - Ricochet
11 Coresplittaz - System
12 Gein - Telepathy (feat. Bitfiendz)
13 Gabriel - Vex



Set 03 (omdnb 0606c)

01 Dak - Nutcase
02 Sileni - Twitchy Droig Leg (Graphic remix)
03 Spirit - Redial
04 Splittin' Atoms - Peppermint Rhino
05 Infuse - Observer
06 Craze, Infiltrata & Gerer8 - You Don't Know Me
07 Nucleus & Paradox - Love Her (Version)
08 Rufige Kru - Fear Heaven
09 Cartridge - Edge City
10 Dillinja - Basscone
11 Jamie Page - Acid Star
12 Vital Elements - Fraser Island



Set 04 (omdnb 0606d)

(Limewax has been on an insane roll of late. When "½ LB" kicks in, yup, trouser legs get a little moist...)

01 Silent Witness - Atlanta
02 Techleash - Breathing in Space
03 SKC - Butchery
04 Rareform - The Daddy
05 Jay Jay & Mark C - Forward Thinking
06 Jay Jay & Mark C - Future Music
07 Limewax - 1/2 LB
08 Unknown Error - Hellraiser
09 Pyro - Metal Fatigue
10 Evol Intent vs. Ewun - The Rapture
11 Pyro & Phono - Seeker
12 Alaska - Shiver
13 Phono - Tethys
14 Wickaman - Squelcher



Set 05 (omdnb 0606e)

01 Technical Itch - The Ancients
02 Dubalty (feat. MC Fever) - Big Time Dappa
03 Rido - Dark Thief
04 Teebee & Future Prophecies - Dimensional Entity (remix)
05 Serum - Dub Dread VIP
06 Basher - Leachcraft
07 Murderbot - Only World
08 Murderbot - Purple Skunk
(Turns out the M'bot 12" was released in October, but at this point I'm too frazzled to remove it!)
09 Top Cat - Sensi Crisis
10 Q Project - Sleepers
11 Callide - System Overload
12 Vital Elements - Triple Shot
13 Limewax - The Way the Future



July 2006

(This month's releases are off the figurative chain, having already shattered the literal and cosmological links... Set 02 is still in evaluative progress, as the latest raft of plates have yet to be fingerprinted. Expect for this post to eventually generate a part deuce!)

Set 01 (omdnb 0706a)

01 The Fix - 12 Jewelz
02 G Dub - Black Widow
03 Paradox - Breakdown
04 Krust - Choose Consciousness
05 The Riot - Crowd Control
06 Paradox - Give the Drummer Some
07 Survival - Link
08 N.Phect & Dizplay - Mofo
09 Krust - New Humans
10 The Fix - Nostradamus
11 Noisia - Omissions
12 EBK - Soma
13 Paradox - Ultimate Negative
14 Paradox - Unspoken Divide
15 System Noise - Unto Jah
16 Audio - Warehouse



Set 02 (omdnb 0706b)

01 Phace & Nphect - Cavity
02 Nucleus & Paradox - Clint Van Cleef
03 Nucleus & Paradox - Dilettantes (remix)
04 Donny - The Forgotten
05 TZA - Hunker Down
06 Radio Bomb - I Need Therapy
07 Teebee - Lost
08 Noise Punishment - The Master
09 Leon Switch - Subway

OMGRIM 0606




I've decided not to go into this set just yet; think it'll be best to devote a separate post to grim(e)/dubstep... But, having dodged the semi-arduous task of cobbling together another set of label images and on-the-fly mashups, I'll go out on one of Françoise-Hélène Jourda's reinforced rough wooden architectural struts and declare Distance's titantic Traffic/Cyclops release on Planet Mu single of the half-year. (It conquered the world in June.) Shattering, brilliant!

Love,

TS

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Under Heavy Maunderers...

Hey... Until I've eked the tweaks from the b+b post I'm sending it off to a siderail. Once I've added the last few playlists, graphics montages und sample m*sh*ps I'll re-post...

Yrz,

TS

Monday, July 17, 2006

Sturm und Drone...

The planet has gone off its bloody axis... Of E-V-O-L!

