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Thursday, December 29, 2005
  last radio show of the year

The last Mesmerization Eclipse of 2005 airs today on WZBC from 3 to 5 pm. They've got streams. Make it happen.
 
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
  stuff in the flagpole

I've got some stuff in the Flagpole this week. Oh what mighty interest you shall take in this stuff. Such stuff never have y'all believed to be possible. Oh.
 
  2005 is Rap Time

2005 will go down in history as the year in which rap was discovered. Last Sunday, December 11th, in particular, is the very day on which this momentous event occurred. Before last Sunday rap was something you'd hear at parties or nightclubs, and maybe occasionally enjoy, but never really "get", culturally, in the way that you inherently understand, say, wanky, noodly, instrumental math-rock, or tastefully melodic indie-rock played by goat-voiced lit majors. After 2005, though, rap is fair game for the sallow and/or bespectacled, and I, for one, am proud to have helped open this astonishing new vista for all of you out there in wrongheaded-opinion-laced internet-land.

Here are a few rap singles worth searching for, in case you are interested in accompanying me on this exhilarating new musical journey. MTV2's Sucker Free Sunday Top 20 Countdown is a good place to start; in fact, all these songs were on this past Sunday's countdown.

"Georgia", by Field Mob feat. Ludacris: I like it because it's about Georgia.

"Flossin'", by Mike Jones feat. Big Moe: "My album / Who is Mike Jones / coming soon / my album / Who is Mike Jones / coming soon" is the lyric of the year, just narrowly beating out "Mike Jones! / who? / Mike Jones!".

"Stay Fly", by the Three 6 Mafia: This is truly one insidiously catchy hook. It's been stuck in my head since Sunday. And although he doesn't put in the best verse, Crunchy Black will always be first in my heart.

"Heard 'Em Say", by Kanye West feat. Adam Levine: This one's beautiful enough for a mother or school-teacher to like. I am so totally not threatened by this song.

"Laffy Taffy", by D4L: A third-grader could write this song. And they'd probably at least have the good sense to realized it sucked within five minutes or so.

"Window Shopper", by 50 Cent: I fully endorse 50's beverage choices, but his musical taste leaves much to be desired. There's little of the wit or musical deftness found in the work of people like Jay-Z, Ludacris, or Stephen Wiley. I will admit that 50 does have one hell of a smile, though, and his rippling muscles stir strange feelings of desire and longing within my tender loins.
 
  5 Records More Repetitive Than Who Is Mike Jones

(here's some unclaimed nonsense that oozed out of me a few weeks ago. I'll have a real-life top ten hoohaw up one minute after midnight on January 1st.)

Best known as that guy named Mike Jones, Mike Jones has ridden his unified theory of rappery to the top of the rappin' charts. Repeating himself endlessly was the key to his success, and his single-minded persistence has influenced an entire burgeoning subgenre of mind-expanding, experimental hip-hop. Instead of repeating certain words or phrases ad infinitum, these intrepid explorers extend entire musical figures, or even single notes, for as long as a human’s consciousness can endure. Forget "screw", “drone” is where the “kids” are at now, and here's a brief rundown on some of the best drone “joints” of the year.

Excepter, Throne, Load Records: Between any two defined points lie an infinite number of points. Between any two defined points on Throne lies an infinite amount of utter badassedness. Excepter's churning exercise in Biblical cosmogony howls like the furthest regions of known creation. Not just the best drone record of the year, the best album overall, for my money.

Double Leopards, Out of One, Through One and To One, Eclipse Records: Deep druidic drones, shifting like tectonic plates, or the tiny bones of your skulls doing an impersonation thereof. The music of the Double Leopards sounds less created than summoned.

Skaters, Pavilionous Miracles of Circular Facet Dice, Chocolate Monk: If the secrets of spiritual knowledge are encoded in the architecture of cathedrals, then the Skaters have been constructing miniature Chartres through feedback and delay for a couple of years now. With a karaoke machine, two voices, and a multitude of effects pedals, the Skaters orchestrate a gospel music wherein the Lord is truly all-encompassing, and kind of splattery, too.

Davenport, O, Too High Ditty For My Simple Rhyme, Time-Lag Records: Slowly unfolding rustic rumbling that is tolerant and welcoming of all cultures. It's like Eastern Mysticism Hee-Haw in Thule, with fiddles and throat-singing and probably zithers, and shit, too. Mostly, though, this two-track album is a nice, warm-hearted American take on classic icy Nordicism, with some Buddhist stuff thrown in for good measure.

Avarus, Ruskea Timantti, tUMULt Records: In actuality a compilation, but one released in ’05, and mostly of music almost impossible to find in America, so we’ll let it slide. Avarus is the all-consuming vortex at the center of the bally-hooed Finnish improv-folk scene. Avarus records are generally pretty excellent, but the main reason to pick this up is for the amazing number “AVP”. Its propulsive minimalism sounds like Can playing Terry Riley, and is a guaranteed twenty minutes of blissful mental paralysis.
 
Thursday, December 22, 2005
  Sarah Handel's Worst Song EVER in the History of Music

black eyed peas

"my humps"
 
  Sarah Handel's Honorable Mentions

decemberists

"picaresque"
common

"be"
bettye lavette

"i've got my own hell to raise" just got it, may be in top 10 at later date
fiona apple

"extraordinary machine"
hold steady

"separation sunday" it's the bar rock
wolf parade

"apologies to the queen mary"
danger doom

"the mouse and the mask"
bright eyes

"digital ash in a digital urn" remarkable because i didn't hate it
sun kil moon

"tiny cities"
of montreal

"sunlandic twins"
matt pond pa

"several arrows later" would've made top 10 because i became obsessed with them this year, but i don't feel like this is their strongest release
pernice brothers

"discover a lovelier you"
holopaw

"quit +/or fight"
 
  sarah handels' top ten songs

10 fiona - "extraordinary machine" - impossible to sing along to, impossible not to try

9 death cab - "marching bands of manhattan" - best use of MARCHING BANDS (yeah that's right, it's COOL!) (sorry gwen, you did alright too)

8 mike doughty - "white lexus" - took me straight back to '95 with that voice

7 rogue wave TIE - "publish my love" and "salesman at the day of the parade"

6 the killers - "mr. brightside" - work that eyeliner, boy

5 amerie - "1 thing" - shake that ass!

