Wednesday, August 13, 2008
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
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 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
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
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
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
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
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
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
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
Monday, April 28, 2008
this weekend, leaving a constant reminder of the mangled home lives that await us all, it is obviously time to get back to
[previous installments of my blogging of highlights from Fleetwood Mac's TUSK - "Over and Over," "Save Me a Place," "Sara", "What Makes You Think You're The One," and the special feature "Sisters of the Moon - Laura Palmer and Stevie Nicks"]
fleetwood mac - storms
fleetwood mac - storms (demo)
(you should probably download both of these, tbh. everything here applies at least as much to the demo, which also includes this awesome, halfway through-the-second-verse drum entrance, Stevie's own defiant heartbeat materialized in Mick's genius arrangements)
"Storms" was already pretty much my/the TUSK anthem before all this house stuff hit, and my relationship with the song has only deepened and intensified since. if you are going to download one fucking song from this whole series, you are fucking heartless (and/or happily engaged in some kind of long-term relationship and don't want to think about this kind of dark shit), but you might as well make it this one. on an album full of songs about the complex agonies of doomed, addictive relationships and compulsively morbid heartbreak, "Storms" goes further than any in giving us an almost unbearably intimate window into the heaviest, bio-emotional micro-steps that the irreparable 'wild heart' takes to separate itself from and cauterize these wounds -
every night that goes between
I feel a little less
as you slowly go away from me
this is only another test
every night you do not come
your softness fades away
did I ever really care that much?
is there anything left to say?
no, Stevie, you're summing it up real succinct-like. and has there ever been a more straightforwardly eloquent, devastating expression of the sadness that no mere eye-tears can express, of the anguish that runneth over any corporeal cup, and of the dark, suicidal thoughts and deadly calls that naturally follow, than this quasi-chorus?
every hour of fear I spent
my body tries to cry
living through each empty night
a deadly call inside
the second verse is similarly heavy, if more cryptic, other than the too-true, too-real line about "I haven't felt this way I feel / since many a year ago." skipping ahead to the third 'verse', a kind of genius half-verse that structurally reminds me of the immortal Bacharach/David/Warwick "Make It Easy On Yourself," Stevie leads us to the REAL chorus, for the first and last time. I don't know if I'm just totally under her spell or what, but I can't get over how these seemingly generically-hippie-ish lyrics are transformed into devastatingly powerful, elemental, defiant truth when sung in Nicks's quaveringly passionate tones -
so I try to say good-bye, my friend
I'd like to leave you with something warm
but never have I been a blue calm sea
I have always been a storm
always been a storm
always been a storm
I have always been a storm
yes. yes. yes.
- AND THEN the gorgeous coda, which subtly shifts us from minor-key turbulence to wistful major tones and a quietly emerging percussive undertow, courtesy of typically-understated genius Mick Fleetwood - which, intriguingly, suggest to me at least that maybe Stevie's actually managed to sail away on that blue calm sea, looking back on the tumult and heartbreak she suffered on that disappearing shore... as if! we're like a third done with this shit and it's going to get way darker, for reals, before there's any light. but - how can any human heart not be moved by this elegiac tone, the implicit, heartbroken farewell of "I loved you from the start"
we were frail...
she said every night he will break your heart
I should have known from the first,
I would be the broken hearted
I loved you from the start...
Friday, April 25, 2008
there's a lot of non-FM music I've been meaning to post, but I am once again completely consumed by Stevie Nicks-worship, watching and rewatching this awe-inspiring and miraculous video of her backstage before a Rolling Stone photo shoot in 1981, getting her makeup done and suddenly sliding into a passionate performance of a never-recorded early version of "Wild Heart," later kind of a shitty Stevie solo track but this arrangement is pure, heartbreakingly bittersweet FM gold, one of those videos that fills you with a reverent gratitude for the existence of youtube - and Holly's blog, for uncovering it in the first place - I would actually recommend watching this full-screen, like 10-20 times in a row, I dare you not to get goosebumps when she shakes, "I love you, I love you, I love you, I do, blame it on my wild heart" -
this alternate, longer version has worse video quality but gives you a better idea of the spontaneous vibe and the suddenness of the surrender -
as Alison commented via e-mail, "OH my god, amazing. It's so uncanny how famous people can slip between being normal girl backstage getting make-up put on to crazy stevie nicks singing the best song!" yes, uncanny is exactly what it is, an utterly sublime moment and a testament to the intangible, mysterious quality that makes famous people famous and Stevie Nicks in particular a total fucking goddess
a selection of the best comments from the first youtube clip, with the winner in bold
this might be my fave stevie video.she has such a love for the music,and u know its not acting,she just lets go with.or it coulda been the coke,but i hope not
from wikipedia: "The title song, "Wild Heart," was partially written during 1981, and footage exists from a Rolling Stone magazine cover photo shoot where Nicks, while getting her make-up done, sings the work-in-progress to the instrumental line from Lindsey Buckingham's "Can't Go Back" (from Mirage)."
