Wednesday, August 13, 2008


[previous posts in this series of close readings of selections from Fleetwood Mac's TUSK - "Over and Over," "Save Me a Place," "Sara", "What Makes You Think You're The One," "Storms," "Sisters of the Moon"]


fleetwood mac - angel

"Angel" follows "Sisters of the Moon" (though I think maybe it's the start of the 2nd LP on the vinyl version?) and, for the first minute or so, it seems like the jaunty, country-rock, and kind of terrible polar opposite of the dark, witchily awesome post-punk of "Sisters" - as I believe Holly has remarked in the past, the cheesy sound of those first few bars can kind of keep you from taking this song seriously at first

yet! it is really fucking serious, as Stevie herself says in the video at the end of this post. the song inexorably, and indeed with painful, profound beauty, is drawn back to the same themes of nihilism and self-destruction as "Sisters," but instead of occult, Lynchian imagery, Stevie's verses anchor us in the the all-too-recognizable world of everyday heartbreak and loss, looking back to an irretrievable past -

sometimes the most beautiful thing
the most innocent thing
and many of those dreams
pass us by

keep passing me by

the second verse in particular is utterly devastating, familiar, and real -

I still look up
when you walk in the room
I've the same wide eyes
now they tell the story
I try not to reach out
when you turn around to say hello
and we both pretend
I'm no great pretender

yet, instead of this memory of love and innocence fading away, into the past, Stevie, hauntingly beautifully and basically crypto-suicidally wills herself into a ghostly future in the chorus:

so I close my eyes softly,
'till I become that part of the wind
that we all long for sometime

and to those that I love
like a ghost through a fog
like a charmed hour and a haunted song
and the angel, angel of my dreams

the line about becoming "that part of the wind that we all long for sometime" just fucking floors me every time, and God knows that I thought of it often throughout the painful month of June, I don't know if I've ever heard anything so poetic and sad and true in my whole life -

and the titular Angel, looming, wordless in the fog, so much like Stevie's dark "Sister" at the top of the stairs in the previous song - and also sooo much like the Sister, the Ghost-Angel is revealed as Stevie's own doppelganger, "that girl was me... just like a ghost through the fog" etc. but while the Angel is ostensibly good, very good, an incarnation of the innocent and beautiful things in Stevie's life where the Sister was a manifestation of the darkness, it leads her to the same personal abyss, a transcendent nothingness, those fucking winds we've discussed in several contexts in this series.

and as elsewhere, the parallels to the Twin Peaks mythology are unmistakable - if the Sister lives in the Black Lodge, the Angel lives in the White Lodge, and, as shown by the appearance of Laura Palmer's literal angel in the Black Lodge at the end of Fire Walk With Me, the two places may be "one and the same." for more on the Stevie Nicks/Laura Palmer connection and a video of the insanely heartwrenching scene with Laura and her angel, please see my previous post, also titled "Sisters of the Moon"

this is the awesome and ultra-compelling contradiction (or non-contradiction) at the heart of Stevie Nicks' profound appeal - the sunny blonde California surfer girl with the beautiful voice and wild heart (and a hopeless attraction to some of the douchiest guys in rock history) is simultaneously the gothy, scorned hag, a kind of 'white witch' in the words of one Josh Cheon. this song and this footage of its recording from the awesome yet sadly brief Fleetwood Mac "Tusk" documentary really gets to the heart of the matter - the interview with Stevie early on where she describes the song's genesis is utterly priceless, hilarious and self-serious and true, and the unearthly passion, crooked teeth, and crazy outfit she's wearing when she sings "like a ghost through the fog" makes for kind of an ultimate Stevie-y Stevie moment -

"I wanted to write a rock and roll song, so it started out being much sillier than it came out. It didn't end up being silly at all. It ended up being very serious."

Saturday, July 5, 2008

(Caption: "Kent Couch leaves his gas station in Bend, Ore., on Saturday, July 5, 2008, riding a lawn chair rigged with more than 150 giant party balloons in an attempt to fly to Idaho. He is equipped with a BB gun and a blowgun for popping balloons if he gets too high and three 15-gallon barrels of cherry Kool-Aid for ballast to release if he gets too low.")

BEND, Ore. (AP) - A man has taken flight in a lawn chair hoisted by more than 150 large helium-filled party balloons in a bid to ride the wind from the central Oregon town of Bend all the way to Idaho.

Kent Couch was wearing a parachute Saturday morning as he kissed his wife and kids goodbye, patted his dog and took off at sunrise from his gas station.

This is Couch's third lawn chair flight in as many years.

He hopes to do better than last year, when he flew 193 miles before running low on helium and had to land in the sagebrush of northeastern Oregon.