4 trick daddy - "sugar" - album out in '04, but debuted on the billboard charts in early '05

. i really wanted it for my ringtone but never got around to it.
3 kanye west "heard 'em say" - that adam levine hook is hypnotq

2 mountain goats - "this year" - who hasn't felt like this? "i am going to make it through this year if it KILLS me" driving beat awesome

1 kelly clarkson -

"since u been gone" - i drop everything and scream along when this comes on. no matter what.
 
  sarah handel makes lists

freakin' hell... I'm drunk at my parent's house at 6:25... but this ain't about me. It's about SARAH HANDEL and her totally bitchin' year-end lists. She's "literally not allowed to have a blog", and so asked if we could post her thoughts right here and now. So here's the albums list, followed closely by song/singles...


top ten albums

10.5 ben folds - songs for silverman - wasn't originally going to be on this but i was going through the disc looking for a single for that top 10 when i realized... i actually really like the first half of this album. all downhill after "trusted."

TIE 10 fruit bats - "spelled in bones" - kind of a sleeper, to me anyway. sounds a lot like something i would've liked 7 years ago, but better. so what if "legs of bees" could appear on a shins record without anyone batting an eye?

10 death cab for cutie - "plans" - solid release, exactly what you want to hear from death cab. different enough from "transatlanticism" to sound like something new, but similar enough to feel like returning to flannel sheets after a long summer - cozy and you never want to wake up. bonus points for a song where Sarah's the muse.

9 bloc party - "silent alarm" - almost didn't make the list because i couldn't really remember it, but i brought it in to jam first thing at work, and it rocks. sets me up right for a day of battle.

8 rogue wave - "descended like vultures" - sub pop kicked a whole lot of ass this year. the 1-2-3 punch of "bird on a wire," "publish my love," and "salesman at the day parade" is like a valentine from the one person you never thought would notice you. euphoric.

7 shout out louds - "howl howl gaff gaff" - super pop album. totally underrated. a little grimy, a little cocky, a lot of pop beauty.

6 antony and the johnsons - "i am a bird now" - it took me many listens to "get it" but now that i have...indescribable. aching, heartbraking, soulful. sure don't sound like no white boy.

5 go team - "thunder lightning strike" - it may be cheating since we were all rocking this in '04, but since it's officially an '05 record in america, it makes the list.

4 andrew bird and "the mysterious production of eggs" - a marked improvement over weather systems, which i also loved, but it had its lulls (haha). eggs is full of twisted wordplay, layered melodies, and intriguing instrumentation... sounds like a recipe for an "interesting" record not a good one, but this is a case where interesting and intelligent translates to likeable and accessible.

3 kanye west - "late registration" - oh kanye, my kanye. everyone at NPR (OK, not everyone, but people in multiple departments) calls me when he's on the TV. how can you dress like a countryclubber and rock me so hard?

2 sufjan stevens - "illinois" - simply the best. ok, second best. 2/3 of these songs make my heart soar, the other 1/3 are better than 99% of all music ever. what can i say that hasn't been said?

1 crooked fingers - "dignity and shame" - just call me mrs. bachman. PLEASE call me mrs. bachman. take heed of my call to love. perfect perfect album, not a dud on it, and each song invites you in and makes you part of it. definitely the album most like living your own movie.
 
  Merry Christmas From The Boys At Mez Eclipse!!!

 
  Cptn. Crews' Top 20 of 2005

All hail Crews's love for the pop.

20. Wolf Parade: Apologies to the Queen Mary
19. Rogue Wave: Descended Like Vultures
18. Andrew Bird: The Mysterious Production of Eggs
17. Okkervil River: Black Sheep Boy
16. The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers: Mother of Love Emulates the Shape of Cynthia
15. Of Montreal: Sunlandic Twins
14. Rosebuds: Unwind
13. Dr. Dog: Easy Beat
12. Iron & Wine: Woman King
11. Crooked Fingers: Dignity and Shame
10. Mercury Rev: Secret Migration
9. The Go-Betweens: Oceans Apart
8. The Mountain Goats: Sunset Tree
7. The Decemberists: Picaresque
6. Portastatic: Bright Ideas
5. Sufjan Stevens: Illinois
4. Architecture In Helsinki: In Case We Die
3. Matt Pond PA: Several Arrows Later
2. The Silver Jews: Tanglewood Numbers
1. Tullycraft: Disenchanted Hearts Unite
 
