ones and zeroes

Better living through modern chemistry.

12.29.2004

this is the end, my friend.

Welcome to the last week of the "year," the not-so-arbitrary-cause-it's-based-on-astrophysics measure for time that makes us decide that this particular Saturday is going to be a monumental change. The number of our anno is going to change from 4 to 5, and for that reason, billions of people will be wasted. Awesome. This is my first NYE legally able to drink, which makes it all the sweeter. The night will begin with the Flaming Lips, slide into Wilco, move over to B-Side, dribble beer over its chin at the Mercury Lounge, and then most likely pass out in a flurry of bingers somewhere around 6 AM.

To commemmorate this, another revolution around the sun, Lucy has drawn up her top 20 albums of 2004, which she'd like to share with you. So without further ado, the Lucy Beach has spoken:

Lucy Beach's Top 20 of 2004

Top 5 (in order):
1. The Arcade Fire - Funeral
2. Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
3. The Concretes - The Concretes
4. Joanna Newsom - The Milk-Eyed Mender
5. Shout Out Louds - Howl Howl Gaff Gaff
(the rest in no particular order)
6. Khonnor - Handwriting
7. Hockey Night - Rad Zapping
8. Battles - B EP
9. Wilco - A Ghost is Born
10. The Zutons - Who Killed the Zutons?
11. The Walkmen - Bows and Arrows
12. Modest Mouse - Good News for People Who Love Bad News
13. The Streets - A Grand Don't Come For Free
14. Dirty on Purpose - Sleep Late For a Better Tomorrow
15. Bjork - Medulla
16. Interpol - Antics
17. !!! - Louden Up Now
18. TV on the Radio - Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes
19. Asobi Seksu - Asobi Seksu
20. Midnight Movies - Midnight Movies

Not to be outdone on my own blog, so I've compiled my own list...which has a lot in common with Lucy's save for the top 5 and a couple of substitutions:

Tumblehawk's Top 20 of 2004:

Top 5 (in order):
1. The Arcade Fire - Funeral
2. Pixies - Live at Coachella 2004 (yeah, kinda cheating, but yum.)
3. Dirty on Purpose - Sleep Late For a Better Tomorrow
4. Wilco - A Ghost is Born
5. Hockey Night - Rad Zapping
(the rest in no particular order)
6. Kraftwerk - Tour De France
7. !!! - Louden Up Now
8. Lali Puna - Faking the Books
9. Bjork - Medulla
10. TV on the Radio - Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes
11. The Streets - A Grand Don't Come For Free
12. Modest Mouse - Good News for People Who Love Bad News
13. Battles - B-EP
14. The Zutons - Who Killed the Zutons?
15. The Walkmen - Bows and Arrows
16. Khonnor - Handwriting
17. Beta Band - Heroes to Zeroes
18. Interpol - Antics
19. Morrissey - You are the Quarry
20. The Faint - Wet From Birth

Plenty to look forward to in the coming year, especially with Broken Social Scene looking to drop a new one on us, and even Nine Inch Nails if Trent Reznor can a) stop playing X-Box b) stop being such a depressed teenager c) stop being a 'perfectionist' or d) all of the above.

Couple of quick notes:

-We're prosecuting a run-of-the-mill gangster as a terrorist; as long as the government can get away with things like this, the "law" is a flimsy thing indeed.

All right, I'm gonna end this with a note I picked up from dailyKos, regarding the horrendous tsunami disaster over in southeast Asia - by the way, that's 118,000 now presumed dead:

As John F. Harris and Robin Wright of the Washington Post cannily note, US President George W. Bush has missed an important opportunity to reach out to the Muslims of Indonesia. The Bush administration at first pledged a paltry $15 million, a mysteriously chintzy response to what was obviously an enormous calamity. Bush himself remained on vacation, and now has reluctantly agreed to a meeting of the National Security Council by video conference. If Bush were a statesman, he would have flown to Jakarta and announced his solidarity with the Muslims of Indonesia (which has suffered at least 40,000 dead and rising).

Indeed, the worst-hit area of Indonesia is Aceh, the center of a Muslim separatist movement, and a gesture to Aceh from the US at this moment might have meant a lot in US-Muslim public relations. Bin Laden and Zawahiri sniffed around Aceh in hopes of recruiting operatives there, being experts in fishing in troubled waters. Doesn't the US want to outflank al-Qaeda? As it is, the president of the United States is invisible and on vacation (unlike several European heads of state), and could think of nothing better to do than announce a paltry pledge. As Harris and Wright rightly say, the rest of the world treated the US much better than this after September 11.

