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.'
Monday, March 10, 2008
top 3 things posing urgent questions about the true meaning of my existence, late sunday night march 9
1 - "you will make many changes before settling satisfactorily," from an earlier-delivered fortune cookie. kind of intense, no? is this the most/the least accurate fortune I've ever received?
2 - "storms" from fleetwood mac's "tusk" album (a stunning work of art which I have just, finally, plunged deeply into today and will obv be listening to for the rest of my life, thx Designer, more on this later). am I a blue calm sea, or a storm?
fleetwood mac - storms
3 - "The Constant" episode of LOST, still, obviously
Friday, March 7, 2008
=== Viva-Radio Presents Adolescent Sessions, with
=== Aa (Big A little a)
=== Julianna Barwick
== doors at 8, show starts at 9 sharppp
== (yes you will have time to run home to watch Vampire Weekend on SNL)
= UnionDocs Bodega - 322 Union Ave (corner of S. 1st)
= L/M/J to Lorimer
2 - on a more positive POWER-related note - Neptunes Power Hour @ Savalas tonite! psyched that this is happening, really intrigued wrt what the vibe will be like, wish I could be there but I gotta celebrate P-Wolf's impending non-bachelorhood, hopin for pix! Alexis has the details
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons and basically the whole genre/culture of tabletop role-playing, died yesterday at age 69.
hopefully I'll have some time later to really post adequate tribute to how fucking important D&D was and still is to my mental landscape, cos tribute must be paid - the 'live', tabletop role-playing game is clearly an endangered species that is probably destined for extinction as a weird quirk of pre-internet, pre-good video games late-20th century culture, but I'll be damned if it didn't play a critical role in the intellectual development of an entire generation of male nerds, and if I have any kids nerdy enough to play I'll be damned sure to teach them. GG and D&D taught me so much as a kid, and, if me and fellow 'former' D&D nerds like Tim B and Matricardi and Wolfgang etc can ever get our acts together for our oft-declared ambition to run a really good campaign as the quasi-adults that we are, I'm sure it would be as revelatory as ever.
Wil Wheaton, a good a spokesperson as any for nerds that came of age in a certain era, has some nice words and personal reminiscences, which struck a chord with me and many other nerds I'm sure -
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
lots of great pics from the Brooklyn show Sat nite here from Tod Seelie and here from Rebecca Smeyne, also featuring us and the insanely futuristic and impressively lit metal of Genghis Tron, also a video courtesy of Torsten M and a fun pic of us courtesy of Jeremy K up on Brooklyn Veg (really pulling of that trashy NY douchebag look!), I gotta say in all honesty we were really fucking awesome too, crowd surfers, near-vomiting, power, I think things will be OK
(the freestyle is on point too, liva and pusha esp awes, really feelin the foursome)
Monday, March 3, 2008
[note to Sean I feel like this is too abstract to be a spoiler but if you don't want to risk it please avert your eyes and catch up with season 4 asap]
thoughts: ok so what we call memory is kind of like your sense of time, in the same way that your eyes sense space - it's a weird, non-intuitive way to think about it, but so is the idea that time is a dimension like space is. and like your other senses, your memory/timesense changes with age, usually for the worse, and it can even get injured - or totally fucked up by advanced physics-centric 'side effects' in an unbelievably compelling, ultra-impressive, philosophically breathtaking tour de force of sci-fi storytelling kind of way! I buy this 100%!! these guys are fucking geniuses
anybody that is skeptical about this direction or this show in general can eat a dick! LOST is easily the early front-runner for the #1 most awesome work of deity-level creativity of the 21st century, it has been true since the beginning and it is still true and it is becoming more and more evident in its truth.
if you're going to read one long and extremely thought-provoking thing about last week's amazing episode of lost which is already changing the way I see the world it should probably be this
update: more scientific validation from Popular Mechanics, who apparently has a regular feature science-checking LOST and other shows/movies/etc? via back4000