  Honeysuckle Sweet Night



So with the move and other excitement that will be noted here in the future, L and I haven't had a second to do any sorts of holiday enjoyment. As a matter of fact, up to this point - our SUPER DAZZLE Christmas Season has kinda sucked. Thus being, last night was the first time I had a chance to go out on my own and do some shopping. Promptly and quickly started at 9:40PM and hit up a few choices purchasing spots. A liquor store to take care of the coworkers and then off to the cabalistic land known as KMart. The only one close to the place we are staying happens to be right across the street from ATLandmark the INTERNATIONAL BOWL ARCADE. Naw, didnt have time to shoot in for a sweet ass version of "Holy Diver", but either way I gave it a wink as I drove by. The KMart amazement was located off of Buford Highway in a not so awesome part of town and due to some quick thinking on my part - I knew they were open until midnight. Why KMart you ask? Well clearly they were the "PRICEBUSTER" when it came to my dad's Norelco Quadra Action 7800XLCC. There are about 12 cars in the parking lot as I rolled in about 10:30, but I must say that the freaks were lettin' it all hang out a little earlier than midnight last night. I saw two haggard 60 year old women smoking in the store and arguing with a clerk about a $1.50 towel she wanted for .$75 and was about to break this womans face over. "You must be a stupid girl" I heard as I charged on towards electronics. Weaving my way through the metalic landscape, I rounded the corner of one isle clearly catching a couple in the middle of a shoplifting scheme. Col Busted. I reach the preliminary boundry of the electronics dept and the KMart dude was mackin' on this thick chick. I was there to completely fucking bust up his score for the night to buy a fucking razor (with a self cleaning base). I waited for a while at the counter and he obviously didnt give a fuck about me, so finally I was all "hey, can I see this tight ass face shaver". He comes over slings open the case pulls out the blue one. Naw dawg, my dad dont dig on Aqua Marine, GUN METAL GREY - HOMES. After a lightning quick inspection, it passes the analysis and I'm ready to check out so this guy can get back up in dem guts. Dude, still pissed that I impeded upon his flow, goes to scan the item over the desensitizing thing and fucking slides the ONLY NORELCO 7800XLCC in the whole God Damn store right off the counter to the ground. Busting the box. He starts freakin out and brushing it off telling me not to worry b/c there is foam in there protecting the goods. I ask to switch the box, we do and I roll. At this point I just want to fucking get the shit out of KOOKY CASTLE. I nab some wrapping paper and a few choice looks from the interracial couple as I jam a killer drum solo on the kid drums at the front. Though jamming, I was ready to get out of there. Pay up and I fly out the door. Get to my car and as I am loading my shit into the trunk, an iridescent glow comes forth around the exterior rims of my vehicle. I look up and who is parked exactly next to my car climing out with a little sweet young thang? Kevn Kenny mutherfuckers! Honeysuckle BLUE BALLS I had as I saw this total ROCKER locking up his sweet late 90's Brown Pontiac Bonneville. That dude was getting laid last night, I'm sure. I tried to get his autograph on my KMart receipt, but his holiness didnt have fuckin' time for that shit. So I got in my car, pulled straight over to IBA and fuckin' kicked a sweet verse of "Fly Me Courageous" in the parking lot before heading home to do some wrapping.
 
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
  I'll Bring The Maple Syrup

 
  Silver Jews, quick wormwood (ATL)

Hey, got an email from the booker of the Earl. The tickets for the Silver Jews show in March is selling quick as shit. Go buy one here, like...now, dude.

Have no idea how well the 40 Watt show is selling. They dont have their online sales anymore.
 
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
  I'll go first...Best of '05

Alright since no one was ready to step up I'll bat lead off. My shit is gonna look a little different than most of y'alls. I'm not really into psych-folk or folk-folk or psych-noise or noise-noise or art-psych-noise-folk, but whatever. Different strokes for different folks.

From the bottom.

10.Oneida - The Wedding
These dudes are one of my favorite live bands and bring it everytime out. It was cool hanging with them in Boston. Their new album was pretty arty, but still jammed out way hard. Probably should spend more time with this one. I got an ipod in August and haven't put it in there yet, but the music director at All the Hits Q100 was jamming on Anthem of the Moon when I was playing in at the office. Totally sweet.

9.LCD Soundsystem - s/t
OK so their major label debut was a double album featuring a best-of. WTF...Tight. "I've got 15 cases at my house"...dude when can we come over? Amazing live, and James Murphy is the only dude in recent memory to evoke Mark E. Smith without sounding too much like the Fall. Excellent record. Nominated for 2 Grammy's. Fuck to the Yeah

8.Queens of the Stone Age - Lullabies to Paralyze
Without a doubt THE BEST live band I've seen in the past couple of years and a band that continuously put out amazing albums that get better and better with every listen. No Grohl or Oliveri this time out, but were still able to craft great songs when everyone thought they were done. Josh Homme is an amazingly cool dude and these guys give commercial radio friendly major label rock a good fucking name, even if Crews hates them. Sit on it old man. This album is waaaay awesome. Oh and the drummer used to be in Danzig....YES!!!!

7.Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
So everyone and their mother has talked about this record way too much. It's great, even if they aren't so hot live. Not too much to say about this that hasn't already been said. I think it's awesome, hopefully the next album doesn't suck, wouldn't be suprised if it did though. That would be a shame if they couldn't follow this near masterpiece up. Angular dancable guitar rock is pretty tired, but these dudes do it better than just about everyone.

6.Young Jeezy - Thug Motivation 101:Let's Get It
So raps about selling cocaine might not be the most interesting thing in the world to you and you may think "Soul Survivor" sucks, but you're missing the point. Jeezy tells awesome stories about hustlin', stackin' flows and reppin' his hood. He invited the world into the hood of the A-Town and showed you what was really going down. Telling great stories and bringing an intensity and honesty to the game that transends a weak breakthrough single. There are so many great songs on this album that really need to be heard..."...And then What," "Go Crazy," "My Hood" and "Trap Star" among may others show that this guy has alot to bring to the table. Amazing debut. He and T.I. shut it down Thanksgiving Night. Best Turkey Day Ever!

5.Black Mountain -s/t
Uhhh these guys opened up for Coldplay and listen to Wu Tang alot. Sweet. They were also the only band that could take the best parts of High on Fire, the Stones and Neutral Milk Hotel and put out a record that doesn't sound derivative in the least bit. Fresh, fun and jammin'. Fuck Yeah Black Mountain rule. Somone needs to buy me the Pink Mountain Tops album for Christmas. I need more than 8 songs. I'm jonesin'.