Happy New Year everybody, we're all very lucky with our skyscrapers and our concerts..

12.27.2004

Calling All Mac Users

Does anybody have a copy of any of the following programs that they could, er, uh, lend me?:

Logic
Reason
Pro-Tools

It's time for some keyboardin' beyond GarageBand.

living up to the name.

Tumbleweed's brain is a fuzzy fuzzy mess right now. It's been three Jewish days of smoky Christmas hedonism. If I'd been designing religion back when they were planning the whole racket, I'd have thrown in breath along with body and blood of Christ...nibble a wafer, sip some wine, take a toke. Not much different - whole lot better. Well anyway, in true messianic fashion, Larry rose from the ashes of a doomed weekend to meet the call to hang out, the call to smoke on New York City rooftops, the call to wander aimlessly down barren winter avenues in the chill hours between 2 and 4 AM, with a Hunter's Moon shining lunacy down upon us.

Upon arrival, Larry being two hours late (true to custom), we went to 7A were I wolfed down an Austrian and he leisurely sipped a White Russian. I flashed back to the last time we'd parted physical company, when our last moments together were spent drinking coffee and eating old fashioned donuts in Dunkin' back in Jackson Heights. Both instances made me imagine us as old men, doing the exact same thing, talking about...well, everything. So here's to growing old with Larry, cheers. Drinks and dinner finished, we made our way with the swiftness up to Lucy and Eileen's rooftop for a gorgeous night time view, a smoke and a clove cigarette. I'm reminded of that, Filter was it?, magazine article on Interpol, where they were all photographed on actual NYC fire escapes and roofs. Well yeah. Roofs give a city experience like no other and it was great being on top of one with Larry and the green monster once more. After some video games and an aborted attempt to watch David Byrne's True Stories, we took the aforementioned long walk. Up from 9th and A to 2nd and 16th, to Park and 20th, to Broadway, all the way downtown and back to Veselka for midnight muffins. The night capped off with an often-jumbled, occasionally-awesome jam session with Larry on sound module and Tumblehawk on his brand new keyboard. Techno dance party to the max.

Sleeping from 7 AM to 3:45 PM takes its toll on anybody, so I recovered with some videogames after Larry left and went to dinner with the pops and the awesome sisters, to some crazy French African place called Les Enfants Terribles. My dinner was called Korhogotefemougar! No, that's not snails marinated in pigjuice, it's actually a damn good steak rubbed in all these crazy African spices with yuca fries and this crazy dipping sauce. Two thumbs up.

It is now Monday morning, at 1 in the afternoon, the combustible supplies are running low and there is still nothing to do, no one is in the city, so I'm off to find a way to kill time until the Leafcutter show later tonight at Piano's. Goodbye.

12.25.2004

!!!

Larry Is In The City!!!




larry halfzip

12.24.2004

it's the most bittersweet time of the year

Bittersweet Bittersweet Bittersweet. That is just THE word for this holiday weekend. Equal parts bitter and sweet. Neither one overpowering the other (though for the purposes of optimism, we should give it to sweet). First, the bitter.

bit·ter - adj. -
  1. Having or being a taste that is sharp, acrid, and unpleasant.
  2. Causing a sharply unpleasant, painful, or stinging sensation; harsh: enveloped in bitter cold; a bitter wind.
  3. Difficult or distasteful to accept, admit, or bear: the bitter truth; bitter sorrow.
For a couple of days it looked really hopeful, that I would be headed to Pittsburgh so the two of us wouldn't have to do the absurd thing - spend a christmas weekend alone in cities that aren't too ridiculously far apart. But sleepless nights took a toll on me and I fell asleep Wednesday at 10:30 to wake up at 10 and find a message from Larry saying certain feats could be accomplished on his side of things. By the time I got in touch with Jay, he and Trevor were walking down the street to the car, and I was far away in Bedford. Sigh.

sweet - adj. - 1. Fucking awesome.