She looks so youthful an Vibrant --she was screwing Joe walsh at the time
Tonight sucked on so many levels..so I knew I could YouTube this clip which I love and be 19 again. I love this clip, it is sweet, innocent and takes me back to long ago happy days..i'd give anything for those again
That was so beautiful! Stevie has such a sweet and natural way about her in this and I couldn't take my eyes off of her. :o)
love this and listen to it so much its all i hear when when i put my head on the pillow at night ........she looks georgous as ever too and am sooooooooooo jealous
that's why i truly believe that best music versions happen outside studios... just love the eye contact between stevie and the makeup girl, completed surrender to her voice...
I just love this clip... I could watch it over and over again every day... In fact, I have been! LoL :-)
This really shows her charisma and charm.
She's got IT in huge abundance,
as much as any performer ever.
A special gem she was, and is.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
* NATE aka UNCHAINED née KNIFESTORM et al has taken the plunge into video artistry, and the results, predictably, are great - please introduce your youtube to NUMUW for video and audio remixes of typically well-chosen source material alchemized into typically compelling and uncanny pieces d'art - check out the unsettling kuduro remix and chill, epic prog vibes of his video for Wingdings' "Return to Earth Part IV" -
* LEV and WHITNEY aka BALL DEEP, no strangers to distinctive video sensibilities and unique syntheses of disparate elements, have recently dropped a frankly groundbreaking video of their fan-fiction, "new gaze" remix of globetrotting superstars Vampire Weekend's originary myth, "Walcott" - reimagined as a slow, blissily tragic swim in one of Cape Cod's (?) monster-infested lakes:
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
1 - big ups and lolz and devil horns always and forever to the genius photo-editorial skills of Matt Drudge of drudgereport.com
2 - fuck the haters I freq enjoy reading Mickey Kaus's blog for his relentless and occasz annoying fixation on poking holes in liberal orthodoxy and needling careerist young bucks like Yglesias and Ezra whatsisface. one of the main reasons is his endearing awareness of the bullshittery of all punditry, including a healthy dose of self-criticism that recently produced this frankly stunningly good analogy that completely detonates the hypocrisy of the whole "bitter" controversy, which he had previously jumped all over in a fit of typically Kausian "elitism"-bashing. put a star next to this one dear readers and keep it close to the front of your brain, I'm sure it will be useful for future pointless arguments about this stuff
...The problem for me is that I'm a Vulgar Marxist too. I've always believed that people need to eat, and want to get ahead and prosper. If you give them an avenue that lets them do that, they aren't going to let their religion, their music, their sexual habits, their families or their educational system stand in their way for long. The two most obvious contemporary applications of this economic determinism are 1) China (when the Chinese have a capitalist economy they won't be able to have a Communist government, Vulgar Marxists would say) and 2) the Muslim world (if Islam needs a Reformation in order to prosper in a global market, then Islam will eventually get a Reformation). I agree with both of those propositions.
Does that mean I'm condescending too? It's hard to avoid the charge. If a Chinese Communist Party Official somehow came to me and declared that, no, China would out-compete the West while maintaining Mao-era control over free inquiry, I'd think 'You poor deluded fool. Just wait.' I support Western policies of bringing China into the global marketplace in large part because I think that means Chinese Communism will collapse even if the Chinese Communists don't realize it. Same with fundamentalist Muslims--e.g. Pakistan, when prosperous, will no longer be such a breeding ground of jihadist fanatics. They'll be too busy making money to blow up the world. My attitude toward Pakistan is roughly parallel to Obama's attitude toward rural Pennsylvanians: if the economy really delivered for them, they'd stop clinging to their God. And their guns.
A+, Mickey, for real
3 - a little late on this maybe but goddamn did you see Michelle Obama on Colbert last week? could she be any more of a total fucking babe? what a dress! fuck the haters can we get her in front of the cameras as much as possible? not only is she an obviously real counter to whatever "elitism" etc but there is no way today's America does not want to elect the hottest first couple evar, with all due respect to JFK and Jackie O etc, seriously, there's video, allow yourself to be completely enamored
4 - speaking of being totally Michelle-smitten, this "Hollywood-style" film treatment of a possible brokered convention, by one of the West Wing writers, is seriously fucking awesome! I got a little choked up at the ending tbh! go Wes! kind of a must-read for political junkies and who isn't these days?