4.V/A Run the Road comp.
The ultimate in UK grime rap. This highlights some of the best work from Dizzee Rascal, Kano, Wiley, Jammer. Lady Sovereign, The Streets and more. I don't think I've ever heard a comp before that highlights an entire mucal genre as well as this. I'm sure there are some obscure reigonal punk comps from back in the day that may, but punk comps suck and rap comps with this many awesome future stars of the rap game don't. The ultimate mix tape. Get this and get with it. "Just lend me he mic and let me get raw." Okay...here you go dude, keep spittin' mad fire.

3.Kanye West - Late Registration
Finally a hip hop record that has everything that you could ask for: intellect, artistry, club jams, chopped and screwed shit, appearances from the best of the best (the Game, Paul Wall, Jay-Z, Nas, etc.), and a big dick for your mouth. Kanye rocks dope sweaters, hates George Bush and hasn't listened to the new Paul Mccartney album yet, but is gonna get around to it before he declares himself the recipient of this years Album of the Year. I would say he is the Denzel of the rap game. Give the dude the trophy.

2.MIA - Arular
Some crazy Sri-Lankan lady put together one of the craziest records I've ever heard. This shit will move your ass, make you think, and cave your roof in. I really wish I had gone up to Athens to see her show, damn I must have been trippin' balls that day. What the fuck is an Arular anyway? Actually I don't care whatever it is, it's awesome and if you haven't heard this yet because it was all hyped out earlier this year, well you're trippin' too. Shit is bananas.

1.My Morning Jacket - Z
These guys and Queens are the two best american rock bands today. Great songs, great lyrics, great live show and really cool dudes to boot. I really have a hard time thinkning of great touring american bands these days. Dudes that play hundreds of shows a year, total road warrioirs and do it for the love of the game. These guys remind me alot of baseball for some reason. They play for 8 months out of the year, relax for a few months, spend spring training writing a new record and then back out on the road night after night. Mad respect for the Jacket. Great album even if Darkness doesn't agree. I love this band and you should too, they are amazing. The national anthem should be changed to "Off the Record" so they could play if before every baseball game. I'd take my hat off for that shit.

Alot of you guys will probably disagree with alot of these, but if you haven't heard some of these records, you should give them a spin, they're totally worth it. None of them are flawless, but each one is awesome for it's own reasons. I'll also go ahead and say there about a bagillion albums that I haven't heard, so some of these records could be bumped lower at a later date, but as of 12/20/05 at 11:25p.m. these are my favorite. Looks like I just took ball four, who's next, there's a runner on first.
 
Monday, December 19, 2005
  Lawyer Party





So on Friday night I had the pleasure of attending my friends' Holiday Party Extravaganza. They work at a law firm even bigger than mine, which means even more money is thrown at the Big Time Holiday Party. My firm's party was a black tie affair at the Four Seasons; the MoFos (Morgan Foerster)rented out fucking SBC park. The party area was the entire club level, complete with buffets and open bars and a stage with a band known as the MoFonics, and some dude with a video camera capturing it all and projecting it live on the stadium scoreboard.

What you guys will want to hear about is the two tours I took. One took me through the annals of the park, out onto the infield, into the dugout, into the visitors' clubhouse, and into the press booth. I picked up the bullpen phone and it starting ringing. The tour guide told me to put the phone down. I went into the shower room and turned on the shower. The tour guide told me to get out of there. We ditched the press booth lecture because we were late for BATTING PRACTICE.

Yes. Batting practice in the batting tunnel. The machine was set to 60 mph and I hit the shit out of it. I was probably the best hitter, but these people were fucking drunk as hell.

Anyway, a good night.
 
  the chronic - WHAT? - cles of narnia

Saturday Night Live was surprisingly not awful this weekend. Much of it was horrible - the Sbarro's skit, Jack Black's Kong song, the ever-shitty Appallachian Emergency Room - but there were at least five quality bits, including two that were downright excellent. The Narnia rap short was the best thing I've seen on there since Bear City, and Will Forte's spelling bee skit was almost as good. The Two A-Holes Buying a Christmas Tree was funny and not at all annoying. Smigel's cartoon looked awesome, and although it didn't really provoke any laughter, it was totally inoffensive and maybe got me to crack a slight smile or two. Tracy Morgan's cameo was kind of half-assed, but I pretty much laugh at anything that guy does. Kenan similarly entertains me even when he sucks, so seeing them together was fine with me. The first Neil Young song was really good, too. Other than that, the show sucked, but since I just described like half of what they did, that means it wasn't too bad a program, overall. Easily the best of this season. I was, of course, drunk as hell, so perhaps my judgment wasn't up to snuff. Still, I'm positive that Narnia rap would still be excellent in the sober light of this frigid Monday morning.
 
Saturday, December 17, 2005
  Still Flyin' makes Pitchfork's best of...kinda

In their best of '05 pt. 5 section (dude I don't know how to post links, so deal) all the way at the bottom, the last list of artist faves...peep this:

Cameron Bird, Architecture in Helsinki
1. Animal Collective: Feels (Fat Cat)
2. Still Flyin': Still Flyin' (self-released)
3. Sufjan Stevens: Illinois (Asthmatic Kitty)
4. Vive Le Rouge: Cent Tas D'Aretes (Vives Eaux)
5. Dr Dog: Easy Beat (Rough Trade)

Not too shabby
 
Friday, December 16, 2005
  Friday Inspiration

OK. Go here watch the Europa video and tap into rock and roll's most psychedelic mind. It's the third one from the top.

www.santana.com/musicianscorner/lessons/carlos/index.html
 
  more radio

Our man Brian Crews is currently hosting a show on WXDU. They've got that shit streaming. Mr. Crews will be up there 'til four, est.
 
  Good Job Velena

Two awesome bands start two of their somewhat "monumental" tours at the 40 Watt.
Fine job Ms. Lady of the book.

