Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Monday, September 25, 2006

Hit the Deck, It's the Decal Man

I just realized, after three years or so, how well Modest Mouse is able to circumvent formal pop conventions on The Moon & Antarctica. Not only are the songs coherent, but the absence of familiar song structure enhances the rambling feel of the album as a whole. The scattered and clustered versification, the deranged cowboy poet narrative voice that seems to manifest itself in most of their lyrics, the actual sound of the band's music! The Moon & Antarctica is cohesive, sure, but it's also good for listening to.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-haaa!

Somebody's car alarm has been going off for the past four or five hours. It sounds like a metronome set to about 400 bpm. The volume, tempo, and pitch constantly vary independently of one another, as if the thing needs new batteries. It's too inconsistent to be trance-inducing or hypnotic.

I think it's actually making me retarded.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Where's Waldo? Lubavitcher Edition

Slichos at 770. I didn't last long. I was maybe ten feet from the door, my glasses were fogging up, and it was getting harder to breathe. I've never been in a more crowded room after 1am, including all the parties I went to in college.

Kyle Gann

Just read an excellent post by Kyle "Oops, I did it a" Gann. Here's the paragraph that roped me in.

The new course I'm teaching that I wrote about recently is titled "Progress Versus Populism in 20th-Century Music." It describes classical and postclassical music since 1913 as racked between two contradictory convictions. One is the idea that music should continually increase in subtlety and sophistication, each new generation learning everything that came before and moving continually forward in a linear evolution. The other is the idea that music not understandable by untrained listeners is elitist and therefore politically suspect; that by appealing only to the super-educated it marginalizes itself and becomes safe, soaking up cultural resources without doing anything to break down the advantages that the elites - financial, corporate, cultural, and otherwise - have over the common man.

You can read the rest of it here.

I'm not familiar at all with Gann's music, but I plan on checking it out before the end of the week. His music shouldn't be too hard get ahold of; he's generously made it available for free download via his home page.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Errol Morris & the Interrotron

Is Errol Morris one of those guys who just never runs out of ideas? Perhaps.

I found out about him my senior year in high school, when I was reading John Pierson's Spike, Mike, Slackers, and Dykes. Turns out one of my co-workers was a production assistant on First Person. Yeah, that's right-- I worked with a guy who's in the IMDb. He told me all about the Interrotron, which continues to amaze me. I seem to recall this co-worker telling me that Morris had augmented the Interrotron with several cameras, redubbing it the Megatron.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Annie Potts used to be a real looker, I'll say!

I saw her on TV a while ago, in that movie where Mark Hamill works in a garage and he's in debt and something about drag racing, I'm kinda fuzzy on the details but it looked like it was made in the 1970s, possibly before Star Wars. [It's Corvette Summer, and Star Wars (1977) predates it by a year.]
Back to Annie Potts. Don't get me wrong-- Ghost Busters is an all-time personal favorite, and Janine Melnitz is unconditionally cool because she's Jewish (It's implied, Melnitz is a Jewish name). But how on earth she went from playing Luke Skywalker's love interest to putting the moves on Louis Tully is beyond me.
I wonder what she really looks like, and if she's Jewish in real life, and is that her real voice? Because if it is, she has got to hook up with Fran Drescher. I can just see them doing a film adaptation of a Neil Simon one-act about two married couples, with Louis Anderson and Gilbert Gottfried as their respective husbands.

Stupid Joke of the Day

Q: What did Descartes say when he invented the Cartesian graph?
A: "Well, I'll be!"

Monday, September 04, 2006

I would like to make an announcement.

It's been so long since I last forgot to wrap tefillin, I don't even remember when it was. That is all.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Support Your Local Shluchim

From Illusion and Disillusionment, by R' Simcha Levenberg:

This world is brought into existence every single moment by the word of G-d. Practically speaking, a G-dly energy is invested within all facets of creation. Every moment, place, and being is constantly enlivened and created by this G-dly spark of life. As strange and psychedelic as this may seem to you (save those who have eaten a heroic dosage of Psilocybin,) this is the true reality of our world. However, this energy is completely hidden. The nature of habituation conceals the miracle of life and time marches on, with us following closely behind. We view and experience ourselves as separate beings with individual agendas, goals, lives, cars, sling-boxes, xb360’s etc. We feel that we control our lives and destinies. Very rarely do we even consider the G-dly energy uniting all of creation with its vilifying force.