Speaking of collective devils, below check Frank Rich's (subscription-only) op-ed piece from today's New York Times. It's a bloody corker...

(Forgive me for sharing my account, but in this instance, punctilious ethics must ride in the sidecar. A teak-trimmed sidecar, mind -- ethics must never suffer too distasteful a slog...)

---

From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You ‘Axis of Evil’

By Frank Rich


(Illustration by Barry Blitt, New York Times, July 16, 2006. Blitt's drawings accompany each of Mr. Rich's columns.)

As American foreign policy lies in ruins from Pyongyang to Baghdad to Beirut, its epitaph is already being written in Washington. Last week’s Time cover, “The End of Cowboy Diplomacy,” lays out the conventional wisdom: the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive war, upended by chaos in Iraq and the nuclear intransigence of North Korea and Iran, is now officially kaput. In its stead, a sadder but more patient White House, under the sway of Condi Rice, is embracing the fine art of multilateral diplomacy and dumping the “bring ’em on” gun-slinging that got the world into this jam.

The only flaw in this narrative — a big one — is that it understates the administration’s failure by assuming that President Bush actually had a grand, if misguided, vision in the first place. Would that this were so. But in truth this presidency never had a vision for the world. It instead had an idée fixe about one country, Iraq, and in pursuit of that obsession recklessly harnessed American power to gut-driven improvisation and P.R. strategies, not doctrine. This has not changed, even now.

Only if we remember that the core values of this White House are marketing and political expediency, not principle and substance, can we fully grasp its past errors and, more important, decipher the endgame to come. The Bush era has not been defined by big government or small government but by virtual government. Its enduring shrine will be a hollow Department of Homeland Security that finds more potential terrorist targets in Indiana than in New York.

Like his father, George W. Bush always disdained the vision thing. He rode into office on the heels of a boom, preaching minimalist ambitions reminiscent of the 1920’s boom Republicanism of Harding and Coolidge. Mr. Bush’s most fervent missions were to cut taxes, pass a placebo patients’ bill of rights and institute the education program he sold as No Child Left Behind. His agenda was largely exhausted by the time of his fateful Crawford vacation in August 2001, so he talked vaguely of immigration reform and announced a stem-cell research “compromise.” But he failed to seriously lead on either issue, both of which remain subjects of toxic debate today. To appear busy once he returned to Washington after Labor Day, he cooked up a typically alliterative “program” called Communities of Character, a grab bag of “values” initiatives inspired by polling data. That was forgotten after the Qaeda attacks. But the day that changed everything didn’t change the fundamental character of the Bush presidency. The so-called doctrine of pre-emption, a repackaging of the long-held Cheney-Rumsfeld post-cold-war mantra of unilateralism, was just another gaudy float in the propaganda parade ginned up to take America to war against a country that did not attack us on 9/11. As the president’s chief of staff then, Andrew Card, famously said of the Iraq war just after Labor Day 2002, “From a marketing point of view, you don’t introduce new products in August.” The Bush doctrine was rolled out officially two weeks later, just days after the administration’s brass had fanned out en masse on the Sunday-morning talk shows to warn that Saddam’s smoking gun would soon come in the form of a mushroom cloud.

The Bush doctrine was a doctrine in name only, a sales strategy contrived to dress up the single mission of regime change in Iraq with philosophical grandiosity worthy of F.D.R. There was never any serious intention of militarily pre-empting either Iran or North Korea, whose nuclear ambitions were as naked then as they are now, or of striking the countries that unlike Iraq were major enablers of Islamic terrorism. Axis of Evil was merely a clever brand name from the same sloganeering folks who gave us “compassionate conservatism” and “a uniter, not a divider” — so clever that the wife of a presidential speechwriter, David Frum, sent e-mails around Washington boasting that her husband was the “Axis of Evil” author. (Actually, only “axis” was his.)