Friday, June 27, 2008

june 20

the nice thing about working from the midtown office is that midtown fucking sucks no matter where you're going home to. my bed left yesterday, with a big assist from mom and dad and the car, but the mattress is still here on the floor, like in the beginning - it's so fucking sad, but weirdly beautiful - I am so blindly in love with this place - to see the house kind of decay into the semi-feral state it was in when I moved in. we smashed a lot of stuff at band practice last night, or at least the other guys did. my fortune was pretty boring or irrelevant at least. there's really nothing left to do but grind it out from here. also, have the most epic party in house history this weekend, you know what it is, we're not going to get rained on 3 parties in a row, we are not that doomed, are we?

june 20th we had maybe the most 'mellow' or actually just weirdly under-attended party in 502 history. sean was in town!, but it rained again, there was a lot going on that night, people were saving themselves for this week? I dunno. once I got over my rain- and party-related anxieties and started drinking things got pretty nice though, with a zany kitchen set by Puttin on the Ritz, gratifyingly incorporating Caitlin's decoy pigeons, and transcendent, dimly-lit performances in Aron's bedroom (in the Casiotone for the Painfully Alone nook!) by Zeke Healy, shredding bluegrass at 502 for the third and final time - and, amazing dude that he is, he even figured out how to play Landslide, allowing me some deep and necessary musico-spiritual closure - and Julianna Barwick, who overcame the repeated ill intentions of the rain gods to play a gorgeous lullabye-set, maybe the coziest, dreamiest performance in 502 evar. I've got some camera-vids but I gotta figure out how to upload them

Thursday, June 26, 2008

june 8

sorry for all those emotions earlier, I'll try and keep it dignified around here but it's fuckin tough. sorry dad and anyone else who had hopes of me handling this like a big strong man or whatever. buck the world! we're having our last band practice, ordering Mr. Wonton for the last time, getting my last fortune - I'll let you know how it goes.

on June 8th we had another magical evening that was unfortunately fucked up by the rain - Puttin on the Ritz played, uproariously, followed by an incredibly special and meaningful set of, YES, Fleetwood Mac covers (sorry dad and anyone else etc) I got to do with Kevin MacFee, one of my oldest and best friends and my old musical tag team partner from high school, as well as Aa's own Nadav on drums. Julianna Barwick was supposed to play too but opted to play last weekend instead.

more from that later, there is so much to say about the 8th and the drama and the fucking emotional blue balls that comes from not finishing fucking "landslide" - maybe today's when the landslide finally did catch up? - but it's better to just watch Lev's "insta-movie," a free-form, lo-fi, short-shot documentary he made about the evening - some great moments and special times for sure, peep that awesome panning shot that latches onto Kevin "Sticks" Shea en route to the kit! every hour is the magic hour at 502, however awesome you guys imagine it must be to live here I assure you it is like 10x as fucking awesome

may 22

I just suddenly started getting my fucking young buck on over here, bawling my motherfucking eyes out in this dismembered, bleeding room, needing to work through the next 48 hours straight or so on doing impossible things for my job, this is really feeling like a fucking online diary right now and sorry etc but for the record I am pretty far past the breaking point already and I have a very long fucking way still to go, so I really do need everyone around rooting really, fucking, hard for me right now

I've been almost kind of keeping it together for more than a month now, the last time I really lost it like this was the last May 22, def maybe the most amazing, beautiful night ever at 502 when greg reynolds and mariko endo danced in the yard, and the dead science played covers of classic souls songs sampled by the wu-tang clan in the cabaret of my dreams, pictures below, seriously lynchian, sorcerous vibes, this has always been and always will be the house of my dreams etc

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

another day in paradise

in sharp contrast to the brutal stress of the actual work going on here, it's fucking beautiful out in the outdoor office today.  one of the infinite number of things I will never stop missing about this place is the awesomeness of being on the ground floor and having this nice ground level outdoor space.  no matter how shitty things are going, it's always kind of reassuring to be able to step outside your door and smell the dirt, hear the birds, see the bugs, etc.  we've got a pretty amazing roof on our new place, which I have not and am never going to talk about on this blog, but no first floor.  

Todd just stepped out looked around, saying "another day in paradise," "yeah we've still got a few left."  it's true.  I'm trying to enjoy listening to Mr. C's classic 2004 Bossa Nova Carnival episode, which I have enjoyed so many times out here throughout summers 05-07, but I'm having a hard time connecting to it

Monday, June 23, 2008

bad fortune

after keeping them at arm's length for most of the past month, all the heavy fucking emotions wrt the final extinguishing of my home here at 502 are predictably rising up again, and also predictably this is coming at an utterly hellish time work-wise, with all the lack of sleep and dark feelings that come with it.  I just ordered Thai food from Thai Sesame - two curries, one for dinner and one for breakfast - and got choked up telling them my address.  you can kind of put it out of your mind for awhile sometimes but basically things just get worse all the time

anyway, one of the posts I meant to do before I and this lodge and this blog disappear is to note, for posterity's sake, the uncanny relevance (time will tell wrt accuracy) of the fortunes I've gotten from Mr. Wonton over the past couple of months

"you will make many changes before settling satisfactorily" (back in March, just weeks before the news)

"don't fear!  every ending is a chance for a new beginning" (I was and am still maybe not ready for this one)

"through greater effort and hard work a precious dream comes true" (hah hah yeah right)

"everyone around you is rooting for you.  don't give up."  (this one really got my waterworks goin when I got it a couple weeks ago during a particularly dark moment and again now)