I've lucked out throughout the long, arduous, Jewish years of coming and going December 25ths, and found myself with a lot of friends close enough to be willing to take me in under their roofs and let me peer curiously at this strange ritual, this...Christmas. And usually, they've given me presents too. First it was Brendan, then it was Andrew, then I came to college and met Eileen and I got to spend an awesome Christmas at her house, getting great pants, great food, and all of it leading up to the single most insane December 26th in the history of December 26ths. And now this year and last year I've spent the couple days before Christmas with the Beaches. Who are too ridiculously good to me. Last year, I got a stellar set of jacks and a vintage Ghostbusters Ecto-1 toy complete with Ghostbusters figurines. AND a Superman safe. How awesome. This year though, they took it to the next level, and I just have to say thank you to them for being so dang fucking nice and letting a boy flex his musical muscles again for the first time in years.




Which is only the tip of the iceberg when you consider the iPod. Jeezum. I'm going to go plug that keyboard in right now, spend a moment with Major Tom, and tickle some ivories. Plastics. Whatever.

12.21.2004

bowling for loco

studyboy strikes back

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehaw. (Like a Donkey, soundly sleeping.) Finals are OVER! School is OUT for the winter, which only really lasts 11 more days before it takes a luscious sun-filled 2-week break. Yum. With school firmly in the rear-view, Lucy and I can focus on organizing an extreme water-baloon armageddon in the villa. Everyone will suffer now. Everyone will suffer now. You can't save yourself! (Sorry. Marilyn Manson lyric flashback.)

I made my Brit Lit final my bitch, and coasted along on Nat Sci as well as I could, all very much thanks to (this week's theme) Ghitman's generous prescription donation and more studying than anyone ever expects of me. Eileen and I braved the bitter cold at 9 AM to make it to the library and both walked out of our finals with grins that said to one another: it's time to buy pot! So we did, and the bowling was planned, and then...

And hour and a half wait! Here's where things get RANDOM. So after walking all the fucking way to Bowlmor lanes for the letdown of the month, Lucy, Eileen, Nika and myself decided to make our way over to B-Side and shoot some pool in the backroom instead. We settled into a game, and Lucy and Eileen handed the Elder Duo a solid defeat which meant they were the winners, who would now play the challengers: two guys named J and Loco, local folk from right around Alphabet City. It became clear within minutes that if J wanted to, he could have cleared the table in one single swoop, not giving either Lucy or Eileen a turn, but J had a quality in him you couldn't help but admire (even if he took it too far sometimes): rather then hustle a couple of kids playing for fun, he used his know-how to make it fun and teach us all some moves. It was a really random night, and J's brother, the indubitable Loco, was a jackass who was more interested in showing off that he was smoking in the bar than playing pool. But J kept making fun of him, and that was fun. Anyway, I couldn't have written that up more boringly, I swear it was a lot of fun.

12.19.2004

intoxication rumination.


lsd

Last night, went to No Malice Palace, hip little hip-hop hoppin' spot down on 3rd between A and B, to celebrate Nikasister's 25th birthday. PBR and Sierra were drunk, people were bumped, and conversation was had. I arrive a bit late after a puff-tough session with Ani and some Stop Making Sense watching, and I think Ani fell in love with David Byrne. Who wouldn't? Welcome to the fold, biatch!!!

So when I arrived there I mingled with Nika and her friends and got to be the considerate brother who brought presents including a Sex and the City box set which makes me, you know, sensitive and stuff, rock on. Finally found Lucy then, crammed up in the thinnest walkway ever between couches and tables with her friend RJ and we proceeded to drink and talk. Ani and I had just been discussing how there are three immediate topics of conversation between almost anybody, in this order: music, drinking, drugs.

Well one of the first things RJ talked about was that he had spent six years completely sober from drugs, drink and cigarettes after going a little too overboard. What self control! Kudos, I wonder if I could ever do it. (I wonder if I'd get out of control though and I tend to think not.) Anyway, so he was saying he thought sobriety was so important, especially a long stint of it, in order to achieve a certain amount of self-control and self-discovery, which I found interesting because if I put out a book of mottos, one would definitely be: self-exploration through intoxication.

One thing I've found over the years (starting in Jackson Heights when a couple of friends held an "intervention" after me and Matt had smoked pot like...seven times) is that when you've got people who are sober, and people who do drugs, you rarely find the people doing drugs saying that they think everyone should get fucked up. I mean, I think a little pot couldn't hurt anyone, and a psychedelic experience as well, but I also know for some people it's unneeded and unnecessary...some people find their groove without anything extra, and for some people drugs are a problem, and for some people drugs are just like...I don't know, TV or something.