Since then, the administration has fiddled in Iraq while Islamic radicalism has burned brighter and the rest of the Axis of Evil, not to mention Afghanistan and the Middle East, have grown into just the gathering threat that Saddam was not. And there’s still no policy. As Ivo Daalder of the Brookings Institution writes on his foreign-affairs blog, Mr. Bush isn’t pursuing diplomacy in his post-cowboy phase so much as “a foreign policy of empty gestures” consisting of “strong words here; a soothing telephone call and hasty meetings there.” The ambition is not to control events but “to kick the proverbial can down the road — far enough so the next president can deal with it.” There is no plan for victory in Iraq, only a wish and a prayer that the apocalypse won’t arrive before Mr. Bush retires to his ranch.

But for all the administration’s setbacks, its core belief in P.R. remains unshaken. Or at least its faith in domestic P.R. (It has never cared about the destruction of America’s image abroad by our countenance of torture.) That marketing imperative, not policy, was once again the driving vision behind the latest Iraq offensive: the joint selling of the killing of Zarqawi, the formation of the new Maliki government, the surprise presidential trip to the Green Zone and the rollout of Operation Together Forward to secure Baghdad more than three years after its liberation from Saddam.

Operation Together Forward is just the latest model of the Axis of Evil gimmick. In his Rose Garden press conference last month, Mr. Bush promised that this juggernaut of crack Iraqi troops and American minders would “increase the number of checkpoints, enforce a curfew and implement a strict weapons ban across the Iraqi capital.” It’s been predictably downhill ever since. After two weeks of bloodshed, Col. Jeffrey Snow of the Army explained that the operation was a success even if the patient, Iraq, was dying, because “we expected that there would be an increase in the number of attacks.” Last week, the American ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad, allowed that there would be “adjustments” to the plan and that the next six months (why is it always six months?) would be critical. Gen. George Casey spoke of tossing more American troops into the Baghdad shooting gallery to stave off disaster.

So what’s the latest White House strategy to distract from the escalating mayhem? Yet another P.R. scheme, in this case drawn from the playbook of fall 2003, when the president countered news of the growing Iraq insurgency by going around the media “filter” to speak to the people through softball interviews with regional media outlets. Thus the past two weeks have brought the spectacle of Mr. Bush yukking it up at Graceland, flattering immigrant workers at a Dunkin’ Donuts, patronizing a children’s lemonade stand in Raleigh, N.C., and meeting the press in such comfy settings as an outside-the-filter press conference (in Chicago) and “Larry King Live.” The people, surely, are feeling better already about all that nasty business abroad.

Or not. The bounce in the polls that once reliably followed these stunts is no more. As Americans contemplate the tragedy of Iraq, the triumph of Islamic jihadists in “democracies” we promoted for the Middle East, and the unimpeded power plays of Kim Jong Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, they see reality for what it is. Gone are the days when “Mission Accomplished” would fly. Barring a miracle, one legacy of the Bush Iraq-centric foreign policy will be the mess that those who come next will have to clean up.

Another, equally significant, part of the Bush legacy is already evident throughout Washington, and not confined to foreign policy or the executive branch. Following the president’s leadership, Congress has also embraced the virtual governance of substituting publicity stunts for substance.

Instead of passing an immigration law, this Congress has entertained us with dueling immigration hearings. Instead of overseeing the war in Iraq or homeland security, its members have held press conferences announcing that they, if not the Pentagon, have at last found Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction (degraded mustard gas and sarin canisters from the 1980’s). Instead of promised post-DeLay reforms, the House concocted a sham Lobbying Accountability and Transparency Act that won’t do away with the gifts and junkets politicians rake in from the Abramoffs of K Street. And let’s not forget all the days devoted to resolutions about same-sex marriage, flag burning, the patriotism of The New York Times and the Pledge of Allegiance.

“Before long, Congress will be leaving on its summer vacation,” Bob Schieffer of CBS News said two weeks ago. “My question is, how will we know they are gone?” By the calculation of USA Today, the current Congress is on track to spend fewer days in session than the “do-nothing Congress” Harry Truman gave hell to in 1948. No wonder its approval rating, for Republicans and Democrats together, is even lower than the president’s. It’s not only cowboy diplomacy that’s dead at this point in the Bush era, but also functioning democracy as we used to know it.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

TLASILA: Churchill's, Miami, 25/27 August 1994

(The window on these downloads had to be shut on July 23. As always, thanks for downloading, sharing, trading, etc.)

Hello... The world's gone completely berserk in the hours since my last post; so what's new?