Friday, June 20, 2008


awesome, lulzy story on the kind of insane yet also really touching relationship between A-Rod and Pete Rose, via Danny:

By spring training in 2006, their text messages began in earnest. And A-Rod is a text-messaging fool. He'll text Yankees players, coaches and staffers ... even when they're sitting 15 feet away in the same clubhouse. He'll text "LOL" when something amuses him, and he'll text :-( when he's bummed. And the first text message from Rose that spring definitely had them LOLing...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

anything is possible

there's a lot to talk about right now. moving out is becoming kind of like alzheimer's - as people, pieces of furniture, etc continue to disappear, my loved one is becoming more and more unfamiliar to me, and my memories, or my memories of memories, are becoming alienating in a weird and sad way. Jeremy from the Voice is going to be coming by a few times in the coming 12 (!!!!) days to document the last days of the magic, which I am really happy about.

so yeah there are lots of pictures and videos and TUSK, as ever, to talk about, but I don't know when I'll have time. this blog is going to die along with the house. mostly right now I just wanted to post a link to Kevin Garnett's post-victory freakout, I don't know when he would have done it but he really seems to be high on more than winning right now, or possibly tripping or something, I don't know but it's awesome - come for the "ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!!!!", stay for the "you look real good tonight, Cheryl" -

Thursday, May 29, 2008


sorry for the internet silence over here, there are important TUSK tracks to blog as well as pictures and a recap from last Thursday's epic night at 502, also a super necessary review of 502's art collection, but I need to put in a little more time just keeping the real-life wheels from falling off right now

in the meantime, in case you were wondering, Ponytail is still pretty much the best and most exciting band in the world right now afaik - check out this new track "Small Wev" esp ASAP, and reacquaint yrself with the amazing "Celebrate the Body Electric" if you haven't recently/already, have your faith in the power of guitars and voices and indie rock and life etc restored

UPDATE: coincidentally you can download Celebrate the Body Electric over at Paper Thin Walls for a limited time, and you definitely, definitely should

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


speaking of Alexis's forthcoming bday, girl is asking friends, family, internets, etc to step up to the plate to sponsor her in this year's AIDS Walk New York - please to helps!

this is frankly a banner year for having friends participate in epic AIDS research-related charity feats - maybe we are growing older, stronger, more generous? I also highly recommend donations to the AIDS Walk of BEN KOPIT as well as the epic extra plus AIDS bike ride from Los Angeles to fucking San Francisco over 7 days and 545 miles (!!!) by DEAN BEIN, both of whom may also be known and notoriously warm-hearted spirits to many of you -

I am certainly bout to break off a chunk of change for each of these noble efforts, wtf, join me if you will

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

stand back

so yes I DID go to NOTS (Night of a Thousand Stevies) on Friday, easily one of the least heteronormative nights of musical bliss I've had in a minute - plz see this photoset and this blog for insights into the weird spell under which I have been inexplicably put.* also, vids from the pre-party courtesy of Stevies/FM powerhour instigator-in-chief Holly -

alternately, you can just watch the amazing video for "Stand Back" obsessively, as I have been, and learn everything you need to know about the powerfully, glamorously wounded and witchy vibes she commands - featuring an uncredited Prince on keyboards, no doubt

I gotta admit I'm a little hesitant to post this in the middle of my TUSK-bloshery - while this fresh new wrinkle on my deepening FM/Stevie obsesh is a uniquely exhilarating escape from the increasingly depressing, disappointing shithole of my real life, I gotta acknowledge that the glamorous and, yes, I guess kind of 'campy'/cokey black and silver/gold palette of '80s disco-y solo Stevie clashes slightly with the organically schizophrenic and depressively human blues/greys of Fleetwood Mac and TUSK...

but, really, what choice do I have? can YOU get the fuck over the second verse and Stevie bending back like the willow, or the insane, hallucinatory 1:50-2:10, where the camera pans back to reveal our scorned, radiant heroine stalking a neon catwalk and sprouting lacey angel's wings? witness the intense fucking intensity of the last verse starting around 3 mins in, and in the outro around 4 mins, and tell me you don't feel the urge to share this unearthly passion with all of your internet friends

I can't tell you how psyched I am to add this and "Edge of Seventeen" to my karaoke repertoire, so glad to have an undoubtedly epic karaoke bday party approaching fast

* actually, given my teenage Dungeons & Dragons playing, my lifelong interest in diva-tastic "gay" music and love for "Stand Back," and the various "straight" romantic resonances of Fleetwood Mac's intensely hetero discography and biography in my life, I basically fall under all three of the main Stevie fan demographics! maybe it was only a matter of time? overdetermined!

Thursday, May 1, 2008


gonna take a little break from all this New York nonsense for a minute - Aa is heading north to play some shows in Montreal, Hamilton, and Toronto with An Albatross, and then all-time fave college show vibe-zone Bard with No Age - details here, for any readers in the area or with friends in the area.  real psyched to get out of town but needless to say it will be painful to miss the world premiere of the Kanye power hour at Savalas, courtesy of Thesearepowerfulhours and big Ben Johnson, in town from Cali!