Silver Jews - Athens, GA - 40 Watt - 3-10-06
(First Tour Ever)

Bob Pollard - 40 Watt - 1-26-06
(First Solo Tour Ever)
 
Thursday, December 15, 2005
  holy shit, we's radiatin'

Folks,

the radio show is on right now. Listen through this internet at WZBC's site, or tune your receivers to 90.3 FM if you're in the Boston area. Which is highly doubtful.
 
  somebody brought their camera to work today

These are the last two, I swear. They're also maybe the most interesting.

Here's a Masonic eye painted on the roof of meeting room in the Salem Towne House at Old Sturbridge Village. I'm sure this will find its way onto a France release at some point.


And here's a somewhat legible photo of the informative display in said meeting room.
 
  the most amazing Hamm Jamm

 
  my father is an 1830's New England schoolmaster

 
  antebellum cattle

 
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
  new poll question, concerning a hat

My Atlanta Hawks ski cap arrived in the mail yesterday, all the way from Great Britain. The seller swears it's the Queen's tifter itself. It's a snappy little reversible number by Nike, and I'm confounded as to what would be the optimal way to wear it. One one side it's a red hat with ATL in gold letters and a black swoosh on the back. Flip it over and you've got a black hat with ATLANTA in red and gold, a swoosh, and an NBA logo. Quite nice no matter how you wear it.

Still, I feel like a poll is in order. My wife suggested that the red side was better; I tend to agree, if only because the NBA logo on the reverse gives me pause. I figured I asked my friends here, though, what their thoughts on the matter were. Tonight I'll add photos, for those who are interested.

UPDATE: Here are the pics.

vs.

I've worn it red the last two mornings.
 
  four shot dead in Boston rap studio

Don't worry, everybody, I'm perfectly okay.

Well, my rosacea's acting up pretty bad, and my stomach was upset about an hour ago, but other than that, I'm doing fine. No bullets in THIS dude!
 
Monday, December 12, 2005
  an epic quest for the ultimate meal

A couple weeks ago the missus got lost on the way back from the airport, and made a most amazing discovery. Somewhere out on 99, maybe in Everett, perhaps Malden, sits a Kentucky Fried Chicken that is more than it seems. Your standard KFC in the Boston area is a two-headed monster of conflicting fast-food tastes. A Taco Bell is guaranteed to be attached parasitically to the Colonel's gullet, siphoning off the positivity and good will KFC has cultivated over the last several decades. In one or two locations you'll find a Pizza Hut instead of a Taco Bell. Only in Allston can you find a free-standing KFC completely lacking a faux-Mexican/Italian taint. Outside this one exception, to the furthest extent of human knowledge and experience, every KFC in the Boston area has a roommate.

So this day two weeks ago, after dropping a colleague from Georgia off at Logan, my wife made a wrong turn at a rotary, and wound up encountering a truly miraculous vision. The familiar red-and-white sign, the Colonel beaming like a by-stander in an early 20th century lynching photograph, caught her eye first, but did little to prepare her for the amazement which closely followed. Beneath that familiar sign, lower down the pylon, just above the marquee unladen with text, sat a sign with an unfamiliar design, but featuring words in festive yellow and aquamarine that called forth blissful memories of the finest in fast-food dining. Beneath that KFC sign the words "Long John Silver's" cut brightly through the murk like a shining beacon of hope and culinary freedom.

Fleetingly a fantastic future suffused with chicken planks and hushpuppies floated before her. Memories of malt vinegar and captain's bells, Norman Bigfish and muppet shrimp churned in her head as she rushed home as precipitiously as providence did permit. In her haste, though, she neglected to commit her route home to memory. She arrived at our modest abode with wonderful news, but without the information necessary to turn this news into an even more wonderful future. She even came to doubt whether she actually saw what she was certain she did. Perhaps in her desperation to reorient herself and find a proper path home her mind was playing tricks on her. Could this startling revelation of the most felicitous ilk truly exist in our tangible world, or must it have been merely a cruel trick of an overtaxed mind?

Yesterday we planned to make this determination, and, if said mirage did reside physically upon this orb, sup upon its bounty of fried victuals. Shortly before lunch-time I ensconced myself in front of our new-fangled difference engine and directed our robotic courier toward the friendly fishmonger's digital notice board. A helpful program there aids the prospective diner in locating nearby storefronts; the customer provides his address, and in return is shown a map with local establishments indicated in red. All seemed in order, until we realized that our fair Commonwealth was not even listed in their directory of states. Their virtual placard thusly useless, I put aside my disdain for the base and vulgar and deigned to call them directly. A boorish lady of East Indian extract, comportment entirely with out gentility, crudely informed me that the restaurant in question was located in Malden. Armed with this additional information, a quick return to the computational device yielded the proper address, and soon we were off on our horseless.

In route, that damnable rotary confused us yet again, and repeatedly, spiralling us off in the wrong direction five times in a row. We drove through the heart of Everett, straight into Malden, but turned around when the street numbers seemed headed in the wrong direction. We made a round-about in the parking lot of the Target Greatland, next to the PetsMart where we adopted our adorable kitten HammJamm. Somehow we found ourselves in Charlestown, with an immaculate view of the Zakim Bridge previously unseen by us. We headed yet again through Everett and Malden, this time down a different street, and once again in the wrong direction. Finally we deduced that perhaps we had not driven far enough into Malden the first time, and thus repeated our initial path. Sure enough, this took us to the fabled hideaway, after only three and a half hours of intrepid searching.

