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Wednesday, November 30, 2005
  Arrested Development had to go...

in order to make room for this.

I anticipate a spangly Coulier.

Way to stay on the cutting edge, Fox.
 
  the hole in the middle

I don't want to see Furcal leave. But if it'll take $10 million a year for five seasons to keep him, then see you later, Rafael. If resigning him necessitates trading Marcus Giles after 2006, then please enjoy Chicago, Rafael.

Still, if losing Furcal means dealing Andy Marte, or even Wilson Betemit, for Julio Lugo, then maybe he's worth whatever it'll take. I don't think Betemit will ever be a consistent starter over the course of a whole season, but trading him away for one year of a solid journeyman coming off his career year would be foolish. Maybe a straight-up swap of Betemit for Lugo wouldn't be too bad, but if any other prospects were included, it would be bad news. I'm not too keen on Danys Baez, either, but if anything is done with Tampa, I'd rather get him or Aubrey Huff than Lugo. Johnny Estrada for Lugo may not be an awful move, but I think Betemit will be useful enough for the next few seasons to make him worth keeping, or at least dealing for somebody less unseemly than Lugo.

Here's a deal for Lugo potentially worth making, assuming Furcal bolts: Betemit, Estrada, Kyle Davies, and a solid prospect for Lugo, Baez, and Huff. Those three will cost about $15 million in '06, and will all be free agents afterward. It'd fill the hole in the middle, the back-end of the bullpen, and give us a quality left-handed power-hitter for the middle of the line-up. Davies and Betemit both have potential, but don't seem to be in our long-term plans, so could be expendable in such a deal. Ship LaRoche off somewhere for middle relief, and have Marte split time with Huff at first. Huff's a fairly awful defender, but I'm sure we could stand a year of him at first base. When the year's up, give Marcus Giles whatever he wants in a long-term deal (within reason, of course), see if one of those hot-shot SS prospects are ready for the starting gig, and install Marte at first for the next half-decade or so, at least. Of course it would take more than this to get all three from Tampa, but who knows, maybe they're easy now that Lamar's gone.

If we're adamant about getting a proto/stereotypical lead-off hitter, and equally adamant about dealing with Tampa, and can't get Baez or Huff in a deal with Lugo, then I say forget Julio and see what it'd take to get Joey Gathright. I have more faith in his future productivity than Lugo's.
 
  more title sequence madness

Okay, read this shit first (link is optional; it's only two posts down). So Liza Weil in the opening credits is apparently a one-time deal? Or is she only there when Paris is in an episode? 'Cuz she doesn't appear in either of the next two episodes' opening credits. Stranger still, Jared Padalecki also disappears from the credits in the fourth episode. It's the first ep of the season that he hasn't been in, so I'm assuming that's the scheme. They're in the credits when they're in the episode, and that's it. What does this say about their contract, and their payment? I'd imagine that actors who are regularly in the opening credits get paid even for episodes they're not in, and that those who play recurring characters and get credited at the bottom of the screen after the title sequence only get paid per appearance. So I guess Paris and Dean are still officially recurring characters, and not regulars, despite selectively making the credits, and being utilized more frequently and significantly than at least one, and maybe two, regulars? Weird...
 
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
  Three things...

First two things I thought about while walking today:

1) I am glad legs dont just fucking explode.
2) I am glad I dont vomit tasty juice, because I think I would induce vomiting with a higher frequency.

Last thing I realized as I was going to post this posty post.

1 (or) 3) Ice's Birthday Post was our 800th post.

Mesmerizin'
 
  how can a "special guest appearance" run for every episode for six seasons?

We finally finished the first season of Gilmore Girls last night. All of a sudden the missus got obsessed with the show, and thus we've bumped off the last seven episodes of season one and a couple from season two in the last three days.

Season two has already brought one of those rare tv occurrences that I always love: a character being added to the opening credits during a season. This time is the oddest one I've ever seen, though, as Liza Weil makes the opening with the second episode of the season. Jared Padalecki got the promotion with the season's first episode, but for some reason Weil had to wait one extra week to make the jump. Odd. Odder still, though, that Weil and Padalecki are still billed lower than Yanic Truesdale, who, while highly entertaining, is hardly more important a character than any number of random Stars Hollow residents.
 
Monday, November 28, 2005
  Happy Birthday Ice





 
  Great Spam

I received the following spam over the holiday!
For some reason there were near 10 emails all with bart in sexual positions. One was much more graphic than this one. In the other he had some girl (not a recognized Simpsons character) in a sweet "STANDING SEX" position.

Notice the email address!

-----Original Message-----
From: Aaron [mailto:pteb@arkansas.net]
Sent: Friday, November 25, 2005 4:33 PM
To: xxxxxx@xxxxxxxs.com
Subject: Re:

"I thought the writing style was different. It was darker and more depressing. I liked it better," Coppolo said. "The previous books were more uplifting."

But the books ... well, the books are in no danger of going wanting. The book is the sixth in the series and has sat in
 
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
  tuesday night titans

So can we all agree that, if anybody else played the three main characters in My Name is Earl, the show would probably suck? Most of the laffs come not from the situations or lines but the performances therein and thereof. The last two episodes are the first two I’ve watched in succession, and both times I’ve come away liking the show a little bit less. There’s too much traditional sitcom here, which is maybe why it’s one of the few single-camera shows to do relatively well in the ratings. But, damn, Lee, Supplee, Pressley, and even the Office Max guy are all really great in their roles, as was Beau Bridges last night. Anyway, I guess it was alright enough last night, and I’ll probably still watch the show, but not buy the eventual DVD’s, or anything.

The Office was pretty great, again. At the beginning of the season they seemed to be making Michael Scott a little more sympathetic, and maybe too much so. The last two episodes, though, he’s back to being simply pathetic, and in almost as cringe-worthy a fashion as David Brent. I can handle the slightly lightened tone, but it’s nice to see the extreme discomfort of the original return every now and again.

I overheard a bit of SVU while dicking around on the internet. I like how they occasionally have their characters reinforce their one main trait through simple declarative sentences, like when Fred Thompson stated he was pro-life in his thick drawl, reminding us that he was not just the show's designated Southerner, but also, of course, it's official Conservative. Next week I hope to hear B. D. Wong start a sentence with the clause, "as a gay Asian man...".
 
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
  okay, I've never heard of this dog...

but I'm fairly certain I never want to meet his owner.
"I have snuggled Sam under my blankets on my bed for six years," said Lockheed, who has three other dogs named TatorTot, TinkerBell and PixieNoodle.
It's a shame Sam passed on, and a greater shame that a dog with such a fine, appropriate pet name had to share his house with something called PixieNoodle.
 
Monday, November 21, 2005
  Dream Journal Entry #1

It was probably that monster burrito from Burrito King I devoured at 2AM that made this happen. Or maybe the cause was me biting my tongue for about 45 minutes while this 20 year old record label intern went on and on and on about how trapped in the closet sucks so hard because it's gay and the music doesn'’t change for 15 minutes. Actually it could have had something to do with an urge I had earlier to give My Name Is Earl a hug and tell him not to worry. See, he was bellied up to the bar all alone just pounding beers and occasionally lighting a cigarette for some giggling girl at her request. I felt sorry for the dude. Seemed like he just wanted someone to talk to.

Anyway my mind was totally racing when I hit the sack. I knew this trip to dreamland was gonna be a good one.

I woke up round 4AM and it was right there, still in my mind but fading fast -- the FUNNIEST, MOST AWESOME JOKE EVER INVENTED! Comedy distilled to its raw essence. I was proud. I made this up in my sleep. Come Monday it would be alright. I'd be set for life. I the bidding would probably start around 2 mil.