Friday, April 18, 2008
"Baseball has been in the Taiwanese people's blood since it was brought here by the Japanese some 100 years ago," says Ben Shao, press director of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, "and Wang is the baseball star we've been waiting to pour our hearts into."
Now Taiwan's major newspapers charge a higher advertising rate for issues published on a day that Wang pitches, as well as the day after each start. The country's largest circulation daily, Apple Daily, estimates that it sells as many as 300,000 extra papers on days that carry reports of another Wang victory. Endorsements that have come Wang's way include McDonald's, Ford, E Sun Bank (one of the largest in Taiwan) and computer-maker Acer, which claims that Wang's name alone has increased its product sales by 10% and lowered the average age of its consumer by almost four years...
Last year a study in a Taiwanese business journal, Money Weekly, found a correlation between Wang's pitching performances and the fluctuations of the Taiwan Stock Exchange. The report attributed a 25% index rise last summer to Wang's strong June and July. "We absolutely believe it to be true," Shao says of the relationship between Wang's performance and last summer's bull market. "Psychologically, how [Wang] does has a huge effect on the Taiwanese people. If he does well, people are in a good mood, and they go out and spend money. If he doesn't, you walk around and you can see people depressed. It's a very personal matter to the Taiwanese people." (For the record, the country's stock index was up roughly 6%, through Monday, since Wang's first start this season, on April 1.)
Monday, April 14, 2008
not to go out of order too badly or anything on this TUSK bloshing but I've just had an extremely important meta-breakthrough on the retrospectively obvious connections between TUSK/Stevie Nicks and my official #1 obsession of the past winter, Twin Peaks/Julee Cruise. while not an 'official' song blosh, I thought I should share with you notes on this revelation that were spurred by tonight's obsession with the late-TUSK track "Sisters of the Moon," which I will be blogging in a few weeks' time at this rate, so as to preserve the spontaneous and indexical nature of this short-lived blosh
fleetwood mac - sisters of the moon (demo)
notes on the Stevie Nicks / Laura Palmer connection from the night of 4/14:
after finally becoming totally obsessed with "Sisters of the Moon" tonight and reading through the lyrics etc I'm just realizing how fucking David Lynchian, maybe even specifically Laura Palmer-esque Stevie Nicks is. young, blonde, beautiful, but corrupted and twisted by fate and her own personal weaknesses, irresistably drawn to dark, self-destructive, and utterly addictive pharmaceutical and emotional relationships - not to mention the, ahh, incestuousness of her claustrophobic dependence on lovers who are also bandmates who are just as damned as she is
- think about Lynch's inexplicably, awesomely terrifying and never actually-shown image of BOB waiting under the ceiling fan at the top of the stairs by Laura's bedroom in Twin Peaks, while listening to these lyrics from "Sisters of the Moon" -
as she walked in the room
her black robes trailing
sister of the moon
and a black widow spider makes
more sound than she
and black moons in those eyes of hers
made more sense to me
it was hard to breathe
she was dark at the top of the stairs
and she called to me
yeah right it's fucking intense! also note, not in "Sisters of the Moon" but in "Sara" and the yet-to-be-blogged but crucial "Angel", the frequent invocation of the winds as a kind of metaphor for spiritual isolation/desolation and unplaceable, distantly melancholic vibes - much as David Lynch carefully and scarily uses wind-y sounds in Twin Peaks and elsewhere. in his recent book Lynch talks about telling Badalamenti to "turn up the wind" when he wants literally 'wind'-ish sounds or just Lynch's weird idea of windy vibes which I am pretty sure are exactly the same as Stevie's ideas about winds. think about the nihilistic overtones of "Angel" -
so i close my eyes softly,
'till i become that part of the wind
that we all long for sometime, yeah
and then think about to Laura's monologue in "Fire Walk With Me," lying on the ground next to Donna talking about how if you fell into space you'd just go faster and faster until you burn up, and no angels would save you because they've all gone away -
THEN think about Stevie Nicks in "Sara" - "you said you'd give me light / but you never told me bout the fire," and then later, "the winds became crazy"
and THEN - yes their shared, sentimental belief in redemption and angels, the sweet and uncorrupted little blonde girls they once were and still want to be despite their hopeless entanglement with the dark side - think of the "Angel" of TUSK and the literal angels that appear/disappear in "Fire Walk With Me," the angels that Laura fears are gone from her life until she is, shockingly, and pretty much unbearably movingly, forgiven by an angel in the black lodge with Agent Cooper, as I discussed frankly and extensively here - watch the video, vibe on the wind-y sounds of beginning, the breathtakingly placid and lonely "voice of love," the shared themes and wardrobes of both Stevie and Laura and the lacy angel, etc.
more on this later, I think this will be a rich vein of TUSK-related analysis as well as a potentially disturbing view of previously unexplored, Herschel Walker-esque regions of my psyche
In the just-released book "Breaking Free," former NFL running back Herschel Walker delves into his excruciating struggles with dissociative identity disorder, saying he tried to manage a dozen alternate personalities and that the condition nearly drove him to suicide...