Chicken planks remain the irresistable balm of the soul I remembered from my youth. The hushpuppies and crunchies were as delectable as ever. The service left much to be desired, however, and the restaurant itself was disgustingly filthy. An obviously destitute family of eight blithely tossed their trash all about the floor, scattering half-eaten corncobs and stray bits of chicken meat upon the dull brown tiles. The women's restroom was out of order, and the men's smelled like the inner workings of Satan's digestive system. Still, those incredible chicken planks, with moist white meat suffocated, like my heart, in golden-brown batter and crunchy breading, made the entire ordeal more than worth it. The wasted hours driving around the seemier sides of Boston, the unbearable repulsion of our mealtime surroundings, and the eventual extreme stomach discomfort (entirely expected and anticipated) were reduced to inconsequence by my blistering, unrelenting passion for Long John Silver's. I look forward to that time when, months from now, I have recovered enough to sally forth yet again and renew the quest for the eternal treat. Lady Fortuna did smile upon us this weekend, as we hope it did for all our friends and loved ones.
 
  Who Says Drone Is Random Bullshit?

(sorry no link)

Under the Influence

SUNNO)))’s Stephen O’Malley interviews Earth’s Dylan Carlson

No need for a blood test to determine SUNNO)))’s paternity. Recalcitrant doom frequency seekers Stephen O’Malley (Khanate, Burning Witch) and Greg Anderson (Goatsnake) have freely acknowledged Earth’s daddyhood from the getgo—to the extent of giving a track on The Grimmrobe Sessions once and future Terran Dylan Carlson’s name. Recently issued via Anderson’s Southern Lord label, the Los Angeles-based duo’s new LP, Black One, displays unbridled fealty to the rumble-buttressed spirit of Carlson’s vision without hewing too close to its letter. They’d have been fools to do otherwise. Dronecraft advanced ridiculously fast in the years following the engine of their inspiration’s 1991 debut: Extra-Capsular Extractions, spurred largely by progress in effects pedal tech and cannabis cultivation. O’ Malley and Anderson had—and have—access to timbres unimagined by their progenitor, who after taking much of the ‘90s off, returned to eventually eschew drone and doom alike in favor of sinister melodiousness and cinematic nuance—e.g., likely eventual (soundtrack money. Also on Southern Lord, Earth’s newly-released Hex; Or Printing in the Infernal Method finds Carlson and drummer Adrienne Davies fashioning a heavily populated post-apocalyptic ghost town out of vibrating air molecules and bad intentions without so much as alluding to the guitarist’s original m.o. Decibel thought it only fitting that O’Malley put Carlson to the question regarding the contents of his new bag, especially given that SUNNO))) might borrow its contents it at any moment. As always, we telepathically asked each of our correspondents to conduct the interview naked and oiled without mentioning his to the other.

I’ve listened to the new record quite a bit. I really like the way you’ve developed your guitar playing over the past few years. I enjoy that it’s sort of like trance—the circular pattern thing is really prominent there but there’s this other different sense of melody and harmony going on in your new music. How you think you’re playing has changed in the past few years, just from a technical standpoint?
On a purely technical standpoint, I think the harmonies are more intricate. I mean not that they’re easier or anything, they’re just different. Before I used to use a lot of root octaves and now, I still do the octave things for the drones but I used a lot of fourth and sixth intervals and I like to combine closed and open strings. I really like open voicings for chords now, which leaves a lot of room between the notes.

Sort of like spreading out the idea of the tones.
Yeah, instead of all being within one octave, the chord is spread out over two or three octaves if possible. I think the source material, with any kind of music that uses circular riffs, the riffs or the melodies need to be memorable. And I just think that maybe the source material changed. Whereas before the source material was more identified with heavy metal, now the source material, I view it more as part of the continuum of American music. That would be the major difference. At the core it will always be about repetition and length.

One of the biggest things about your playing that influenced my own playing was the long form chord structure. You can create a much bigger object through that structure but it can stay memorable and again also be complex and intricate, but I not really overly technical.
The complexity develops organically out of the music, not out of arrangement. It’s not arranged complexity; it’s the harmonic structure of the music that creates the complexity rather than the contrived structure of parts or anything.

And I also really respect the power of the resonance with the instrument and the strength that creates—how it can hold a particular resonance once you get it going, too; it starts creating its own detail.
I can’t remember the song now but in one of the older Earth songs there was this one part where you could here the intervals kind of vibrating against each other so I would count like five of those vibrations so the structure was coming out of the notes being used rather than the arbitrary…

How do you feel about being the conduit for your music? I think the music on your new album is just human as it’s ever been before. The human element also comes from what you were saying about being with the American tradition of music. Or maybe some of the more drone stuff was influenced by something a little bit older or, more archaic, what do you think?
I definitely think with the American thing, it’s just closer to a narrative tradition as opposed to a mythic tradition. I think you guys really work in kind of a mythic tradition. I mean, the whole vibe of SUNNO))) is like a, not Neanderthal, but like the druid and all that, is like an archaic, mythic kind of stage. And Earth now is working in more—it’s a mythic space as well—but it’s more narrative. It’s a more recent myth kind of thing. I think we’re both working with similar terrain in a weird way even though what we do is different from one another. We’re all kind of on the same page with different footnotes.

It seems like you’ve really developed as a player in the past five years.
Yeah, before I never bent notes, I never used finger vibrato, on a purely technical level my playing has changed in that respect. I think I’m better able to get what I want out of the guitar. Whereas before a lot of it was like almost accidental. I’d sit down with the guitar and it was more happenstance where I think now I can kind of structure the song or whatever, I think I’m better able to put it together.

Do you think there was a point where you discovered that you became more of a songwriter than a guitar player?
I think I always have. From the day I first started playing guitar I was writing songs rather than learning other people’s songs and I’ve always thought that the guitar serves rather than the song be a display of technique or anything like that. A lot of the guitarists I respect were more almost session guys who aren’t necessarily flashy. They just played what was necessary. They didn’t show off. It was more about what’s necessary. I definitely think what I play is like that.