I had been awake for about 30 seconds and my joke was fading fast. I couldn'’t find any paper, but my cell phone was nearby. So I typed it out and went back to sleep satisfied.

When I woke up the next morning, as expected, I couldn'’t remember the comedic gold mine I had just hours earlier snatched from the ether. I took a moment to pat myself on the back for taking the time to document the joke and was already contemplating what luxury items (designer pet clothing and treasure) to buy with the millions that were soon going to roll my way.

I picked up my phone, opened the message folder and found the following:

"You wanna know some shit I x gig talk tomorrow."

This was my joke. It made so much sense in the dream.
 
  damn, Atlanta, you going soft

Number seven? Is that the best you can do? What happened to the Atlanta I know and love? Where, on a lunch-time jaunt to the Taco Bell drive-thru, you're as likely to get a knife in the face as you are a caramel apple empanada? Have you lost that fire? You're down there with Gary and Birmingham now. What the fuck?

Meanwhile, Newton would definitely be our first choice to live, if we were fuckin' magillionaires and old yuppie ass-fucks. They may have one truly great diner there, but mostly Newton's a town full of uptight dipshits and horrible drivers. And people who make movies and tv and shit.
 
  Monday Movie Reviewzseys

Walk The Line - A-:
Great movie. Wish it was a little more about the music, but thats why its a Hollywood number and not a documentary - I guess. Only really went into the backgrounds of four songs. Walk The Line, Get Rhythm, Folsom Prison Blues, and Ring Of Fire (JCC) - showed mostly real life situaitons where these song ideas came from. Great acting as well. There were moments where you are looking at Phoenix and get so lost in the character and cant tell its not the real thing. Im not much of a huge fan of Reese Witherspoon but she was glowing in this part. Captured June Carter Cash's sincerity and sense of humor. Very detailed recreations of actual shows - down to the exact wording of stage banter. This was especially evident in the Folsom Prison show. Showed the darkside too, which I think was important to this movie. All around, I guess I agree with the oscar hype. It lived up to my mind.
 
Friday, November 18, 2005
  Walk The Lines



A cool background if anyone is going to see the movie tonight.
Tickets already "bough-ten"! Hopefully it lives up to the hype of my mind.
 
  yesterday's plaything

Another short show, as Krista the intern took over the last half-hour again. Also, no show next week - apparently it's some sort of holiday?

Ex-Models and Kid Millions “Chrome Hearts”
16 Bitch Pile-up “BFF”
Comets on Fire “ESP”
Zalatnay Sarolta “Egyszer”
the dB's “Amplifier”
Tony Conrad With Faust “From the Side of the Machine”
Guided by Voices “Glow Boy Butlers”
Monoshock “I Want It All”
Davenport track one from O, Too High Ditty For My Simple Rhyme
The Embarrassment “Song for Val”
Dinosaur Jr. “Don't”
Oneida “Double Lock Your Mind”
Joe McPhee “Nation Time”
 
Thursday, November 17, 2005
  radio be to God for dappled things -

Listen to Mesmerization Eclipse on WZBC 90.3 FM today from 3 to 5 pm.
 
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
  The France, wrong; Zell Miller, right?

Here's a clip of the new "hit" "single" "Bush Was Right" by fantasy pop-punk band The Right Brothers. If you've always wanted to hear the Ataris cover "We Didn't Start the Fire", but with lyrics written by Sean Hannity, then here you go.
 
  Weird Feelings Day (Emotions on the Coaster)

Bad News: A close friend of mine from elementary school through high school lost his brother on Monday. Most wont know him but Dark and Jim might remember him from Walton. Daniel Hager (Mark's Brother) died in a car wreck after swerving to miss a deer and getting sideswiped by another car. Was a father of three - two twin three year old girls and a 2 year old son. This guy was the always the cool older brother, heard Gish for the first time in his car - he also gave me my first Sonic Youth tape in high school. Truly tragic.

Good News: Below is an email my office just got from the coworker that I absolutely LOVE TO DEATH!!!

-----Original Message-----
From: xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx [mailto:xxxxxxx@xxxxxxxx.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2005 9:38 AM
To: xxxxx xxxxxx; xxxxx xxxxxx; D.J. Hammond
Subject: Heads up
Importance: High

I just gave my notice. I'm moving to B'ham. The 2nd will be my last day. Lunch????

xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx

Also: L and I find out today if we land this house we have been dying to get.
 
  northern parentage

My parents were in town over the weekend. My dad was scouting the BC-NC State for the Peach Bowl (alongside former 49'er and NCAA hall-of-famer George Morris), and so my mom came along. We had some laughs - freezing our asses off at Minute Man Park, failing to find an open restaurant during the great Lexington gas crisis of '05, hanging out in a mall - and hopefully they'll be able to come visit again soon.

Sunday was the highlight. We drove over to Old Sturbridge Village, a working reenactment of a small 1830's New England town. We stood in actual buildings from actual small 1830's New England towns, including a Quaker meeting house. There was a general store, and a one-room school-house, and a genuine farm. We walked through many houses, rich, poor, and in the middle-ish, both rural and slightly-not-quite-as-rural. In their wonderful tavern we ate authentic period food, like hamburgers and Doritos. We stood in a fake cemetary with real headstones. We smelled what horse manure smelled like in the 1830's. We observed the inner machinations of not one, not two, but three different types of mills. Most importantly, I learned the correct way to appreciate a goat. It was an amazing afternoon for this history buff, and I strongly recommend Old Sturbridge Village to anybody who winds up anywhere near Worcester. It's truly historiffic.
 
  good thing I drank my vitamin water this morning

I've been invited to be a part of some sort of focus group at work. We're meeeting this morning at eleven. Hopefully we'll be helping my boss decide which co-worker to sleep with next.

I've never been to a focus group before. Will they have snacks? Maybe a two-way mirror?
 
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
  Best Day Of My Life

Our trip to the Makers Mark Distillery
 
  You Will See Mini Versions Of These At My Wedding



Best Lunch EVS!

Kentucky Hot Brown

8 slices of bacon
4 slices of turkey breast
4 slices of toast
4 slices of tomato
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup millk
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Cook the bacon until crisp.
To make the sauce, in a saucepan, melt butter and add flour to make a paste. Add milk and stir constantly over medium high heat until sauce thickens. Add cheese and stir until well blended.
Place toast in a baking pan placing a slice of turkey on each piece of toast. Pour cheese sauce over turkey and place a tomato slice in the center of each sandwich. Then put a piece of bacon on either side of the tomato. Place under the broiler until the cheese starts to bubble and begin to turn slightly brown
 
Monday, November 14, 2005
  more on Eddie.

I'm surprised at the amount of mainstream coverage Eddie's death is receiving. Not that he doesn't deserve it, but generally a wrestler's death barely makes a ripple in the national news. The AP's piece garners a sub-headline on CNN and main-page photographs from Fox News and the AJC; the Boston Globe also carries the story on their website. Apparently JBL appeared on MSNBC earlier today to talk about Eddie. Usually when a wrestler dies you might see a one or two paragraph blurb on the obituary page, followed by Phil Mushnick's inevitable anti-wrestling column. The media hasn't covered a wrestler's death to this extent since Owen Hart's demise, and that attention was due more to sensationalism than anything else. That definitely plays a role here, too, but, still, the extent of reportage shows that Eddie's importance and signifiance is at least partially recognized by those not overly familiar with the industry.