So this has less to do with individual people, now that I really think on it, and more with...here comes the worst word in the English language...society. We've been raised in an atmosphere of drugs-are-bad so that even once you do drugs, and then go sober, you are preconditioned to think that sobriety has some sort of edge over intoxication. Well, naturally, cause the world runs sober most of the time, and people have important things to do. All this speaks to is the need for moderation. But why is that sobriety leads to a holier-than-thou attitude a lot of the time? (Not to say RJ had that attitude, but he did think what worked for him would definitely work for everybody else, and I just don't think that's necessarily true. Just like I don't think some mushrooms would do everybody the good I feel they've done me. Ghitman freaked out, for example.)

As human beings, were just little bits of a huge system. We're no different, in a way, than bacteria floating around in a pool. We encounter chemicals, ingest them, react, learn, adapt, and move on. Millions of Americans (and humans in general) every day are swallowing all sorts of chemicals. We live in an age of medication. Drugs, on the other hand, and I'm mainly talking psychedelics I guess, have historically had a much more "spiritual" connotation in everyday life. So where is anyone getting off deciding what's worth assimilating into your system and what's not?

I guess what it all comes down to is that I wish people would realize reality is way more flexible than it seems. Ani told me how her friend A didn't really have anything to talk about with person B. But Ani told friend A that she personally always could talk with person B, to which friend A responded "yeah, but all you talk about is drugs."

Do we see the problem here? friend A's response was actually "yeah, but all you talk about is______." Fill in the blank with whatever's considered taboo wherever you are in the world space-and-time wise. If it had been the case, do you think friend A would have said "yeah, but all you talk about is TV." No, she would have said "yeah, you guys watch a lot of the same shows."

So, to restate, and expand, and cut this rambling off:

self-exploration through intoxication within moderation

12.18.2004

and then there were two...

...finals, that is. Natural Science II followed by British Literature II, the twain separated by a mere ten minutes this coming Monday afternoon, then I'm home free. Just ingested another boon-from-Ben and now I'm gearing myself up to immerse myself in Victorian poetry, which is not something easily done. Two days of hardcore studying is what this weekend will be, but at least tonight I have Nika's birthday party to look forward to. I should have said this on Tuesday, but, HAPPY 25TH BIRTHDAY NIKITCHKA!

Pixies were great the third time around. We ended up a little further back than the other two nights, but really, once the guitars and the screaming begin, I could care less. The show was epicly awesome, especially the Head On>U-Mass section lifted right from Trompe Le Monde. I won't post the setlist cause there were very few changes, but throwing Head On in there really made a humongous difference.

As if three nights of Pixies rockin' weren't enough to make a week of finals and papers a little easier to deal with, Lucy and I took the ultimate trip back through time when we went up to Lincoln Center to catch The Big Apple Circus. Lucy's mom is some kind of awesome for getting us those tickets (and she makes a mean raspberry muffin too). Though our seats could have been better (we had one of those classic circus situations where the pole is right in front of you and blocking part of the stage) it was still an awesome time. Freshly ripped baked and burnt we made our way there and grabbed our seats in time to hear a lot of talk about charity, and then the good stuff began. Some of the shit these people do is insane. There was some trapeze, some horses, cats chasing birds and....THE GREATEST DOG SHOW IN HISTORY! We saw a snow white pomeranian do a handstand with a baton in its mouth, and dogs doing all sorts of crazy jumping tricks. The closer for the show (before everyone came out for the last bow) was this crazy troupe of Russian acrobats that were being catapulted off of see-saws to ridiculously obscene heights. Little freaks, they were.

The whole show was based on artists who have been inspired by the circus, which was cool. I think someone like Nika or definitely Eileen too would have been able to name every single painting being referenced, but I only sort of vaguely felt like i recognized a few. Some of the painters they referenced were Degas, Picasso, Toulouse Lautrec, Chagall and Magritte. I want to go to a museum! Oh my god...the circus did that. Weird.