Following a Heisman Trophy-winning career at the University of Georgia, Walker spent three seasons in the USFL and then played 12 years in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants. He also was a member of the 1992 U.S. Olympic bobsled team, with an array of other interests that included ballet and law enforcement.
After his retirement from football in 1997, Walker said the disorder began to overwhelm him. At one point, while sitting in his kitchen, he said he played Russian roulette with a loaded pistol...
"Nightline" interviewed Walker's therapist, Jerry Mungadze, who said he met Walker's alternate personalities, or "alters," during their sessions.
"They will come out and say, I am so-and-so. I'm here to tell you Herschel is not doing too good," Mungadze said. " … When he finishes, it would just disappear back in him, and Herschel comes out."
Walker and his ex-wife, Cindy Grossman, were married for 16 years before she knew about his illness, she said.
"Well, now it makes perfect sense, because each personality has a different interest," Grossman told "Nightline." "This one has an interest in ballet, this one has an interest in the Marines, this one had an interest [in the] FBI, this one had an interest in sports.
also on a much sadder incredible-sports-story note - Joba Chamberlain's dad, Harlan Chamberlain - who now kind of legendarily raised Joba as a single dad and Winnebago indian despite being severely handicapped since the age of 6 from polio, taught him to play ball and everything while working at the state penitentiary etc - is in critical although apparently stable condition due to an undisclosed illness, Joba's taking a couple days off to be with him. thoughts and prayers folks, few deserve it more, and I hope I'm not being too selfish as a Yankee fan to say that I really really want to see him celebrating with his son after Joba leads the Yankees to a World Series win in the not-too-distant future
so anyway I will take this opportunity to share this great story from the world of baseball and the endlessly entertaining Yankees/Red Sox rivalry and the magic and meaning that we still believe exists in certain sacred places (yes I'm still talking about 502)
A construction worker and Boston fan working on the concrete crew at the $1.3 billion new Yankee Stadium buried a Red Sox shirt in with the concrete foundation under what will become the visitors' clubhouse, in the hopes of jinxing the New York Yankees' new home, the New York Post reported.
Two construction workers told the newspaper about the stunt on conditon of anonymity.
"In August, a Red Sox T-shirt was poured in a slab in the visitor's clubhouse. It's the curse of the Yankees," one worker told the Post. "Nobody knows about it. It's in the floors, it's buried."
The workers say they're now afraid that they've jinxed the Yankees.
"I don't want to be responsible for sinking the franchise," said a second worker, who witnessed the burial. "I respect the stadium."
...Those workers might not have anything to worry about: The team said Friday that the story, while intriguing, simply wasn't true.
"We noticed that the [New York] Post wrote a fun and interesting story about a T-shirt today -- but it never happened," the team said in a statement. "Yankee fans know that burying something in concrete in the basement is never a good thing.
...And if it did happen? Chris Wertz, the co-owner of Professor Thom's in New York's East Village -- a haven for Red Sox fans in the Big Apple -- thought the move was a stroke of genius, according to the report.
"I won't be surprised in the least bit to see that visiting locker room torn up and relaid right away," he said, according to the Post. "This is what makes the game special for baseball fans. It's not a mean thing, but something they will take seriously."
A construction worker's bid to curse the New York Yankees by planting a Boston Red Sox jersey in their new stadium was foiled Sunday when the home team removed the offending shirt from its burial spot.
After locating the shirt in a service corridor behind what will be a restaurant in the new Yankee Stadium, construction workers jackhammered through the concrete Sunday and pulled it out.
The team said it learned that a Sox-rooting construction worker had buried a shirt in the new Bronx stadium, which will open next year across the street from the current ballpark, from a report in the New York Post on Friday...
On Saturday, construction workers who remembered the employee, Gino Castignoli, phoned in tips about the shirt's location.
"We had anonymous people come tell us where it was, and we were able to find it," said Frank Gramarossa, a project executive with Turner Construction, the general contractor on the site.
...In shreds from the jackhammers, the shirt still bore the letters "Red Sox" on the front. It was a David Ortiz jersey, No. 34.