On another note, Good Gawd, is the former WWF screwed. Common wisdom holds that Eddie was scheduled to win the Smackdown World title last night, what with champion Batista on the shelf for a few months after last week's injury. With Smackdown's top two draws out of the picture, that show will have to be overhauled. They also lost one of their most charismatic younger stars last week when Christian left for TNA. The Smackdown brand leaves for a European tour today, and, as reported by the Observer today, not only will Eddie and Batista be gone, but Chavo, Benoit, Rey Misterio, and JBL will all miss the first few nights in order to attend Eddie's funeral. Of course, whatever problems the WWF have are entirely insignificant, and 100% deserved. With TNA putting on a string of great shows since arriving on Spike TV, and the WWF suffering from bad luck and the McMahons' unceasing string of blunders, maybe Vince's eventual (and long-wished-for) comeuppance will arrive sooner rather than later.
 
  last week's playlist

A short show this week, as Krista the intern commandeered the last half-hour.

Axolotl and the Skaters: "Space Time"
Vashti Bunyan: "Wayward"
Butterglory: "Waiting on the Guns"
Devo: "Beautiful World"
Bobb Trimble: "Premonitions - The Fantasy"
Drones: "Baby2"
Excepter: "Vacation"
Codeine: "Vacancy"
Archers of Loaf: "Nevermind the Enemy"
Elvie Thomas: "Motherless Child Blues"
The Fall: "Octo Realm / Ketamine Sun"
The Bats: "Things"
Tower Recordings: "American Woods"
Wire: "Former Airline"
Fugazi: "Burning"
Brothers of the Occult Sisterhood: "Temple of Sloth"
The Ropers: "I Don't Mind"
Royal Trux: "Hibiscus" (live in Denver)
 
  oh man, pt. 2

The unseemliness of the professional wrestling industry pretty much knows no bounds. The fact that wrestlers die as often as I get a haircut is proof. Usually it's a "legend" from the '80's, a Curt Hennig or Road Warrior Hawk, that passes on, and usually from a drug-related heart attack or, rarer, overdose. I'll read about it on the internet a few hours after the corpse is identified, maybe get bummed out for a few minutes, and then move on. A few weeks later I'll have a hard time remembering if the guy's dead or not. It happens far too often, it's always horrible, and yet it's almost never shocking, not after so many have already gone.

Eddie's death, though, is pretty damn staggering. It's not the biggest surprise, but it's the first time a top WWF wrestler has died in the prime of his career since 1999. Nothing short of live premeditated in-ring murder could ever surpass the shock and horror of Owen Hart's death, but Eddie's passing is easily the most shocking, most significant, and hardest to stomach since Owen's tragic fall. Here's the deal: Eddie Guerrero is/was the best all-around pro wrestler active today. Other than Kurt Angle, no other active wrestler came close to mastering both the athletic and performance sides of pro wrestling. Eddie wasn't quite at the level of Angle, the Rock, Steve Austin, or Ric Flair when it came to interviews, but he was right at the top of the next tier. When it came to the matches themselves, Eddie was maybe the very best currently active in North America. If he wasn't Chris Benoit's equal, then he was only a quarter-step behind. His skill on the microphone far surpassed Benoit, though, and when both sides are taken into consideration, nobody was better at this fake sport than Eddie Guerrero. To lose him at his peak is almost impossible to believe.

And yet it's really not that great of a shock. The majority of drug-related wrestling deaths involve pain-killers, which are maybe less sensational than coke or heroin, but still quite remarkable when taken in the gargantuan quantities wrestlers are accustomed to. Unfortunately Eddie Guerrero's problems with painkillers were well-known, as he was fired briefly from the WWF back in 2001 after relapsing. He got his shit together, though, eventually getting rehired and pushed to the very top of the organization. I don't remember him ever getting in any drug or alcohol trouble since his return, although it's certainly possible, as I didn't follow wrestling very closely for most of this time. But he did have problems, and so his death isn't quite as shocking as it could be.

Still, this is a tremendous loss. Maybe because they're playing themselves, maybe because it's easy to become obsessed with the sport, I don't know, but for some reason wrestler deaths hit me personally more than with other celebrities. Brian Pillman's death was staggering, even though I wasn't really a large fan of his, in part because it was the first time a major name died while still an active part of one of the big two's storylines. Owen Hart's death two years later remains one of the most depressing and disturbing events imaginable. Eddie's passing falls somewhere in-between; less shocking than either, it is still almost as depressing as Owen's death, and an incalculable loss to the industry. He was a bit older, but in terms of success, prominence, and all around talent Eddie was akin to Alex Rodriguez, Peyton Manning, or (you won't want to be around me the day this man dies) Shaq-zaam. This is massively bad news for wrestling fans.
 
Sunday, November 13, 2005
  oh man.


Rest in peace, Eddie.
 
Friday, November 11, 2005
  While On Hold With The Radio Shack Corporate Office

GOT FUCKIN ROCKED BY A TASTY CAKE JAM FROM MOLLY HATCHET!

 
  my mondays are free for a while

Fox removes Arrested Development from their schedule during sweeps. It's supposed to return in December, but who knows.
 
Thursday, November 10, 2005
  radio is father to the man

You can listen to Mesmerization Eclipse today on WZBC 90.3 FM Newton, from 3 to 5 pm. I might play that song you liked when you were fifteen.
 
  consumptive media

TV takes much more than it gives. I look to a few certain shows to kill the guilt of watching too much tv. In addition to the shows I actively want to watch, I wind up passively staring at VH1 Classic and Jeopardy and CNN more than I'd care to admit. It devours my time, and only the few shows I truly care about can tip the balance and make it worthwhile. I know it's only Thursday, but I'm done with can't-miss shows for the week. I don't care about any of the stuff on tonight or tomorrow, and since my parents are coming up I wouldn't be able to watch anything anyway.

1. The Simpsons: Predictably I've seen a lot of shit-talking about this episode around the internet, folks calling it the worse Treehouse of Horror ever, etc. The Halloween episodes have been kind of weak for years now, but I thought this particular one was the most enjoyable in a long while. It wasn't great, but I didn't feel disappointed at 8:30. I'm 1 for 1 on the week.

2. Arrested Development: I can't remember the last time I've laughed so hard at anything on tv. I don't know if the playoff hiatus left me desperate, or what, but these two episodes were easily the best of the season thus far, and both might make my all-time top-ten AD list. Pretty much perfect in every aspect. 2 for 2.

3. Viva Blackpool: Didn't watch it. Last week's episode sort of sucked, so I've bailed. Goodbye, show. Didn't see, so till 2 for 2.

4. My Name is Earl: Caught the second half, and dug it fairely well. The burning golfclubs twisting into various symbols of racism and hatred was nice, and Lee and Supley both remain amazingly charismatic. 3 for 3.

5. The Office: Okay. Of course they need to distance themselves from the original somewhat, but I think they're going too far to make Michael Scott not entirely pathetic and unlikable. The first episode of the season, the one with the award ceremony at the Chili's, did a good job of making you feel sorry for Scott, something the British version was too cynical to ever do, while still portraying him in a negative light. This week's episode, though, was just unbelievable. Yeah, he's still incompetent, but winning the big account and bedding his hot, serious-minded boss despite (or because of) his incompetence is taking it a bit too far. David Brent never won; he's a sad, depressing, pathetic man whose many faults are amplified by his own delusions of grandeur. It's okay to lighten Michael Scott up a little bit, have things go his way occasionally, but having that happen twice in fairly major ways in one episode stretches credulity. Of course it was funny, especially Scott's movie script, but it still lacks the realism of the original. Hopefully some day I'll be able to stop comparing the two, because on its own the American version is great. Any way, I still laughed a lot, so another point. 4 for 4.