It’s like more of a craftsman style of playing instead of entertainment or whatever.
I think that’s one reason why I gravitated toward the telecaster. It’s rudimentary. It’s kind of like you have to work within its parameters in a lot of respects. A lot of guitars are easily malleable so do whatever you want. Whereas the tele sort of has its own voice. Like when people say, “Oh, he’s a tele player.” It’s like saying to someone. “Oh, he’s a catholic.” It’s like the tele and the tele player.

Was there a point where you were like, “I’ve got to get a telecaster for what I’m doing”?
Yeah, before I wanted lots of overdrive, which is cool. I mean I still love that. I will always be a big fan of saturation and whatnot. I also really like the sound of a really just pure electric guitar tone, you know just the pure clean, but still with power. I love being able to hear like the wood and the metal, with the tele they have this like “clank” to it. And that cuts through any effects you try.

So do you get sick of people asking you about Earth Two? I mean, really? You know this record is going to come out and people are going to be like, like any review is going to mention it.
I try not to, but I mean obviously whenever you’re a musician there’s your grumpy days where you’re like, “stop bringing up the past.” That’s one of the things about being a musician—a lot of times you don’t determine your greatest moment, which if you’re a control freak can be frustrating. You may be saying “this is my best album,” or “that was my best show.” So I kind of try to be gracious, grateful and accept, “hey, this is an album that people love.” And I consider myself fortunate to have created something that people respond to that much or love that much. I don’t want to be ungrateful for being unhappy about it. It would be arrogant. This person has obviously been moved by something that I’ve done.

It’s pretty awesome that you can make something that becomes its own presence.
It’s almost like having a child, in that, I mean I haven’t had any yet, but I mean watching your child go out into the world and be successful. You don’t wish it anything bad. And it’s cool to because it kind of helps kick my butt into gear, because it sets a bar. I may have thought that was a good album, but it didn’t resonate the way that one did so what can I do now.

Did you find that you were more focused the recording sessions for Hex than on previous Earth recording sessions?
Definitely, yeah, I mean it was all around the most focused I’d been. There was still a lot of creativity in the studio—like arranging and the overdubbed tracks. You know, I’d role tape and pick up the baritone and play to it, but, yeah, it was definitely the most focused. I was very lucky to have the money and time to do it right. We were given the resources to totally do it. When stuff came up and we were like, “Well, should we do this to save money?” it was like “Eh, fuck it, let’s do it right.”

The album really comes across as being really focused and confident, very calm and collected. It’s not about tempo anymore or being slow, it doesn’t have anything to do with that.
It’s just how I play. You’ve played slow for a long time, you know when you see someone who just does it and they’re trying—it’s like it’s something that. I mean, a lot of times it’s weird, where there was like speed metal, it became, instead of being about the music it became like an athletic event. Like who can play faster, the music didn’t matter anymore. It was just about who’s fastest. And then the opposite, some of the slow bands, “Oh who’s slower? Who’s down lower?” And then like, it’s like no, that’s athletic. To me, you can be heavy and neither incredibly slow or fast.

It’s interesting what the concept of being heavy is. It’s really objective of course, but it’s also like the more abrasive or overpowering something is, just on the surface level, that like qualifies as heavy I just think that the heaviest stuff is always melodic in a way, not like “Mary Had a Little Lamb” or anything, but you know there’s always the line there. That there’s information that remains to be seen. Whether it’s a one note, melody or not.

 
Friday, December 09, 2005
  ten or eleven albums I have enjoyed this year, one of which might be from 2004

Hastily assembled while inspecting the first stall in the fourth floor's men's room. A more thorough and in-depth account shall be submitted near the end of the year.

Excepter, Throne
Animal Collective, Feels
Oneida, The Wedding
Gang Gang Dance, God's Money
Deerhoof, The Runners Four
Steven Malkmus, Face the Truth
Blood on the Wall, Awesomer
Crooked Fingers, Dignity and Shame
Need New Body, Where's Black Ben
Major Stars, All or Half the Time
Brothers of the Occult Sisterhood, Animal Speak
Bloc Party, Silent Alarm
 
  ten singles I liked this year, including two I also liked the year before.

Give me three minutes, I'll give you a list. The generation was not quite spontaneous, but random and thoughtless enough. Also, the precedent has been set. "Since U Been Gone" and "Mr. Brightside" are fair game for '05 year-end lists, despite their utter 2004-ness. I shall play this game if I must. In fact, I might actually sit down and take some time and decide on a real, genuine, official best-of deal. If you are so lucky, that'll happen nearer to New Year's. Anyway, here's a colon:

"Since U Been Gone"
"Mr. Brightside"
"Sex in the Kitchen" remix
"Pimpin' All Over the World"
"Gold Digger"
"So Here We Are"
"Flossin"
"Georgia"
"Hung Up"
"Grass"


I don't listen to the radio much. I only hear songs if Hillary emails them to me, or if I find them on somebody's weblog. If this list seems overly influenced by any other such list found anywhere upon the ever-lovin' internet, I do apologize.
 
Thursday, December 08, 2005
  Olde Timey Radio Program.

So theres another radio program today. A friend thing.

FOREVER DUDES are playing on WUOG tonight as a part of LIVE IN THE LOBBY.
Me, Ice, and the francetasy brothers.

8 PM

Athens: 90.5
Not in Athens - tune in here www.wuog.org

Thanks.
 
  no radio program today

I'll be at work all day, so no Mez Eclipse on the radio. Picking up some OT to help out with all that holiday business.
 
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
  first action at the trading post

So Johnny Estrada goes to Arizona for these two goofs. You'd think we could have gotten more, but I'm not too upset with this. Hopefully Villarreal can return to being at least half-way decent.
 
  Kells, baby....KELLS!

I really cant believe (i cant fly) that our rival Hillary didnt beat us to this...

THIS IS FUCKING INCREDIBLE!

Thanks to Icy B for the heads.
 