As a soundtrack to global calamity, you could do worse:

To Live and Shave in L.A. - Churchill's, Miami, Thursday, August 25, 1994

(rehearsal)

01 Ratuning
02 I Learn to Inject Morphia
03 One Navel of Decline
04 I Am _____
05 The Ass God
06 I Used to Pay a Heavy Bribe

23.7 MB / TT: 10:21 / 320 kbps

and

To Live and Shave in L.A. - Churchill's, Miami, Saturday, August 27, 1994

(performance)

01 I Learn to Inject Morphia
02 One Navel of Decline
03 The Dublin Sound
04 Tina Russell, Free
05 First Pop Novice
06 The Ass God
07 I Used to Pay a Heavy Bribe

32.6 MB / TT: 14:15 / 320 kbps

Rat Bastard: bass
Tom Smith: voice, tapes

Ben Wolcott had not yet joined the fray; 30-mm had been on release for only a few weeks.

Engineered by Rat (who ran off the stage, set levels to "autopilot" mode, hit start on the ADAT, and ambled back to the boards). Mixed a week later by TS at Sync, Miami. (Not that there was much to mix... At the Hideaway we had but three tracks of digital!)

---

The Thursday night/Friday morning slot at Churchill's was a lonely post, yes, but also an awesome duty. Rat had the run of the joint, and his mob lieutenants could be counted on to run the PA (which Rattus had designed and installed). We played there scores of times between 1993 and 1996, as did Harry Pussy, Kreamy 'Lectric Santa, et al. It was never much of a scene; CBGB comparisons are wholly inaccurate. No, it was instead a farm club weight room, a public rehearsal space. We would show up at 1:30 AM, assemble our gear, run through our set, maybe buy a beer, and bolt. In and out in 30 minutes! Thus, one of the layers of the männercreme double entendre...

Thursday's "performance" (Aug 25), delivered to an absolutely empty house, was quite glaringly fractured. Rat was initially tentative, and my timing was perliously off. What doesn't kill you only hitches a ride in your trouser cuffs...

The Saturday bill was shared with Harry Pussy. Our two groups were intensely competitive, and each did its damnedest to blow the other off the stage. We seemed to have ramped things up a bit from the rehearsal...

Song titles are presented for your edification, but each file is contiguous, and the recordings are presented as is, save for normalization and some editing of between-song rehearsal silences.

Share, burn, post, etc., at least as you see fit.

Cheers,

Tom

Bummin' Around...

I've been in a bit of a funk for the past few days; can't seem to shake the disquiet.

Sorry about not posting more than the few, scattered thoughts you see enameled atop the mantle of July 11...

To make up for it, later today I'll upload a newly retrieved and remastered set of TLASILA performances from August 1994. Pluck out your orbs and plant them next to your laptops...

TS

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

RIP Syd...

Yeah, Barrett's gone. Shame... If you want to taste the real acid damage, track down Magnesium Proverbs. (There are dozens of other, equally revealing Syd/Floyd boots. Find what works best for you.) "Scream Thy Last Scream" expertly lays the Madcap's lysergic topology bare.



In tribute, please download this 1924 recording of James Joyce reading an excerpt from Finnegan's Wake. (It will make sense to you sooner than later...)

TS

Monday, July 10, 2006

Merde!!

Zidane lost his goddamned mind... Provoked, dosed on Ketamine, whatever - such a shit-ass way to go out.

TS

Saturday, July 08, 2006

throuRoof vs. TLASILA

Below, please avail yourselves of Italian remix compositeur throuRoof's take on TLASILA's MS preview mashup "16 Horoscopo Descents." throuRoof (or Antonio Gallucci, as his relatives refer to him), whipped this confection together (to which he gave the delightful title "Shaving an Horoscopeman") earlier today. Grazie Anto!

(He sings underneath his mix as well!)

You may find throuRoof either here or here...



01 Shaving an Horoscopeman

---

Okay, gotta jet. More tomorrow after the World Cup consolation match.

TS

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Impossible n'est pas français: les Bleus font chuter le Brésil (1-0)

Read the Le Monde article here.

