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