What's cool about the Big Apple Circus is how unbelievably small it was. I mean, i was disappointed at first because for some reason I guess I expected a big big tent with two trapeze things that would swing towards each other and people flipping over a net and what not, but it was a pretty small event in actuality. What I think we both really appreciated was that in a day and age when even Reese's Peanut Butter Cups have changed their packaging to look more liquidy fluidy computer graphic cool, the circus hasn't changed NOT ONE BIT! You couldn't help but feel like a little kid cause they didn't give you any other choice. Three cheers for soda and popcorn and clowns.

By the way, Watch This!

We followed up the circus with a viewing of Grave of the Fireflies, a Japanese animated film that is easily in the running for Top 3 Most Depressing Movies Ever. I vaguely remembered it from days at Carlyle but this was essentially like seeing it for the first time. The Japanese are amazing when it comes to art - Lucy said it right, they just know how to express EVERYTHING. They can get across everything - feeling, mood, emotion, opinion, all through the tiniest subtleties in their animations. Definitely recommend it to anyone. At the same time that it made me fascinated with Japanese culture, it also pointed out so many things that are wrong with the way people go about their lives there...there's a real social darwinism to the whole thing, and it all seems very depressing. But I think Japan is on the cusp of huge change. More on that another time, maybe. (If I read enough more about it to feel like I know what I'm talking about.)

12.16.2004

G I G A N T I C

Oh, finals, how I looooooathe thee. Everywhere I turn, you're there, rearing your ugly British Literature/Natural Science head, making me - ugh - read, and - gah! - study. Damn you. DAMN YOU. But thank you Ben, for my little friend, the lady Ritalina. May she forever live in peace (dissolving into my bloodstream). Can we say...focus?!

Well, at least there's a couple of interesting things to look at on the net today:

-Mike Gordon picks his favorites of 2004. I have no idea who a lot of the bands he talks about are, but there are some choice moments in there, especially that his favorite flavor of Ben and Jerry's is the best one EVER!!! Oatmeal Cookie Crunch...cinnammon god that it is. You can also see lists by some other artists, like Jim James and DJ Logic. (What the fuck is Jim talking about re: the pixies though?)

-Marijuana-flavored lollipops - 'every lick is like taking a hit.' hahahaha! just in time to fill up the christmas stockings, too.

-Ever wonder why Japanese horror movies are so goddamn absolutely eerie? It's cause when violent things happen in Japan, it's always poignantly fucked up.

-When they first reported that ODB died, his colleagues said he had been clean off drugs...well, I guess not. I'd like to suggest that instead of being like, mm, drugs are bad, drugs killed ODB - that these articles should really point out that he combined a powerful upper with a downer, and that you CAN'T DO THAT.

i am pixie, hear me roar

Two nights of Pixiesloving down, one to go. I could see that band every fucking day for a month and I doubt I'd get too terribly sick of them. While the setlists don't look like they're going to be shaken up in any monumental way, the hits just keep on coming, and they're welcome to keep on coming, and coming, and coming, and coming. The only three songs I haven't heard yet that I'm really itching to are River Euphrates, Palace of the Brine, and most notably Dig For Fire which for some reason I don't think I'm going to hear later tonight. But s'all right. Where Is My Mind? one more time will be just fine. At any rate, for those of you who didn't get to attend, here's a taste of setlist goodness:

12/14:
In Heaven
Wave of Mutilation (uk surf)
Where is My Mind
BLOWN AWAY
Nimrods Son
Here Comes Your Man
Holiday Song
Mr Grieves
Vamos
Bone Machine
I Bleed
Crackity Jones
Monkey Gone to Heaven
Broken Face
Caribou
Veloria
Cactus
#13 Baby
Subbacultcha
Umass
Planet of Sound
Gouge Away
Dead
Debaser
Wave of Mutilation
Tame
Hey
Gigantic

La La Love You

12/15:
Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf)
(In Heaven) Lady in the Radiator Song
Winterlong
Here Comes Your Man
Nimrod's Son
Holiday Song
Mr. Grieves
Vamos
Where Is My Mind?
Bone Machine
Cactus
I Bleed
Monkey Gone To Heaven
No. 13 Baby
Velouria
Caribou
U-Mass
Crackity Jones
Isla De Encanta
Broken Face
Hey
Gouge Away
Debaser
Tame
Wave of Mutilation

Gigantic

12.13.2004

fuck you, semester.

newsbytes

It's back to high school for me - Hell if this is what high school is like these days, count me in. I didn't even start smoking pot till my senior year and here these kids are swapping acid for dimebags? And this is literally about six blocks from where I work. Where I am sitting right now. Let's go to the Waaaaall. You think the publishing of that article has spoiled it all? Probably cops scoping the place out now...dang!