6. America's Next Top Model: So Lisa's crazy, Jayla's a bitch, and Kim apparently talks too much about everybody. Big whoop. I fuckin' hate Steve-o, and not sending somebody home was a gyp, so no point this week. 4 for 5. Oh yeah, I like Kim, but she looks like a horrible actor in those clips.

7. Lost: As discussed elsewhere, I was underwhelmed. The flashbacks were a waste of time, trying to make us feel sympathetic for a character that they were just going to kill off immediately afterward. They should have done a better job softening her edges over the last year or so, and not cram it all in to one episode. Glad to see no Jack or Kate, but still, not a good episode. 4 for 6.

Okay, four good shows out of six. Decent ratio. TV has justified itself again. Thanks, old friend.
 
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
  A Cool Article on Bob Pollard via Billboard

 
  The reason for my curiosity

Dark, have you read Confederacy of Dunces? Here are three reasons why I have been wondering:

10/4/04
It was last weekend, and we lived it like a champ. We drove down to the Cape (yes, that Cape), looking for fruit and tuxedos, and instead wound up at the Scallop Fest in downtown Bourne. A midway had been set up in Buzzards Bay Park, with all the thrilling games of chance and death-defying motorized amusements you would expect from any halfway decent county fair. We didn’t take a spin on any of the rides, though, ‘cuz I’m afraid of the Ferris Wheel, and the future missus is afraid of everything else. We did both agree on the little green alligator roller coaster, but unfortunately that ride was not designed to accommodate the physique of the modern adult. It was heartening to see that carnies look the same everywhere, however. The scallop dinner was expensive, and I can’t stand me no scallops anyhow, so we just ate a couple ears of native corn. We also got to enjoy an amazing musical performance from Earl Hamontree, a local accountant whose Casio-backed vocal renditions of Buffett and Motown covers are quite popular with those-in-the-know down in Bourne...

11/9/04
...still, though, wistful nostalgia coursed through my body (I was, like, just fucking lousy with wist, dude), and, after gang-raping my sober adultesque sensibilities, it impelled me to buy a shirt. There was one problem, however; the Animal Collective apparently doesn’t want fat people wearing their clothes. The largest size they had was large. They completely hate fat people. Of course they had tons of baby tees, but nothing for the husky, hefty, and/or healthy gentleman (and/or lady). Perhaps they expect their fanbase to be comprised solely of those sickly, malnourished indie-rock scarecrows that crumple like a tumbleweed at the slightest gust of wind or most glancing blow from a frat-boy’s fist. That is most certainly not the case, as I am clearly both a man of great substance and a strongly devoted aficionado of the Animal Collective’s idiosyncratic strand of post-modern noise-folk nonsense. I have as much of a right to impress friends and strangers through advertising my own personal tastes and predilections on my outerwear as anyone else does. The fact that the Animal Collective fails to agree with me mightily burns my ample chops. Of course I can’t expect any of the bandmembers to sympathize, as the four of them together probably weigh less than the Canadian Earthquake.

But despite being both dangerously skinny and insensitive to the feelings of the morbidly obese (and/or marginally larger than your average college radio dj), the Animal Collective continue to produce some of the most enchanting and peculiarly affecting music around. I recommend them from the bottom of my cholesterol-clogged, fat-suffocated heart.


And last but not least (my favorite),
7/29/05
As I was walking back from D'Angelo's, where I ate a Big Papi, I noticed a Chuckles wrapper lying on the sidewalk. I realized that, in all my 28 block-rocking years, I've never eaten even a single Chuckle. I'm not even sure exactly what they are; some sort of gumdrop thing, right? But it got me thinking about all the other major namebrand candies, and how I've never tasted many of them. Never has a Whatchamacalit crossed these lips, nor a Skor, 100 Grand, or Fifth Avenue. I've never gnawed on a Charleston Chew, or bitten into a Mars Bar. I've taken only single bites of Mounds and Almond Joy, and hated both. I didn't even like Butterfingers until the last five years or so. I don't eat candy much anymore (I prefer baked goods), but when I was a kid I downed enough to carry me through the length of my life. I was meek, though, timid, and hardly ever experimented. I stuck to the same three or four staples, entering only the occasional dalliance with a Milky Way or Snickers. SweeTarts, Caramel Creams, and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups were my main gig. I had a brief flirtation with Chunkys when I was six, and you could never go wrong with a Hershey's bar, but for the most part I stuck to those three. There was one other that I loved, and although Crews will totally have my back on this, most people I've met despise this candy with the hatred of a thousand Dixiecrats. It doesn't bug me, though, because I know that, despite the critics and naysayers, the Zero bar is one of the finest sweets in the land. That delectable white chocolate, beefily packed with the thickest nougat and chewiest caramel, still thrills me. Shaw's "Little White House" in Dalton kept Zero bars in their vending machines, and that is easily the only benefit in working for that horrible company. What an underappreciated gem of a treat!



I just realized that these all deal with weight or love of candy, but that is not my intent. The focal point should be the writing style, and I don't have time to scan the whole archives. I just randomly picked October 04, scanned a couple months, and then went back to find the classic candy bar post.

These little gems Dark authors are undoubtedly the highlight of my working day.
 
  next book to manhandle

Superstud, Vernon God Little, or The Morning of the Magicians (for the fourth time). You make the call.

Or, fuck, The Sound and the Fury. Owned this one for years, have only read twenty pages. Maybe not train-friendly, this one.
 
  idiot reads book, embarrasses self by writing about it in cyberspace.

Almost done with V.; only the epilogue is left. I doubt anything in the last twenty pages will change my mind much, so here are a few thoughts. Okay, maybe half of one thought. Um, good book! Really entertaining, and shit. Yeah. It's the first time I've read anything by Thomas Pynchon (well, not counting the 275 pages I read of the same book three years ago), and I can definitely see a strong influence upon David Foster Wallace.

I wouldn't necessarily call V. better than Infinite Jest (I'd have to finally finish the latter first to really make any such judgment), but when it comes to jumping between seemingly unconnected characters and time periods, V. by and large does a better job of maintaining my interest than Wallace's doorstop. So many wide swaths of Infinite Jest initially frustrated me, stuff like leaving the tennis academy for 80 pages in order to focus on the rehab clinic, or the spies up on the mountain, or some Russians playing cards down in the back of the Berezka on Harvard and Comm. Eight years ago I stalled out on Infinite Jest during that extended scene when Green, or maybe Lenz, or whoever, hopes to kill a dog while walking home from a meeting, but is prevented by Green/Lenz/whoever's accompaniment. I haven't really touched it since, although when I lived off Commonwealth Avenue I meant to several times. But so, V. makes similar diversions from what, at first, seems to be the main story, but none of them are a bother. In fact the balance between the mid-'50's bohemian antics and the historical vignettes related to Stencil's quest is pretty damn crucial; without that thread the period pieces would be too random and disconnected, whereas without those chapters the lack of character depth and relative aimlessness would leave the contemporary scenes too trifling and transparent. So the various narrative strands in V. feel more unified than in Infinite Jest. Of course, maybe V. made more of an impression simply on account of my associating more easily with lazy faux-intellectual hipster-types than tennis prodigies, rehabbers, or Canadian separatists.