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
  come sift through my ignorance

Okay, I talk a lot about baseball around here, and by now it should be apparent to anybody paying attention that I don't know a god-damn thing about the game. But I've read a few books, bought enough nine dollar fantasy mags, and check about ten websites every single hour, so of course in my own mind I'm a fuckin' genius. I'm like if Earl Weaver and Bill James had a kid, named it Sparky, and then let the ghost of John McGraw molest it for a few years. That's me, god-dammit, the sexually abused progeny of great baseball minds past and present. Actually I'm a titan in the field of ranting voluminously about that which I know next to nothing. So please, when you hand me my ass in the comments, be soft and gentle; Little Napoleon doesn't like to see me bruised.

Anyhow, to what meager point I may have: I know Jesse Crain has good stuff, and has been a top relief prospect for a few years now, but could somebody (I'm looking at you, Bounds) please explain why Atlanta would maybe give up Marte for a dude who had a 25/29 K/BB ratio in almost 80 innings last season? Yeah, the guy's got potential, but shouldn't they be more certain of what they're getting if they're going to ship off a top prospect like Marte?

Also, I almost hope they do trade McCann for Lugo, if only to see how many heads explode on the Braves Vent over at the AJC.
 
Monday, December 05, 2005
  Las Vegas Assistance Needed

So me and Rusty James are heading into the desert to meet up with our parents this weekend. Anyone out there have any entertainment suggestions or advice? Last time I was in Vegas I just walked around the strip and looked at different casinos.
 
  so is number ten a trick question?

Here's a Braves-centric poll over on ESPN's site. Either the quizmaster is an idiot, or else they're testing the attention span of your average web-browsing Braves fan. Maybe Hampton will be a reliable number three in 2007, but I doubt that'll happen in 2006, since, you know, he's missing the whole damn season.
 
  our most recent playlist

Polvo “Fractured (Like Chandeliers)”
Lou Reed “America”
Warhammer 48K “track 6” from s/t album
Shadow Ring “I Am a Lighthouse”
Trumans Water “Spectro Helioscope”
Belle and Sebastian “Another Sunny Day”
One Inch of Shadow “You'll Miss Me at the End”
Guided by Voices “My Valuable Hunting Knife (Shernoff Version)”
Sone “High Frame Audio”
Taiwan Deth “I Stay Over By There”
Suicide “Cheree”
Squeeze “Up the Junction”
Spoils of War “Lightning Snakes”
Parts & Labor “Don't Just Fucking STand There”
Popul Vuh “King Minos”
Royal Trux “The Spectre”
Comet Gain “Daydream Scars”
Boris “track 8” from Pink
Circle “Ydinaukio”
Wooden Wand Hassara “I Know You My Friend”
John Cale “Andalucia”
Feathers “Old Black Hal With A Dandelion Flower”
Bablicon “Arcdurvish”
Majik “Onan Rides the Whale”
Akron/Family & Angels of Light “Dylan Pt. 2”
Bloodyminded “Aller/Venir”
 
  cue the DUI jokes

As ridiculous as that Furcal conract is, Frank McCourt still has a way to go to match Fred Wilpon and the Mets in their little money-pissing marathon. This contract is more mind-bogglingly insane than any of the Mets' moves this off-season, though, so the Dodgers seem intent on closing that distance. At least McCourt isn't dismantling an already thin minor league system in the process.

Still, any Braves fan and/or Mets hater should be ever sos slightly concerned about the team they're building up in New York. I'm sure these moves will bite them in the ass in the long-run, but they could still give us trouble in 2006 and '07. But they're the Mets, of course, and will most assuredly find a way to fuck everything up. Hell, give 'em Zito, Vazquez, and Kent, and I'd still like Atlanta's odds.

Anyway, when it comes to the Braves, I'm fine with Todd Jones or Bob Wickman on one-year deals; understanding of, but unexcited about, a Julio Lugo deal, as long as Marte, McCann, and Saltamacchia aren't involved; cautiously interested in a Juan Pierre trade, but again, only contingent upon the minor leaguers we give up; enthusiastic, but realistic, about any potential Adam Dunn acquisition; wary of Barry Zito; not opposed to Nomar coming in on reasonable terms; afraid of giving Hoffman eight or nine million bucks for anything more than one season; unoffended by the thought of poet-philosopher Miguel Batista closing for us. Just imagine there's an "I'm" before all those clauses, please.
 
  EBAY MADNESS 2

More United States COMMERCE happening as we speak...

Here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, & here.
 
Saturday, December 03, 2005
  headgear help

I think it'd be awesome to walk upon the frozen tundra of Boston, Mass., in an Atlanta Hawks wool ski cap, preferrably with their old '80's logo. I've checked eBay and other websites and have thus far come up with nothing. I don't even know if they make anything like this, but if anybody down there ever notices such a thing, please let me know. I'll be willing to pay a small finder's fee in addition to the cost of the hat, and shipping and handling.

If you ever find one, call my cell as soon as possible: (770)241-9011.
 
Thursday, December 01, 2005
  and in this radio our two bloods mingled be.

Listen to Mesmerization Eclipse on WZBC 90.3 FM, today from 3 to 5 pm.
 
  EBAY MADNESS 1

Everything must go!
Get your bid on yallz...

Here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, HERE, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, & here.
 

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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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email

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.

NOTABLES
some twitter things:
je suis france
still flyin'
reports (a band with dark in it)
elliott
crog
dark
crews
LD
MB
cgervin
scarnsworth

some weblogs:
unrealized scripts
oceanchum
hillary brown
shazhmmm...
garrett martin
old man crews
microzaps kindercore
talking radio towers
corp. hq of the san antonio gunslingers
crabber
overundulating fever
ryanetics
blunderford
dehumidifier
big gray
unwelcome return
day jobs
maybe it's just me
captain scurvy
movies stella has not seen

je suis france
still flyin'


wzbc
wuog
wfmu
wmbr
wxdu




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