An Excellent Read - Screw the Cowboys, let's all just play Indians.

Thou Shalt Kill Ragheads! - The US Elite Operations portion of the Army is recieving 10,000 specially made Army-specific Bibles that highlight military messages from the good lord Jesus Christ! I want to get my hands on that thing and see just how explicitly it justifies the killing of the 'enemy,' whoever that decides to be on any particular day in world politics.

Baby Jesus Is Missing
- I think it's hilarious someone compiled this list, I wish I was one of the culprits, I'd love a stolen Baby Jesus.

Reform to Combat Terrorism
- Colin Powell told leaders of the Arab world that they must introduce democratic and human rights reforms in order to combat terrorism. Well, congratulations US government...I AGREE! I've been giving this a lot of thought and while I hate to give in to any sort of Us vs. Them mentality here, I think that Islam (both extremist interpretations and some of its basic tenets) is poorly equipped for survival in and contribution to the modern and modernizing world. Take a look at the situation in the Netherlands, one of Europe's most liberal countries, which is experiencing a wave of extremist Islamic violence (someone was planning to bomb the Red Light district last week) because immigrants from poor Arab countries think that the Dutch are too immoral. This is what I mean by poorly equipped...you can't go around forcing your way of thinking on everyone else, and if you'd like to live in a country with your brand of rules, they exist - Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc. But many Muslims don't want to stay in their countries of origin and emigrate elsewhere because they have less money and poorer conditions at home than they can have elsewhere. The future is going to be built on fluid cultural exchange on a global level...can the Islamic world become an integral part of that? I think so, if slowly.

week, end.

The weekend saw Lucy being a great student and me playing some video games and listening to too much Shpongle. Somewhere in there were a couple of excellent dinners and a strange electronic music show where nerds played downtempo electronica on computers for 20 people lazily sipping beers. But Lucy's boss came along with cranberry raising cookies and in the end, it was 3 AM and we were puffing with Eileen before she started her day. At 3 AM. In a nightclub. For the morning. Keep up the good work.

The one thing I got accomplished was that I filled out 95 percent of my application to the Apple Store SoHo, where I am absolutely dying to work. I'm tired of this shit job and this shit computer and this shit chair at this shit desk. I want to walk around that big open space with that awesome staircase and excitedly sell Macs to people for a sweet little commission, which, when combined with my employee discount, will quickly net me an iPod and an electronic keyboard - the latter one I'm aching for lately. I can't believe I completely gave up on playing piano after I broke my elbow in 3rd grade, but it was hard to get excited about something that you felt you were only doing 'cause your mom made you. Hopefully these fancy fingers still got some freaky flickin' in 'em.

last day of class

And it couldn't come sooner. Though I'm as frightened of the future as I am bored with the academic present, I guess I'd rather get school overwith than sit in anymore British Literature II classes doodling away. I can't even draw well, so what am I really getting out of class at all then? After work today it's Natural Science II, then Brit Lit II, then the semester is done as far as classes go. One more 8 page paper and two finals for the aforementioned classes a week from today, then I'm completely done. Hurrah.

12.11.2004

toothbrushpongle


toothbrush

When your aunt is your dentist, too, you have two reactions. First is - woah, weird, my aunt's hands are in my mouth poking around. The second is actually a bit of relief because you don't have to be so scared of either getting hurt or yelled at too much for not flossing. You'll still get scolded, but not made to feel like the dirt between your molars. What's funny though is that the conversation-while-you're-getting-scraped-and-cleaned is pretty much the same - how's school? when will you be done? what you gonna do afterwards? And, for once, the dentist seems to actually care about what the answers are!