But so, there's a lot of greatness in V. The wide-lens view of the "Whole Sick Crew", would-be artists and beatniks, but mostly just drunks, shows how little the "counterculture" has changed over the last half-century. Bohemians still talk a lot of wind, still mostly just want to get fucked up. The depth of knowledge and detail in Pynchon's descriptions of turn-of-the-century Egypt, mid-'20's German Africa, WWII-era Malta, et al, is impressive. The central mystery, how it winds through all the flashbacks, and connects with the present day, is nicely handled, and richly rewarding. That main theme of dehumanization, the mechanization of man, the rise of the inanimate, is a fertile one, and very appropriate for the time. Pynchon kind of beats you over the head with it, though, as it appears blatantly or subliminally on basically every page. Between the Crew's dissolute behavior, Stencil referring to himself in the third person, the robots at Profane's night watchman job, V.'s encroaching cyborgism, and the constant use of the word inanimate, you'd have to be pretty much retarded to overlook this. So maybe he overdoes it, but at least it provides more nice catch-the-connection moments, like a good episode of Arrested Development.

Anyway, I've got to get back to work. Let me state, finally, that, in addition to whatever literary merit V. might have, it's also a truly funny book, one that can probably be enjoyed without reading too closely. Yes ma'am.
 
Monday, November 07, 2005
  Arnold live from the Pizza Mines

Funniest Shit I've Seen In A Long Time.
 
  The Boondocks: Better than Baby Blues, but...

still not very good. I hesitate to judge so swiftly, but after one episode I get the impression that The Boondocks tv show won't be nearly as good as the strip used to be. I say "used to be" because even the comic hasn't been that great for three or four years now. But so last night's episode was only sporadically funny, and far too transparent in its attempts to shock. With the strip McGruder occasionally fails to make his politics funny, whereas last night's show made the same mistake with its so-called outrageousness. After South Park, I don't know if it's even possible for a cartoon to be shocking anymore. I do like the voices for Huey and Riley, though, and, as with the strip, the grandfather remains reliably funny. Uncle Ruckus's song, "Don't Trust Them New Niggers Over There", was pretty damn hilarious, too. But, for the most part, the show simply wasn't very funny. Oh, and the anime-style art that looks so great and distinctive next to Ziggy and Drabble loses all its charm once animated. It looks like any random Fox Kids Saturday morning cartoon, but with even worse animation. So, yes, I give this first episode one-and-a-half out of five.
 
  halftime

Our big stupid GBV suckfest shall return tomorrow. In the meantime, go read Dan Kennedy's new weblog.
 
Friday, November 04, 2005
  yesterday's playlist

Mesmerization Eclipse 11-3-05
Lightning Bolt “MegaGhost”
Small Factory “Hi Howard I'm Back”
Hush Arbors “As the Spring Breaks (So Does the Heart)”
Captain Beyond “Armworth”
Captain Beyond “Myopic Void”
Guided by Voices “Stingy Queens”
Drunk “Epoxy”
Rocketship “All the Pleasures”
Liberez “track two” from Nani Nani cd-r
Billy Bragg “Brickbat”
The Occasion “You May Know Me”
The Vocokesh “New Cropcircle Boogie”
Orthrelm “Low Pressure Storm System”
Ghost of Monkshood “Goddess Hand”
Spires That in The Sunset Rise “The May Ham”
Pere Ubu “49 Guitars & One Girl”
This Heat “The Fall of Saigon”
Eleventh Dream Day “Orange Moon”
Joe McPhee Quartet “Message From Denmark”
Sea and Cake “Sending”
Faust “Jennifer”
The Fall “Dresden Dolls”
Mekons “Empire of the Senseless”
Burning Star Core “Blood Lightning Pt. 7”
Urdog “Paths of the Meridians”
Espers “Flaming Telepaths”
 
Thursday, November 03, 2005
  Disc 2 - Me, telling you - about it - betterly.

Disk 2 - Guided By Voices - Suitcase 2

1. I Am Decided - Maybe the best song on the disc and a good starterouter. Not that the rest of the disc doesnt live up, it does - this is just a great one that probably could have gone on a real release. Tape is fucked sounding, which adds to the sound. It warbles. 4
2. Tainted Angels With Butter Knives - Bass is too loud, but the song is pretty alright. Epic in sound, but not length. Ending drags like a shit that wont come out. 2.5
3. What About The Rock? - This song is weird. A semi-funny stream of consciousness answering machine message that gets old quick and lasts like 3+ minutes that goes into an absurd and equally exceptional prog rock ending. Keyboards, mind riffs, 80s effects solos, and hilarious if you can make it through the message part. (Reminds me of the prog sounding stuff on the second Lifeguards release) - 2.5
4. Pack Of Rolling Papers - Bob wrote and recorded this 25 second acoustic diddy 2 minutes before getting high, as he was looking at the rolling papers sitting on the 4 track. Although it reminds me of one of the short ones off of Alien Lanes. 2.5
5. Telephone Town - Organic sounding. First one like this by GBV that I remember hearing. Song parts are great, laid back and Bob in high register. Always a recipe for good times. 3
6. Hey I Know Your Old Lady - You just read pretty much the entire song. One chord shitter. Macho Bob should have eaten nachos instead. Crews on Drums. 1.5
7. Headache Revolution - Wish this was recorded by a full band. Hard to get behind the silly chorus of "Headache Revolution" - but the song still works pretty well. 2.5
8. Every Man - Early live one. Most REM of all the songs heard thus far. Sell some clothes washers with this as the background to the commercial. Repetitive jangle. 2.5
9. Alibible - 1 chord nonsense sloppy sex. 1
10. I Can't Help But Noticing - HARMONIES, mutherfucking HARMONIES for the first time on the box. Bob must have fucked an angel to get such a pristine ear for this shit. 3
11. Mannequin's Complaint- Coolest sounding song on disc 2. Changes up like hell. Good instrumentation complete with the THUNDER BOX. Bar room chanting at the end, all of their livers just fell out and they could give a fuck. 4
12. Zarkoff's Coming - Throwaway, but wait. This is fuckin scared in the woods Bob screaming because a fuckin' banshee (also read his bitchy wife) is chasing him with some q-tips in which she plans on busting his eardrums with. I believe this dude, trust me. 3
13. Supersonic Love Funky Love Gun - Just when you were high on the wave thinking Bob cant do no wrong, he drops this shit stain. 1
14. Perch Warble - Fuckin rocker. Sounds like its from Propeller ERA classic zone. (Shin Splints anyone?) Another perfect pitch harmony section with some chips. 3.5
15. You're Not The Queen Anymore - My favorite song on this disc. Quiet Acoustic and it almost sounds like it was recorded around the time of Gold Heart. Definition of a perfect 4 track song. 4
16. Ivanhoe - repetitive electric guitar licks. Decent, but boring. I stand by the statement that Jon's Ivanhoe is better. 2
17. How Can You? - Lets have a cookout at the beach at night and play songs to each other, dudes. This is the one I came up with about the 96 Election. Great change of pace. 3.5
18. The Lodger Carried A Gun - Early and live as fuck. Jangly open chords and a familiar GBV chord progression - REM pt 2. Bob actually really singing. Sounds southern. 3
19. Metro XVI - Big brother warning song. Tin can robotic with some rusty hinges. Makes my ear hurt and anus cramp. 1.5
20. My Dream Making Machine - Cant understand a word. Cant understand why he recorded this. 1
21. Mustard Man - Another drunk show. Another song about condiment man. Reminded me of my economics professor named Dr. Mustard. Not a good thing. 2
22. Alone In Time - Listen, Im glad that im listening to this over lets say - a "Hydra" bside collection, but this is average as kissing an semi-ugly girl (who just at what Dr. Mustard served her). 2
23. Dusty Bushworms - Now this is better - picking it back up for the end of the disc. Cool sounds here - efx on Bob's vox and great guitar sound. Sounds familiar, sounds friendly. Clicking on tape fucks it though, which is both the beauty and the bitch. I like the song. 3
24. Free It - Fuck. Fuck. Acoustic punch to the face. More Acoustic on the Acoustic jamboree. I gauge songs like this (which there have been a lot on this disc) on how it would sound with a full band. To that I ask, does this need to exist? 1.5
25. Are You Faster? - Awesome, a good closer here. Pulled it together to please teacher. One electric guitar but Pollard has the feeling here. You stick with this one and it delivers one of the best choruses of the disc. You gotta stick with it though its a long'un. Fuck yeah, he's back. 3.5

Scored lower than the first, but much better as a solid whole than the first.
Bob's shit is my gold.