[Yankees Prez Randy] Levine said the shirt would be cleaned up and sent to the Jimmy Fund, a charity affiliated with Boston's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
"Hopefully the Jimmy Fund will auction it off and we'll take the act that was
Thursday, April 10, 2008
[previous installments of my blogging of highlights from Fleetwood Mac's TUSK - "Over and Over," "Save Me a Place," "Sara"]
WHAT MAKES YOU THINK YOU'RE THE ONE
fleetwood mac - what makes you think you're the one
like most of the Lindsey Buckingham-led tracks on TUSK, "What Makes You Think You're the One" starts off kind of abruptly and loudly, making it at first listen (OK, first dozen listens) kind of an unwelcome interruption between the twin Stevie Nicks-led peaks of "Sara" and "Storms." also like most of the Buckingham tracks, once you get past that initial cold water shock, there's a lot here -
first of all, though, it needs to be said - this is an absolute monster drum part and performance by Mick Fleetwood, simple quarter notes that switch between a snare and bass drum played equally relentlessly and hard as fuck. Fleetwood's brutally minimal rhythmic foundation here is the perfect wingman for Buckingham's harshness, hammering home his dream-shattering message (below) with every hit
as Alison points out in her recent comment, it's helpful for us MP3 listeners to understand this as the first song of side B of the first record of the double LP set, and consequently a pointed response to the mellow hopefulness of the Christine McVie side A opener "Over & Over," which asks, albeit cautiously, "could it be me? could it really really be?" - a hopefulness which is disavowed as soon as it's expressed, as Christine reminds herself resignedly that she's asked this question "over and over."
here, Buckingham offers the cynical rejoinder of someone who's been asked the question over and over, mocking the naivete of his partner's belief in the supernatural, mystical powers of love to transcend the inevitable pettiness and sadness of the world
what makes you think you're the one
who can laugh without cryin?
what makes you think you're the one
who can live without dying?
the chorus further demystifies, excluding the possibility of any special, unseen value created by or exclusive to their relationship. it can also be read in a kind of harsh, mocking way - the provisional and ultimately ordinary nature of their relationship is plain to see to everyone, except, implicitly, his partner
every little thing is there to see
every little bit of you and me
however, as with "save me a place," Buckingham admirably elevates all of this above the straightforward denigration of his partner's hopes by turning the camera around to capture his own inadequacies and inconstancy in the second verse:
what makes you think I'm the one
who'll be there when you're callin?
what makes you think I'm the one
who will catch you when you're fallin?
the point is hammered home further in the last verse,
what makes you think I'm the one
who will love you forever?
everything you do has been done
and it won't last forever
so true, yet so harshly, plainly put! if this is the kind of cynical, romance-weary guy Stevie and Christine have been shacking up with - and it is! - it's no wonder their wounded femininity hits back so fucking hard, as we'll see with
Sunday, April 6, 2008
I wanted to make a note of this up front to enhance the truth content of this ongoing bloshery for the close readers of this blosh, but also to kind of keep it out of the individual song posts, which deserve better.
that said, the synergy of the emotional content for me is intense and maybe a little embarassing - it's been a minute since I've gone through one of these heartbreakathons, I hope it isn't too fucked up of me to be experiencing these feelings over the loss of a relationship with like a "thing" instead of a person, but,
1- a home is not just a "thing," it's a locus and mediator of specific social as well as logistical and Chinese delivery-related relationships etc, all of which will be irrevocably altered and/or lost
2- as I remarked to Steve during one of the more somber minutes of the Timbaland power hour Friday, a big part of the sting of a romantic heartbreak is the sudden catastrophic loss of ego that comes from losing someone that was a major part of your identity, both your own self-conception as well as your social identity (and value!). as Chris noted at the same power hour - and I swear to G I am gonna put in more of an effort to not derail power hours or other festivities with my bummer burden in the weeks to come - he has never really known me other than when I was living at this house, which is definitely true for him - I remember vividly the crazy night we first bro'd down, when I had first moved in, on Lily's birthday in late May 2003 (I am so sorry Lily I can't remember if it's the 24th, 25th, or 26th), back when the walls were pale yellow and I just had a mattress in the corner, and Jeff, who has since become such an integral part of the house after an initial failed attempt (the universe has a way of course-correcting etc), came by with Chris and Jon Posen, 40s and late nite Morrissey riffs! - and is definitely true for so many other of my closest friends. 5 years is a long time, especially in New York. it's like when I busted up my face at that show a couple years ago and looked at the stitches under my lip and chin and realized that I'd never look quite the same, but while minor facial scars are kind of cool, this just totally fucking sucks
I'll probably have to get a new blosh, too. I am pretty sure it is going to be called The Blue Room
Friday, April 4, 2008
* Alexis has posted secret links to more awesome VIBE MUSIC tracks from South Florida. chill tempos, beautiful, pillowy synths, and raunchy lyrics, it's all here and all ready for your weekend
* sick sick sick new track "Throne of Blood (The Jump-Off)" from Seattlebros The Dead Science, with all the melodramatic intensity, relentless intelligence, and terrifying virtuosity you would expect from dudes getting ready to drop an album called VILLIANAIRES. coming to NYC in May, poss even a stop on the closing tour for 502, which hosted the Science a couple years back, yielding "nuzzly" memories. so true!