As "Pascal C." commented in the paper's readers' blog, "C’était un match magnifique… Un match de rêve… les bleus étaient les meilleurs et ils ont mérité de gagner…"

Hell fucking yes!



(Thierry Henry and Zinédine Zidane, resplendent...)

England, on the other foot... Sheesh! What a comedown.

As Paul Wilson wrote in The Guardian, "Rooney's lonely crusade ends in ruinous defeat..." Ouch! I thought he deserved that red card, but well into the morning hundreds of thousands of dejected English drunks will slur a much different tale.



(This looks too posed to be true, but it's an actual Guardian snap from Gelsenkirchen. Gutted? It would seem so...)

Spoke with my son; his injury's already starting to heal. Watch out Mondial 2014!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Damn Straight...

Poll: Good News Fails to Boost Bush's Job Approval

Bush's poll numbers fell again... Fuck, I'd rather Bin Laden had the job. We certainly couldn't do much worse... Characterizing the death of a bufoonish insurgent leader and Rove's fortuitous escape from indictment as "good news" for Shrub's administration is a bit much, however. (And don't get me started on the duplicity of our disgraceful MSM...) Ultimately, one can appreciate the Prez's desperation for spin. When you're neck-deep in shit, a rotten egg smells like Chanel.

Below, Lisa Cullen's Time article:

In a new survey, Americans say the President is performing poorly and that the country is increasingly on the wrong track.

A spate of good news at home and abroad has so far failed to boost how Americans feel about President Bush's job performance. Bush's approval rating slipped to 35% in a TIME poll taken this week, down from 37% in March (and 53% in early 2005). Only 33% of Americans in the survey said they approved of Bush's handling of the situation in Iraq, vs. 35% in March, and 47% in March 2005. His management of the U.S. economy lost supporters, too, as 36% approved, compared with 39% three months earlier. Bush's handling of the war on terror saw a slight gain in support, from 44% to 45%.

Bush's poll numbers remain stuck in a rut despite several high-profile victories scored recently by the Bush Administration. Earlier this month, U.S. forces killed al-Qaeda leader Abu Mousab al-Zarqawi in an air raid in Iraq. Also this month, Karl Rove escaped indictment in the CIA leak investigation. And the Commerce Department reported today that the U.S. economy grew 5.6% in the first quarter of 2006, the fastest growth in more than two years.

But continued pessimism about the situation in Iraq and a broad sense of unease about America's direction may be undermining Bush's popularity. In the TIME survey, 66% said the country is on the wrong track, vs. 28% who said it's going in the right direction. Those numbers have worsened since March, when the poll recorded a 60% to 34% split. When asked whether the new Iraqi government will be able to build a stable and reasonably democratic society, 48% of those surveyed said no, while 39% remain optimistic...

Ultra Mega Pop

Wow... My father turns 79 today.



(CSM blows a kiss backstage at No Fun 3, March 2006. Or, maybe whistles for his squeeze of 46 years to hasten from the ladies room at Red Lobster... Same freakin' diff!)

Born in 1927 at the cusp of the Great Depression, Charles Marion served as a sailor in World War 2, pulled himself up by his penny loafers to become a real estate agent (and later a land manager for a large agribiz conglomerate), brought home the extra-fatty bacon to my mother, Eunice (whom he met shortly after the end of the war), and sired as diametrically opposite a pair of kids as you could imagine. My sis, Patricia, is a stone-cold Republican and a corporate exec, while I, er, took a slightly different path. (I love my sis, despite her political shortcomings.) My dad's folks died when I was rather young, but I remember them well. Grandfather Smith worked for the railroad, while Grandma raised a wolfpack - three boys, three girls. Only my father's older brother, George, survives. Uncle Geo conducted a nearly decade-long genealogical survey of our family - I'll forever be grateful for his scholarship and tenacity. Turns out my father's parents' ancestors emigrated from France in the 1870s. They were bloody Huguenots! Reckon I've let the side down completely...

Anyhow, seeing as my dad is so goddamned ill and all, this might conceivably be one of the last days I can indulge my predilection for over-the-top birthday shenanigans. The cake is in the fridge, and photos of grown-ass adults in funny hats will be forthcoming...

TS