Overall Score (not tell tale): 2.54
 
  come learn to love with the radio and me

Mesmerization Eclipse, WZBC 90.3 FM, 3 to 5 pm, today.
 
  Disc Two of Guided by Voice's American Superdream Wow: Suitcase 2

This disc's artwork doubles as the cover of the fictional Skag's fictional "Superwhore" one-sided 7". "Superwhore", of course, is one of the two exclusive songs included on Briefcase, the single-disc vinyl distallation of Suitcase 2. Including this artwork in Suitcase 2, but not the song itself, is frankly sort of an assholish thing to do. Anyway, on with the review.

1. "I am Decided": Would've fit great on Under the Bushes. The tape's a little fucked up at spots (sounds like it's been left sitting in the back window of Bob's car all summer), but you can still tell the damn thing's a rocker. 3.75 of 5.

2. "Tainted Angels with Butter Knives: AKA "Jason Lowenstein's a Wanker". The mix is bass-heavy, the song mellow and shambling, but there's still something stirring about this understated anthem. 3 of 5.

3. "What About the Rock?": This is the same answering machine message excerpted on, what, "Instrument Beetle"? Or maybe some other song? Anyway, some message rambles on for four minutes before an awesomely incompetent pseudo-prog-rock fusillade is launched. There's some pre-school Keith Emerson keyboard nonsense streaking over this three (maybe four?) chord riff, and some "Danger Zone" guitar thrown in for the hell of it. Boring beginning, ridiculously good follow-through. 2.75 out of 5, brought down a full point by the voicemail thing.

4. "Pack of Rolling Papers": A twenty-six second acoustic demo, this is one go-nowhere whisp of a song. Pleasant, though. 2 out of 5.

5. "Telephone Town": See, songs like this make the Suitcases worthwhile. Is this an all-time GBV classic? No way. Still, it's a really good song that's better than at least half of what's appeared on the official albums over the years. It's kind of like a more vocally melodic '80's REM type of thing. 3.5 out of 5.

6. "Hey, I Know Your Old Lady": Forty-eight seconds of a garage jam session. The tape was probably dug up out of Bob's couch cushion, or something. 1.5 out of 5.

7. "Headache Revolution": Of all the post-millenial acoustic demos we've heard thus far, this might be the best. Still two and two-thirds discs to go, of course. Get this a full band and a second verse, stat. 3 out of 5.

8. "Every Man": The song seems solid enough, but the shoddy live recording makes it hard to tell. Another one where it's almost impossible to hear or understand the words. 2.5 out of 5.

9. "Alibible": Wherein Bob channels Pip Proud, but without the passion. Scattershot acoustic sketch that's pretty much everywhere and nowhere. Some nice sounds, but no direction. 1.5 out of 5.

10. "I Can't Help But Noticing": Boring late '80's outtake. Nice chorus, though. 2 out of 5.

11. "Mannequin's Complaint": Demo or alternate version (or something) of a b-side from the Bulldog Skin single. Much better than the a-side, in my opinion. Full of odd, unexpected shifts, yet still feels like a unified whole. Features the best indie-rock beerhall sing-along since the Archers' "After the Last Laugh". 3.5 of 5.

12. "Zarkoff's Coming": Okay, so it's basically one chord, and it's mixed to where it's only on the left channel, and Bob basically just repeats one lyric over and over, but still, he sells that one line so convincingly, so full of passion and anger, that you kind of half to give this one a little bit of respect. Could be the other half of the conversation partially detailed in Dinosaur Jr's "Don't". 2 out of 5.

13. "Supersonic Love Funky Love Gun": Suddenly becomes alright halfway through, and then promptly turns to total shit. Another Hot Freaks candidate. 1.5 out of 5.

14. "Perch Warble": Some good rollicking in the vein of "Postal Blowfish" or "Shocker in Gloomtown". 3 out of 5.

15. "You're Not the Queen Anymore": One of those brief yet great acoustic songs that get overshadowed by the rockers and power-pop anthems. Not up to the level of the best of those ("Yours to Keep", "14 Cheerleader Coldfront", "Wondering Boy Poet"), but still good enough. 3 out of 5.

16. "Ivanhoe": Nondescript minute-long instrumental. Nothing more than a palette-cleanser. 1.5 out of 5.

17. "How Can You?": Maybe doing Dylan here, but not too successfully. Not quite bad, but for some reason unfulfilling and slightly off-putting. 2 out of 5.

18. "The Lodger Carried a Gun": More of that mid-'80's college-rock jangle that GBV didn't do so well. They do here, though, as this is another one of those '80's songs
that's better than much of what was on their albums back then. 3 out of 5.

19. "Metro XVI": Dull, repetitive, and overlong, but the metal box, vaccuum, and glass of water make this kind of interesting. 2 out of 5.

20. "My Dream Making Machine": Uh, yeah. Simply awful. The type of stuff I'd do on my four-track while outstandingly drunk at four in the morning. 1 out of 5.

21. "Mustard Man": Beginning kind of sounds like "Friday on My Mind", but, uh, incalculably worse (of course). Eventually turns into a slow, turgid rocker. Nothing all that interesting here, and, again, the shoddy live recording drags it down even more. 1.5 out of 5.

22. "Alone in Time": Decent acoustic song that ends when Bob flubs a chord and just stops. Give it an ending and it might be okay. 1.5 out of 5.

23. "Dusty Bushworms": Sounds interesting, but I can't get past the amazingly annoying popping. Another song done in by an obviously fucked-up master tape; there seem to be a few too many of those on this box. Nothing wrong with the song itself, so let's be generous and give this 2 out of 5.

24. "Free It": More solid but unspectacular acoustic work. 2.5 out of 5.

25. "Are You Faster?": Okay, this is a really good song, but it goes on for too long (3:46?), and could definitely use some drums. Still, one of the highlights of this disc. 3 out of 5.

IN SUMMATION: Disc two is more consistent than the first, but mostly lacking that one's obvious stand-outs. I don't have a three-quartered .gif of Earl Anthony, so please just try to visualize one. I give this 2.75 out of 5.
+ one-quarter Earl Anthony
 
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
  What the fuck is going on today?

So Dark and I are about to step it up big time here.
Become men and stretch your mind as a Mez Eclipse reader. Hopefully simultaneously get you as hooked as we are on one of our favorite bands.
If you didnt already know we are fairly extensive fans of Guided By Voices. Dark back in 1996 convinced me to buy my first GBV record at a used cd store in Marietta. That record was Alien Lanes. Hooked since.
Pollard shut the store for business under the GBV moniker back on the wee hours of January 1st of this year as they played their last show ever in Chicago (DVD coming soon). Thankfully though not only is Pollard continuing to release music under his solo gig, but he has some hidden GBV treasures locked away in his tape dungeon.
This month marks the release of "SUITCASE 2: American Superdream Wow".
But of course Darkness and I shelled out the cash immediately and both snatched up copies of this dumbfounding box set. If you aren't familiar - GBV released "SUITCASE: Failed Experiments and Trashed Airplane" back in 2000 to the awe of just about everyone who is a remote fan. 100 fucking songs that most GBV fans had never heard. Throwaways, demos, reworkings, scabs, trash, and if you looked hard enough - undeniable gems. Either way though, the sheer magnitude of a 100 song box set of unreleased material from the man that could easily battle anyone for the most prolific song writer of all time, is pretty damn miraculous. And now he has done it again (on top of the Hardcore UFO's box from last year, none the less).