* after a brief hiatus, Andrea has resumed blogging tips for weathering and understanding the current economic downturn etc, also tips for Disneyland - also, girl is getting some much-deserved exposure on fellow food-blogs as well as a new column over on the LGBT personal finance blog Queercents ("we're here, we're queer, and we're not going shopping without coupons!") - check out her pet food buying tips, pet owners!
* Judd's Timbaland power hour, open to the public @ Savalas tonight, 9:30-10:30. I have rarely not-needed a power hour on any given Friday night, but I gotta say I really fucking need a power hour tonight
Sunday, March 30, 2008
it's weird being back, and crushing to have the feelings of love and warmth etc of coming home to my green room and with little Emilio prowling around on my bed and Jeff and Caitlin enjoying one of their typically ambitious and delicious homecooked meals by candlelight in the kitchen, now suffused with so much sadness and anger at this turn of events. I'm not going to say too much right now - I've got three months of ongoing and steadily intensifying heartbreak to look forward to and I've got to figure out how to pace the grieving.
not to mention I've heard some intriguing things about potential legal options.
not to mention the legendary parties to come.
anyway I am still too stunned and useless from this to write about "Tusk" right now, but Holly has posted some extensive personal reflections on Tusk and Fleetwood Mac in general that are worth your time, inc this especially on point passage:
Fleetwood Mac made me see that human beings are flawed in sometimes catastrophic ways that they can't control. There are unpredictable, sometimes dark, sometimes ominous things that motivate them, and there is a certain beauty to that darkness that is rarely captured.
yes. Steve is also vibing on personal Tusk-infused darkness and confusion. in the meantime, rest assured that I will still be in my room, listening to it, feeling the darkness, etc.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
fleetwood mac - sara (single edit)
fleetwood mac - sara (demo)
the more I listen to FM the more I've learned to appreciate the various talents of its non-Stevie Nicks members, but I think it's fair and probably non-controversial to say that Stevie's unique voice - half coquettish California girl, half bitter old witch - is kind of the main attraction, you know? brief internet searching reveals "Sara" to be the #2 all-time favorite Fleetwood Mac song in some online poll, and there's a lot of questions about who exactly Sara is and whatever happened to the 16-minute long demo etc. I can't really speak to any of that stuff and while I don't necessarily not care, the importance of the historical 'facts' of the song kind of pale when compared to the indisputable vibe facts - this song is maybe the purest distillation of both the heady magic of Nicks as well as maybe the emotional heart of the Tusk experience - and made all the more thrilling b/c it's the first lead vocal for Nicks on the album and it's kind of deep into it at track #5, kicking in with that instantly compelling chord sequence immediately after the mellow warmth of 'save me a place.'
wait a minute baby
stay with me awhile
you said you'd give me light
but you never told me 'bout the fire
one of the theories re: who is "Sara" that Holly mentioned in her Tusk post is that Sara is Stevie's aborted baby that was fathered by Don Henley (!?). I can't be bothered to fact check this but I will say that the first couple dozen times I heard this I thought the line was "you said you'd give me life / but you never told me 'bout the fire" and I was like "holy shit, she is giving voice to her aborted daughter singing to her from fucking hell!!!" this is an awesome way to think of it admittedly, but the more correct-seeming lyric with her getting light but then burned by the fire etc is also pure lyrics-as-total-fucking-poetry, and it reminds me of Janet Jackson on the intro to "That's the Way Love Goes" ('like a moth to a flame,' etc), which is a pretty nice fucking bonus vibe to tap into here if you ask me -
also obv note the next line for its similar vibe of elemental potency, enhanced by the incantory, spell-like circularity and repetition -
drowning in the sea of love
where everyone would love to drown
you could maybe criticize some of the lyrics here as kind of vague and hippieish to be honest, and the song is 'just' a kind of relatively unchanging, if gorgeous and driving, backdrop to Stevie's nonlinear vocal riffs - but I get goosebumps and kind of bite my lip every fucking time she begins that verse,
and he was just like a great dark wing
within the wings of a storm
I think I had met my match
he was singing
RAW MAGIC!!! the extended demo version is pretty mandatory, not just b/c it is 8 minutes long instead of just 4 minutes, not just because it has a couple of awesome lines that I sing to myself all the time lately ("I stay home at night / all the time"), but for the utterly, mind-blowingly perfect and revealing way she starts it - "I wanna be a star... I don't wanna be a cleaning lady!" that's where the trouble begins - that star is the light, that star's the fire
re: the production of "Sara" and Tusk. basic internet research reveals that Tusk was one of the first albums to use digital mixing! and Sara maybe more than any track really glistens in a way that sounds exactly what a state-of-the-art rock album in 1979 should sound like - still full of the humanity and darkness of the '70s but with an icy, coked-out lacquer of crisp reverb and lush delays straight out of the imminent '80s that establishes this kind of atmospheric and emotional distance between us and Stevie's cold, burning heart. listen to the infinite-seeming space in the beginning, and how the typically relentless drums and bass suddenly pull you in closer - but not really close. listen to that ghostly, luminescent choir rising slowly up behind her in the second verse, those shimmering, echoing little guitar filigrees falling over the chorus like Stevie's undone laces...
