July 28, 2003

Italy, 1994. Scanned from negatives that haven't held up too well, but whatever; I think the grit and decrepitude add something to the appeal of these.

July 27, 2003

The history of a radio station.

July 23, 2003

New Orleans, 1994.

July 19, 2003

The heat finally broke last night, at least temporarily. I was en route to Prospect Park to catch the free concert by Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, looking forward to the show but not particularly caring whether I would ever make it there (ugh, free concerts, summer, crowds, ugh). When I got off the 2 at the wrong end of Prospect Park I didn't give a shit; the sun was going down and the lamplit footpaths of the park were deserted and freakishly quiet but I didn't give a shit; it started pouring but the rain felt great and the grass on the empty fields glowed with the lightning against it and really it was so nice it could have been out in the country somewhere and not half a mile from the Crown Heights bodegas and housing projects. I wanted to lie down in the field and listen to the hissing and the thundercracks, rest my feet, clear my head, but I heard a PA system blaring from far away and even though I'd decided I'd rather Choon In To The New Age Sounds of Nature Mang than hang out with some aging indie cornballs, I followed the sound until I found the source. By the time I got to the bandshell (20 minutes later), "Vanessa From Queens" was just beginning -- my favorite song on Pig Lib, perfectly timed for my grand entrance. The crowd was delirious and exhilarated and very few of the kids had umbrellas. People were standing on chairs, splashing in puddles, dangling off railings, crashing gates, feeling altogether giddy and groovy. I didn't want the rain to stop and I was a little sad when it did. Who knows, maybe I am a hippie?

July 16, 2003

July 15, 2003

Alex Chilton, "Kizza Me" (live on WLYX Memphis, 1975)

Less conspicuously "Beatles" than the Sister Lovers version, but as schmaltz-festooned as Macca's most desperate wedding-entertainer-in-knight's-clothing showbiz, and about as pitiful and grotesque as Lennon's acid-faced R-and-Beemo freakshow. He overenunciates his T's like he's fucked up enough to slur his speech but still cognizant and motor-coordinated enough to correct himself, and yet too far afield to remember that voices carry and under the influence a mutter can turn into a sputter, a silly love song into a hollow-bellied barrel of spit-pickled vitriol. I wanna FEEL YOU, DEEP INSIDE -- funny thing for a man to sing to a woman, unless he's implying (which I'm getting from Chilton's tone of voice) that she's fuckin' him up the ass, and he's drunkenly egging her on, bellowing 'rape me, my friend' (and he says he wants to WHITE out, not "black out"; he WANTS to see those shooting stars coming up rushes in the blazing-Technicolor uncensored director's cut). Yeah, kizza me. You know where.

July 11, 2003

July 08, 2003

"...while dissing her 'friend the communist' (who I bet isn't, and I also bet doesn't deserve the putdown)." --brief excerpt from Robert Christgau's apt dismissal of "Soak Up the Sun," Sheryl Crow's peppy paean to lettin' the Phun Phlag Phly in the face of those mellow-harshing killjoy introverts who've stopped buying her records.

Tonight someone called me "miserable," and this strikes me as incredibly funny. Because I'm quite content most of the time. Optimistic, even! Impressively resilient! I smile and laugh as much as anyone who has the luxury of being able to do so. I'm also cynical to the core, but merely having a dark side doesn't make me some joyless sallow-faced ghoul, does it? I dunno.

I have this recurring quirk; when I'm deep in thought (I'm a "communist" after all, no really, I'm currently reading a book about Soviet science svengali T.D. Lysenko!), I get this distant, intense look of extreme concentration, a look others might interpret as unhappiness, when honestly all I'm doing is working out some idea in my head. People who don't spend that much time alone with their thoughts (usu. they need to be around other people, having fun fun fun, or they'll DIE... it's like Speed where the bus has to keep going at a million miles an hour or it'll blow up... or substitute any variation on the "don't look back" Orpheus thing) don't recognize this look; they don't see calm introspection, they see misery! That's their easy summation of people (besides insinuating that we have no self-esteem and we suffer daily trying to writhe our way out of a prickly green shrubbery of envy) who exist outside their nonstop beer-commercial/SNL-skit of a life. Any small expression of vague dissatisfaction? Break out the violins, dude. Gentle sarcasm? CALL THE SUICIDE HOTLINE, STAT! (Nah, on second thought, let her die.)