"So what does this have to do with me?" you ask. Well Dark and I have decided to review EVERY SINGLE TRACK of all 4 discs of SUITCASE 2, for you - the dedicated Mez Eclipse reader/listener. We are going to each post our thoughts on every song and from there - compare and contrast with animated dialog. We are also going to post 2 songs a day over at the extension. 2 from each disc to let you decide if its worth the guidas. Now there isnt denying there is some shit on here, and trust us you gotta trudge through - up to your waste sometimes, but when you come across the gold, it makes it all worth while. Below are the first disc's songs. "THE BUG EYED MUMS" - INVISIBLE TRAIN TO EARTH....all the songs rated on a 5 point scale.
 
  a second, more correct, opinion

And here's another look at the first disc of GBV's Suitcase 2.

1. "This Ream": Bob Pollard touches a guitar for the very first time. 1 of 5.

2. "Rocket Head": "Teenage FBI" as played by people who have absolutely no idea what they are doing. 2 of 5.

3. "The Golden Pickle": This is a "song" in the same way that Ann Coulter is a "woman". 1 of 5.

4. "Your Charming Proposal": First track of any real quality. It's a nice little song that could have been a b-side back around the Bee Thousand / Alien Lanes days. Recorded in '96, though, after Bob had started flirting with a big-time sound for the band. 3.5 of 5.

5. "Searing Tonight": No idea what he's saying, he warbles like a drunken stevedore, and it sounds like he's playing one of those weird one-string stick things that old Asian beggars play in Harvard Square, but this is still an enjoyable little toss-off. 2.5 of 5.

6. "Somewhere Sometime": Live in 1978. Mellow late '60's sounding psych, like that "I Live in the Springtime" song. It's pleasnt, and sounds little like later GBV. 2.5 of 5.

7. "If You Think It's Easy": Again, lyrically and vocally obscure, but musically it's nice. A little folksy acoustic pop number with a solid hook, recorded earlier this year. Hopefully he'll flesh it out with a full band some day. 2.5 of 5.

8. "His Spacetruck is Strange": Two-minute permaphase epic featuring only the Pollard brothers. Could've been on Propellor. Has latent "slow-burn stand-out" potential, due almost exclusively to the singing. 3 of 5.

9. "Tin Can Laughter": Another acoustic demo, this time of a middling rock song with a gloomy pall. alright, I suppose. 2 of 5.

10. "Sacred Space": Demo of "Office of Hearts". Same song, lower fidelity, different words. Good, but inessential. 3.5 of 5.

11. "Soul Flyers": Recorded in 1987, and had it come out then, it would be one of the best songs on Box. good, classic, sweeping guitar solo at the end. 3.5 of 5.

12. "Gods of Richard": Another "Bob alone with guitar" demo that would benefit from a full band reading. No words, but some good riffin' that could have been turned into a prime GBV cock-rock larf. 2.5 of 5.

13. "It's Only Up to You": Some shimmering romantic mush from late '80's GBV. Solid stuff. 2.5 of 5.

14. "Dancing With the Answers": The words to Big Boring Wedding over some droning Paisley Underground sounding stuff. Not inherently awful, but certainly bad in comparison to Big Boring Wedding. The "way up high" bit halfway through is pretty cool, though, and the solo tries hard to attain righteousness. So, you know, some points, here. 2.5 of 5.

15. "Waiting For Your Touch": Creepy stalker Bob undone by a faulty microphone. Can barely hear the guy on this one, until halfway through. 2 of 5.

16. "Soggy Beavers": Awful lyrics, one awesomely awkward chord change, and its forty-five second acoustic demo nature reveal this one to be a total toss-off. Bob probably "wrote" this the way most of us write our conversations. 1.5 of 5.

17. "Invisible Train to Earth": Full-band studio outtake from the Isolation Drills era. That's probably my favorite latter-day GBV album, and thankfully this track didn't make the cut. Not awful, in fact one of the better recordings here, but the song itself is lacking, and would be utterly skippable if included in acoustic demo form. As is, there's pleasure in how the band muscles through the main riff. 2.5 of 5.

18. "Stingy Queens": The lyrics aren't finished, but otherwise this might be the best song on the disc. All the elements of top-notch GBV are here: a catchy pop song, a great vocal melody, and engrossing language. My pick of the disc. 4 of 5.

19. "Something For Susan in the Shadows": Live recording from '85. Another good pop song that outclasses much of what they released in the '80's. Basic, simple, yet effective. Too bad you can't hear Bob at all, though. 3.5 of 5.

20. "Sinister Infared Halo": Bob's demo for Freedom From. Channel right is depressive acoustic Bob; channel left is random noise, found sound, field recordings, etc. A potent mix. 3 of 5.

21. "Happy at the Drag Strip": From 1980. Bob talk-sings a story about a night at the car-race. Put a band behind him and this maybe could be one of Pollard's most obviously Wire-inspired works. 2.75 of 5.

22. "Arms": Self-Inflicted Arial Nostalgia outtake. Kind of a dull blur, but with an annoying scratching sound. And the word "namby-pamby". 1.5 of 5.

23. "Solid Gold Animal Collection": So he had his random four-word naming scheme in place as far back as '83, we see. Would be good, if he didn't sound like he had some big fake drama club smile on his face the whole time. 2 of 5.

24. "Beach Towers": Potential Hot Freaks cover song, here. That means this song is fuckin' terrible. The intro is from some other song I can't remember, and the "oh yeah" reminds me of "Deathtrot and Warlock Riding a Rooster". 1 of 5.

25. "Cosmic Clown": More morose four-track acoustic noodling here, about a sad, dead clown with a gun. "That'll be good enough", Bob says at the end. He's wrong. 1.5 of 5.

IN SUMMATION: If You're a GBV die-hard, then you've probably already bought this. You will dig it. If, on the other hand, you aren't a ridiculous GBV obsessive, this may not be the best direction to toss your fifty bucks. Disc one is more than the sum of its parts, and so gets three out of five.
 
