Saturday, June 18, 2005

Fun fun fun

Here's a real treat, an unreleased track by Berlin-based supergroup Les Hommes Sauvages, which just might be my personal favorite Kraftwerk cover. I think that might be Chris Spedding on guitar but I'm not sure (he played on some of these sessions with the band, ca. 2000.) General personnel info. is as follows: Viola Limpet - vocals / guitars, Kristof Hahn - guitars / vocals, Thomas Wydler - drums, Adrian Horcher - bass, Eric LeMarechal - trumpets. The tune is not gonna be up for long so grab it now.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Tell me what I missed -- I've got to know

TALL DWARFS "I've Left Memories Behind"
I'm sure you've already heard that New Zealand's amazing and excellent and superlative and fantastic duo the Tall Dwarfs are briefly touring the U.S. (opening for a rejuvenated Olivia Tremor Control!) in a few months. This makes me so happy I cannot tell you -- I don't think I've ever seen them, myself (I too have things I can't recall -- like 1991 and 1992) but I did see Chris Knox perform solo and then with the Clean a few times, approximately 18 years ago. That I totally remember...

This tune is from the Hello Cruel World release, and sure, it's not the best Tall Dwarfs song by any means, but I'm afraid of posting one of their best songs because it'll make you incapable of listening to any other music for a week at least, and that can be an awful thing to do to a person.

Speaking of upcoming music events worthy of travel, the Arthur Fest sure looks good doesn't it? Too bad the magazine itself is but a slight shadow of the great Laris Kreslins' former publications, Sound Collector and Sound Collector Audio Review. I know the thing is free and about beggars and choosers and all, and while I did love that Six Organs interview, the thing is so relentlessly elf-prog-ist and crammed with such heavily-treaded pothead-paranoia, and the layout soooooooo very very bad, it's like, why not just read an old issue of Oz or It instead? The same people would be covered, pretty much, anyway. I'm not hating on Arthur, I just am holding it to the same standards as Sound Collector, which, as a for instance, put Animal Collective on its cover three years before anyone else did the same!

Thanks to Brian Turner for tipping me on both the Arthur festival and the Tall Dwarfs tour. Where would we be without BT on Tuesday afternoons?

Sunday, June 12, 2005

There's safety on the shore

HALF JAPANESE "Trouble in the Water"

I've heard that when Bruce Conner, the California-based artist who's made fascinating things in a lot of different media for the last fifty or so years (collage/ assemblage/ film/ performance/ sculpture/ tapestry/ photography/ art direction/ drawing/ printmaking/ inkblots/ etc.) had a show in Manhattan in the early-to-mid 1980s, he hadthe great Half Japanese perform at the opening.

B.C. is a dude so amazingly talented and beyond-cool, I have a theory he's really ten people pretending to be one person. I'm serious. Lately I'm obsessed with the songs that Don Fleming sang while in 1/2 Jap, as well as his band the Velvet Monkeys, who are as due for serious reconsideration/ vinyl reissueization as Mofungo, Slovenly, Yeah Yeah Noh, the Loft, World of Pooh, Desperate Bicycles, the Shanks, June Brides, De Artsen, 39 Clocks, Uncle Wiggly and the Tinklers (which is to say a lot.)

The Smithsonian has an interview with Conner conducted in 1973 by Paul Cummings, archived here. Ohh shit, and here's another one done by another dude in 1974. I haven't even read these yet, I will when I have the time. You probably know this already but it's news to me: a DVD of the two films that Conner collaborated with Terry Tiley on is now available. The two are old pals. You could have designed a better cover for the disc with your ass, I know -- but just be very glad this exists. These films are awesome, especially "Looking for Mushrooms," and were never included in either of the two long out of print VHS collections of Conner's work that I watch pretty regularly since they're like the best things ever.

Thanks to the driven and brilliant Kevin Nutt of Case Quarter records/ Sinner's Crossroads radio show for sending this Rev. Charlie Jackson MP3 which I'm posting because it's a beautiful Sunday in Portland and I've now listened to this a dozen times despite the crappy sound quality and I personally love it so maybe you will too. Kevin writes:

This is from a boom box tape that Rev Charlie Jackson made himself during a live performance sometime in the late 1980s. Poor sound quality but it gives an idea of the stunning ferocity Jackson could produce live and in the church. Listen for the harmonica in the background.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Still in business during construction

E*ROCK "Bog 03"
Eric Mast AKA E*Rock is a drawer, animator, designer, musician, record label dude, and the best orderer of electronic music in Portland, OR. He's really sweet and generous and stuff. I don't know anything about this track except that it's brand new. I asked Eric for a song and he sent it to me like yesterday.

Sorry for being all emo/ woe is me in the previous post. I have a strong desire to hit "undo" but it's the Internet so it's too late anyway, right? I'll be fine, whatever the deal is, and I'm finally on the fucking mend, yayyyyyyy.