this is the emotional core of Tusk - beautiful moments preserved like flies in aspic, perfect and inaccessible, dead and ready to be pulled apart
Friday, March 21, 2008
* umeancompetitor has become unstuck from the internets
* my sister is blogging! it is called 'scarves & chapstick' but could be called 'adventures in substitute teaching and wedding planning'
* e. reeds is also semi-active again on the blog-front, bringing you interesting recipes, professional insights on menswear, charmingly absurd complaints, and raw hypochondria
* this New Yorker piece on Lenny Dysktra's amazing post-baseball career is easily the most hilarious and mind-blowing piece of literature to hit the internet in years, via Jayanthi, mandatory reading for anybody interested in sports or lifestyles but especially for those with even the vaguest understanding of who and how awesome Lenny Dysktra is
meanwhile, in real life -
* tonight rupture and shadetek @ glasslands, see you there
* tomorrow bboyz @ swiss institute, see you there
Thursday, March 20, 2008
SAVE ME A PLACE
fleetwood mac - save me a place
"save me a place," the fourth, also Buckingham-led song on the album, starts with a lyric I can really fucking relate to right now
don't know why I have to work
don't know why I can't play
oh man don't even get me started on that shit right now. anyway, the kind of folksy strumminess of this one was a turnoff at first, I admit, but by 0:30 suddenly you're enveloped in this beautifully lush, 3 (4?) part FM choir, irresistibly calling on you to
saaaaave me a place
I'll come running if you loooooove me today
and how could you not? these choruses are some of the most beautiful, warmly tender moments on this album which, I promise you, is about to get increasingly chilly and conflicted and bitter and really fucking Stevie Nicksish in a minute. like the chorus of "over & over," this gives us one more chance to really connect with the intimacy and love that's still part of these difficult relationships even as it reminds us how flawed they are. where has Lindsey gone, so that you have to save him a place? where is he running from? as the next verse makes clear, he is filled with (typical male etc whatever) ambivalence towards commitment, staying in place -
don't know why I have to go
don't know why I can't stay
guess I want to be alone
and guess I need to be amazed
despite the fact that this is an acoustic strummy folk song, the arrangement and performance, in their subtle way, convey the same determination as more muscular FM songs - because despite the quiet, europhic sweetness of that chorus, Lindsey is definitely leaving, his mysterious internal dude-compass propelling him away in search of vague amazements as relentlessly as Mick Fleetwood's typically sensitive-yet-hard-hitting percussion. he'll come running back, he promises. we'll see
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
really almost nothing else, as my possibly-suffering housemates will attest. thanks again to Holly for passing this on, it's clearly the Twin Peaks/Julee Cruise of my late winter/early spring 2008, and possibly the greatest album since the "Singles" soundtrack - as such, it will also receive the one-track-at-a-time, close-read treatment that it richly deserves. I'm not going to do every track, but I am going to do all the ones that really matter to me right now, which should cover the next couple weeks of posting for serious
OVER & OVER
fleetwood mac - over & over
I gotta admit, "Over & Over" didn't really register my first few times through TUSK, I kept getting derailed listening to "Sara" and "Storms" on repeat for hours at a time etc. with Christine McVie's typically mellow vocals, the easy-going melody, lazy tempo, etc it is kind of an 'odd' but in retrospect ODDviously perfect way to open an album full of so much darkness and emotional tumult.
this is an album about flawed yet inescapable relationships - as noted in Holly's useful introductory notes, pretty much everyone in the band was sleeping with each other and doing a lot of drugs and dealing with the catastrophic success of "rumours" and writing songs about each other, etc. the songs are full of multiple, often conflicting voices and desires, unanswered questions, naive hopes mixed with heartbroken cynicism, spun in unbreakable circles. and "Over & Over" lays it all out, in McVie's verses and their pleading questions
"could you ever need me? and would you know how? don't waste our time, tell me now"
"don't turn me away, and don't let me down - what can I do to keep you around?"