  Disc 1 - "The Bug Eyed Mums" - Invisible Train To Earth - (GBV SUITCASE 2 - DISC 1)

1. This Realm - Intro instrumental. Slowed pitch on a single acoustic. Familiar 4 track hiss inviting you into what awaits. Not the best opening track of a cd ever. 2.5
2. Rocket Head - Early version of Teenage FBI recorded back in the 80's. Glad he reworked this one, the end result is better, but its cool to hear the vers. Lyrics are the only thing the same though, song sounds unfinished at end. 3
3. The Golden Pickle - Drunken recording at its finest. 28 seconds - clearly from a fuzzy night at the Monument Club. I buy into the jolly habitat and love this song. 4
4. Your Charming Proposal - Outtake from "Not In My Airforce". Great throwaway from one of Bob's stronger song writing time periods. Great guitar sound and vocal sound. 3.5
5. Searing Tonight - Vocals aren't solid and the plucking guitar is mildly annoying. Sounds like he is making them up as he goes. Weaker track. 1.5
6. Somewhere Sometime - Old one from the late 70's and thus it sounds. Verse Chorus Verse song which is not always Pollards path. Easy going and laid back - song you could hear on late 70s radio. Pollard sounds somewhat timid, as if he is holding back something. Great one. 3.5
7. If You Think Its Easy - Acoustic diddy. Song idea. Nothing solid here - one great lyric out of the song. Eh. 2
8. His Spacetruck Is Strange - 2 brothers rockin. Bob and his bro with distorted electrics and effects on the vocals. Hard to make out anything in this song other than the riffs. 2
9. Tin Can Laughter - Universal Truths demo from 2002. A serious Pollard, acoustic and somber. Gripping vocal delivery. Probably around the time of his divorce b/c you can hear his hurting. 3.5
10. Sacred Space - Pollard /Demos / Thrasher lineup, but not one of the better ones from that era. Decent - you can hear the beginnings of that mid to late GBV sound but Pollard clearly caries this song. Rocking and a decent guitar melody at end but it all falls apart towards end. 3
11. Soul Flyer - Early one. Waltz-y. Practiced but not exactly mind blowing. Seemed like they were making a go of it with these recordings, just not completely hitting the mark. Good toms and rhythm guitar work. 2.5
12. Gods Of Richard - Another Not In My Airforce outtake. Way unfinished. Electric guitar building and sounds like Pollard is going to rip a lyric at any moment, then he doesnt - instrumental, very repetitive. 1.5
13. Its Only Up To You - Just Bob at his best. Jangly open electric and one acoustic rhythm guitar. Heartfelt and clear vocals, no fuzz. This song makes you want to follow Pollard at all costs - wherever he is going. 4
14. Dancing With The Answers - Early version of "Big Boring Wedding" - one of GBV's finest. Melodic, however there is a weird transition back to the verse where in the finished song it takes off to the best part. Almost there, but shows a lot of potential - cheesy lyrics in the non familiar parts "and now im DANCING!" Cool to hear where it came from though. 3
15. Waiting For Your Touch - Whispering reverb spiked vocals with quiet acoustic. Builds in second verse - weird 60s sounding trippy paranoia. Pollard sounds regal. 2.5
16. Soggy Beavers - Song written in 2005 but it sounds old. Short one, half assed lyrics. Title is the best part. 2
17. Invisible Train To Earth - First time we hear the signature Doug Gillard riffs on this disc. Outtake from Isolation Drills. Standard cockrock sound from the "polished era". Cool octave guitars and vocal yells. Great lyrics. 3
18. Stingy Queens - Another gem. This is the definition of a perfect Bside to some 7inch. From the discarded "Power Of Suck" concept album. Excellent lyrics and delivery, sounds like he forgets the lyrics halfway through but it doesnt matter. Strong repeating chorus. Best part is the end stanza - really powerful chord progression and Bob's mastery riding high. 4 (
up at the extension)
19. Something For Susan In The Shadows - Best song of the disc. Early GBV at a live show - probably is the only recording of this song ever, and thank god for that. You can hear the potential for some of their earliest albums here. Hard to make out the vocals but it doesnt matter, you know this is a hit. 4.5 (
up at the extension)
20. Sinister Infrared Halo - First (and maybe only) time I have ever heard Pete Jamison on a GBV song. He is working various sound effects over Pollards quiet acoustic. Longer dragging song that wonders through and electronic nightmare. Psychedelic noisy and alright. 2.5
21. Happy At The Dragstrip - Very Early almost spoken word song. Bob is talking to you if you are listening. Stern. Sounds like he is a captain giving orders. Cool chorus but no a hit. 2
22. Arms - Outtake from "Self-Inflicted Aerial Nostalgia" - thick bass and driving guitar, yet kinda goes nowhere. Weird effects and a vocal loop. Sounds like the soundtrack to Vietnam. 2.5
23. Solid Gold Animal Collection - Another really early song and it sounds like it. Purposefully overly enthusiastic vocal delivery - trying to sound eccentric. Throwaway song that is decent. 2.5
24. Beach Towers - Fucked up intro. Pitch changing guitar wanking intro. Band eventually lumbers into the song and for how heavy things sound, Pollard's vocal sounds weak an somewhat frail. Funny song topic. 3 minutes in the song gets interesting. Shows his love for style changes in mid song. Rocking ending makes the song worth it. 3
25. Cosmic Clown - Good closer for the disc. Recorded in the late 70s and gives of a very eerie sound. Pollard waxing poetic about clowns. The equally foolish & hilarious lyrics merit this one becoming. 3

AVERAGE OF THE DISC AS A WHOLE - 2.84
 
  lost in the shuffle

Between twenty hours of the Clash of the Champions, the latest Guided by Voices box set, the Theo Epstein news, Christian quitting the WWF, and searching for a Wendy's on the South Shore, I totally forgot to talk about Roger McDowell and the Braves. Like, I would imagine, most people, I have absolutely no idea what to make of this news. Hopefully he'll take this shit more seriously than Rock'n'Jock. Maybe he can bring some residual coke-fueled intensity from that '86 Mets team with him.
 
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
  ND and the Utah State Fair



So somehow the state of Utah got John Heder to bring back out ol' Napoleon Dynamite.
I bet he and Pedro swung a pretty penny to their satchels by doing these spots.
They were hard to find initially but some dude posted all three TV commercials and the 5 radio spots - HERE.

Good to see the dude back.
 
  A wicked night



Last night the few folks wondering in the parking lot of the Brickstore were lucky enought to chatch a glimpse of CAPTAIN ZA! Single handedly, he flipped this crazy bitch from Long Island (or how she said it Long-GUYland) who said he didnt know shit about pizza, then shot slices to everyone in the crowd. What a dude!


Also, I finally got my FLICKR page up. Go take a glance of the realm if you care to.

www.flickr.com/photos/cokebref

(Dark get yours up and going too!)
 
  holy hell...

what a PR debacle for the Red Sox. Theo Epstein is like Schuerholz and Francoeur combined up here, both the "brilliant" general manager and the homegrown golden child. His departure is almost unthinkable, and from the reaction up here seems to have instantly turned the fanbase against the current ownership.

Supposedly this Dan Shaughnessy column from Sunday played a major part in Epstein's decision. Shaugnessy is taking almost as much blame for the situation as Larry Lucchino, a guy most folks up here loved until the past week or so. No idea how crucial this column was in making up Theo's mind, but I can see how it would have pissed him off. Also, of course, as the Boston Herald and Phoenix regularly point out, the Globe is owned by the New York Times, who also own 17% of the Red Sox, and thus are business partners with Lucchino, John Henry, et al. The fact that the Globe's most prominent baseball writer was carrying water for his corporate brethren during negotiations is rather suspect, if not at all surprising.

This is massive front-page news up here, of course. I didn't watch the local network news, but I'm sure it dominated the first and last five minutes or so of every broadcast. These owners earned a seemingly infinite amount of goodwill after 2004, but it'll be interesting to see how much they have left after driving away their beloved public face.
 

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MESMERIZATION ECLIPSE RADIO:
Elliott is on AM 1690 the Voice of the Arts on Monday nights from 7-9PM for Radio Undefined
Crews is on WXDU on Tuesday mornings from ten to noon

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Dark doesn't want to own her, but he can't let her have it both ways.

Cocaine Bref is proud of his island heritage & will riff with you.

Elliott is sufficiently breakfast.
PS3 ID: ATLbloodfeast

Crog works in the bullshit industry in Hollywood. He was born on May 7th, 1978.

Jerkwater Johnson (friend to CT Jake Motherfucker) lives in San Francisco. He likes snacking, and the Mets, and is the proprietor of a bar called Duck Camp.

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je suis france
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