Please to see the king

Sorry for not putting up songs and stuff in a few weeks. I'll get something not-you-send-it-related worked out soon. I'm asking friends for original content and the song that E*Rock sent is typically rad. That guy is so sweet and talented, it's amazing.

Be warned that this is a very boring entry that has nothing to do with music and there are no free mp3s here, I repeat, no free mp3s here. I do have friends that read this so obviously this is for them and stuff.

Last night I was out and about and I felt really just healthy and fucking happy as hell for the first time in ages. It was awesome. You see, I'm really good at laying around at home being sick with no energy and being incredibly depressed, then going out for an hour or two until the pain is so great I have to bail and pretend I'm fine the whole time, never telling anyone that my stomach hurts like hell and I'm really scared right now. I'm a very dramatic person so you'd not think this would be my approach. I did not see it as lying but now I kind of do.

I 'm realizing it's a very self-involved approach even though I thought of myself as being like the gracious and sort of silently suffering martyr retard (martard?) or something. When I just need to tell everyone, especially my family, what's up, and get care immediately too instead of being a passive aggressively at-least-vaguely-but-really-potentially-actually suicidal little mope-ass punk. The last year and a half I've had a third of the energy I normally have, and it's not like I've ever been Mr. Energy USA nor is it like I'm losing weight at the same time. I feel and look totally like the little girl who eats the blueberry stuff, Veruca Salt, like the surgical glove atop Howie Mandell's beautiful face.

I've been really depressed, like I said, but not even aware enough to know that I was, if that makes any sense. And just so slow moving on all my projects as anyone will tell you, and just... putting what energy I do have in the wrong places. At least I'm finding some really rad meetings here, and am starting to make some awesome clean/ sober friends and stuff.

I've been trying to get insurance but when you're already ill, not only will they not cover your pre-existing conditions, they apparently have every right to just not take you on at all. And because I am not on SSI I can't get medicare, and the local health plan for low income people, OHP, is so backed up (I discovered yesterday) they cannot even consider me for months. I am 98% sure I'll be denied as I'm not a pregnant mom, much as I resemble one.

I should never have let my COBRA lapse no matter how expensive it is/ was to keep it going ($300/ month for me). I do need at least two surgical procedures toot sweet, within the next month, I hope, to check stuff out in my esophagus where I have this condition (an advanced stage of of Barrett's Esophagus, caused by the lining of the esophagus to change irreversibly due to continued and prolonged exposure to stomach acid). So this endoscopy procedure will see about removing some growths (which were found recently and had better be benign! -- it's so hard to know partly 'cause you have no nerve endings in your esophagus which is why most cases of esophageal cancer are so bad when they find them -- you can't like feel it getting worse, you know?) and then I just need a hernia operation though I have the feeling that one can wait if it has to as the hernia is not strangulated (this opinion is self diagnised, fyi).

I felt like I was young for my age until a year or two ago and now I kind of feel the opposite -- there are these weird dark red spots in sort of clumps on my feet and lower legs, plus my eczema is getting really bad -- it's disgusting and weird, all at once. My body has truly become alien to me. I feel like I'm wearing a broken fat suit. And I don't have a clue if any of these symptoms are related, either (I don't think they are, but I do worry and then I get all dorky and depressed for being worried...)

I tell people this health/ stomach stuff is related to when I got stabbed almost in the heart in a mugging, and we're coming up on the lucky thirteenth anniversary of that event. All my friends know the story, many many people were there in the hospital as soon as I could open my eyes, too, which was amazing. It's definitely true that the Barrett's is related as my esophagus was fucked up when I got stabbed. And it is true that I was misdiagnosed in Tennessee about the cause of the anemia I had at the time (it was internal bleeding but the ex-Army doc missed about a dozen signs including extreme heartburn and just said said I should eat more meat -- the end result being I have this early stage of cancer in my esophagus).

But it's also true that if I'd taken better care of myself I'd not be as bad off as I am now -- I'd at least not have this friggin hernia to deal with, which is a whole 'nother story in and of itself. So I have to take responsibility. Not coming up with the cash for insurance is also on my shoulders, though for instance this month I'm making like $1525 before taxes so squeezing $300 out of that is not easy.

It seems that my guts are either in some sort of revolt against me or they want to escape as quickly as possible.

I will one day have to erase this entry, that day being when I apply for a full time job somewhere, sometime, should that happen. Even if/ when I totally get in better health -- no one wants to hire some sick fat dude, or some dude who was recently a sick fat dude! Even if the job itself is to be a sick fat dude they'll hire a young actor to gain lots of weight and pretend. Anyway. I have to call Dr. Gilbert, my gastro-enter-whateverologist (stomach doctor) in Seattle, and just get the procedure done and then talk payment, if I can finagle that one.