etc - that so quickly slide into the hopefully rising chorus:
"could it be me? could it really really be?"
before she suddenly, exasperatedly realizes that she's been here before, and had these same hopes dashed, "over and over" ("and over and over and over and over")
- yet the whole song, in its relative warmth and mellowness, kind of conveys that cautious, yet desperately-wanting-to-believe optimism of the "could it be me?", when you kind of know better but still think that maybe this time will be different, which makes it such an appropriate start to the album, a quick taste of the sweetness with clear forboding of the bitterness and sourness to come
ftr, thanks should probably be given to Alison in Sweden PhDista for encouraging me to give this song a closer look in the first place, it wasn't originally going to be blogged but, as usual, she's got a sharp eye for high-quality emotional details, esp when it comes to the Mac. credit also goes to Alison for popping my FM cherry way back on her summer of '01 mixtape, featuring "Silver Springs," which kind of blew me away (and then bitterly haunted me for months after our appropriately intense breakup, thanks!)
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
"The Otomi people, descendants of the Mayan Olmec and Toltecs of Mexico, prophesized the healing of Mother Earth will begin when 8,000 sacred drums are played together. This inscription was found in a cave located on an Otomi sacred ceremonial site. The Otomi people consider sound as a form of prayer and a basis for their spiritual practices. In 2004 the first modern ceremony was held and the prophecy of healing began. To continue the energy of this healing ceremony, indigenous peoples and followers of indigenous traditions worldwide will drum together on Friday, March 21 at 2 p.m. EST. You can participate by drumming alone or with others, while holding the intent of Earth healing."
this Friday folks, 2 PM! bang a can, you can do it at work! be part of something larger than yourselves! etc
[Dan-O, thinking of it that way kind of makes me think of it as a worldwide 'balls' chant, you know? Sarno-style. did we invent that game or what? man we were geniuses when we were kids... definitely gotta post about the 'balls' chant at some point, but not now - it's time for the Mac.]
globalization is continuing to change economies and ways of life all over the world - sorry, America, this includes us, too - at an ever-faster pace in a decentralized process that is an unavoidable cause as well as effect of our technological/social evolution and is impossible to stop, yet also continues to provide us with more and more tools (technological, institutional, social, etc) to help us try and keep up with the pace of change. like race and other challenges of history, it is one that is posed repeatedly and constantly on both personal and macro levels in obscure and literally innumerable ways, and we have no real option but to accept the world-challenge that we don't fully understand, that we are required to answer yet can't solve without others, make our best guess at the solution, never find out if any of our answers were right, and, if we're nice and audaciously hopeful, share good notes with as many equally ignorant people as possible along the way
Monday, March 17, 2008
readers, I present to you: emilio in wicker tunnel. you can click to make them bigger, higher res versions available upon request.
* obligatory link to ethan zuckerman lecture on how the internet is mostly for pictures of cute cats. cute cats: web 2.0 = lulz: web 3.0. tho I gotta admit I am feeling a bit of a weird internetty thrill posting these...
COMING SOON TO THIS BLOG:
- photos from the studio
- one week of nothing but posts about songs from "Tusk"
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
via Nadav, check out this awesome-seeming upcoming academic(ish) conference on The Fall! with abstracts! some of which seem genuinely interesting! like these -
During the 2006 Football World Cup, The Guardian published an opinion piece by Mark E. Smith where he stated that Sven-Goran Eriksson should follow his approach to team (band) management if he wanted to be successful. This paper will draw on that article and The Fall’s oeuvre to analyse Mark E. Smith’s take on human resources management while acknowledging football’s presence in it.
Owen Hatherley: “Let me Tell You About Scientific Management”: The Fall and the Disciplined Worker
Many studies of the Fall take their cue from Mark E Smith’s tendency to the fantastical, but equally important is a stern, pared-down disciplinarian element. In ‘Birmingham School of Business School’, Mark E Smith sneers ‘let me tell you about scientific management’. This paper will discuss The Fall in terms of Frederick Wilmslow Taylor’s Principles of Scientific Management, the tract on the disciplined movement of the worker that helped create Fordism. The Fall, both in music and rhetoric, constantly evoke the Taylorised factory, with Smith as it’s grim, ruthless manager. The endless repetition, the rules against any kind of display of individual technique (‘don’t start improvising for god’s sake’), a puritanical excising of anything superfluous. Also there is Smith’s conflicted view on the worker itself – whether trumpeting his own background or equally frequently denouncing the English working class as bovine, unimaginative and warped by the industrial experience. This paper will explore the Fall in terms of discipline, industry and class – all of which are complicated and contradictory in their work.'