I wonder if people wrapped up in tattoo culture feel an excitement spurred on by the buzzing of needles heard from the waiting room that is the exact inverse of the feeling of dread the buzz of a dentist's drill gives you as you breathe in the faint scent of fluoride and wonder how many cavities you just might have.

shpongle



Are You Shpongled? is an amazing album, and totally worthy of the nod it gives to Jimi Hendrix's album of a similar name. You may want money, fame, or power. You may want drugs, or sex, or rock and roll. But no matter who you are, when you give it a try, you'll discover you always wanted to be Shpongled. Shpongle is Raja Ram and Simon Posford, and here's what their website has to say about their musical venture:

A multi-verse not very far away where queues and noise don't exist neither pain nor fear, scary faces or bad smells…just peace and pieces, and perfect weather :) Sucking the big toe of humanity, your armchair turns into an aural spacecraft, catapulting you through the veils of reality and consciousness into a psychedelic adult theme park: Sonar Ballistickle, Soma sucking cyber sorcerers floating weightlessly on the threshold of bliss, creating psycho-geometric, atomic telepathic shimmering incandescent dream dilations. This hybrid exotic seretonin drenched electro-plasmic dripping brain forest moves with endless hallucinogenic changing patterns while, unnoticed a million angels dance on a pinhead. Fun-Shui, Phrenological escapology; the divine moment of truth…the inevitability of the unexpected - the vortex of the cortex. Knowing what we don't know, while sampling the cosmos; from the darkness to the light; from the unreal to the real….from death to immortality... Let's Get Shpongled!

Shpongle's music mixes awesome electronic tribal beats and psychedelic sounds with Raja Ram's crazy drum playing, sitar playing, and flute-mastery. It is simply unbelievable - just ask me, and I'll Shpongle you in a second. The Shpongle website hasn't been updated in a long time but a visit to their record company, Twisted, shows that their third album 'Nothing Lasts' will be released early next year. Meanwhile, if anyone can help me get a hold of their second release, 'Tales of the Inexpressible,' well that would be just dandy ass fantastic.

A big thanks to the Shroomery for turning (me) on, tuning (me) in, and dropping (me) out to these guys.

12.10.2004

news that made my eyebrows arch.

These things caught my eye in the last few days:

Ahem.

A Call to Jackasses Everywhere - One of the last safe havens from cell phones is on the brink of plunging into the wireless abyss.
The Apocalypse is Near - FOX and Clear Channel move closer together like two colliding toxic clouds.

Homeless Iraq Veterans
- Already!

Crazy - Animals are being born with human blood.

12.08.2004

quick thought.

You know, it's too bad societies all over the world are as generally sexually repressed as they are. (God bless you Europe.) Cause with all these trips into space, we must ask this burning questios:

What's it like to screw in zero gravity?

Time to sign up for NASA I guess.

12.07.2004

happy (c?)hanukah?


Well folks, it's December Seventh, and when the sun falls down beneath the horizon under the weight of all this rain this evening, it will officially be the first day of that multi-candled holiday you know and love, Hannukah. I remember what a joy these eight days would bring when I was younger, and more specifically the loads of good presents they brought. My father would show up for a candle lighting or two, and otherwise my mom would shower me with action figures. Usually 2 a day and 3 on the first and last days. Top of the line, state of the art, Marvel Comic Batman Star Wars He Man goodness, god what a life! What a week! I'd actually be hopping up and down in excitement at the prospect of lighting one more candle on the menorah, just cause I knew what was coming right after that. A couple of solid dollar bills, and finally, finally, a Robin action figure! Sure he'e a pussy sometimes, but Batman's gotta have his sidekick sometimes.

So lately Hannukah hasn't been so exciting. Usually I want something in September, and ask for it to count as my present for all eight days three months in advance. I take my presents out like loans, and then still hope for a little bonus when December rolls around. So if anyone's wondering, or cares, or is....shopping! Here's a list, in no particular order, of Danny's top 8 Hannukah gifts, 2005.

#1
Game Boy Advance SP - it's been a long time since I had a portable system, and lord knows when my dad still lived with us the Game Boy was decidedly his. While he damned the TV as the "idiot box" (and still watched the Simpsons and news), he was often found slouched on the couch completely riveted by level 9-5 on the B mode of Tetris. I admit, that's the only video game he was ever better at than me. It was also the only one he played. Anyway, enough father obsessiveness! Damn family problems, damn! Anyway, I'm ready for a new game system to carry around, one that's colorful and has all my favorite old SNES and Nintendo games available for it at cheap prices. Come on!

#2
iPod Photo - I want a new iPod damnit. Mine don't work no more, plus it's about half the size of all the music I have. And photos, I wanna carry around photos. But you know, if this list was in a specific order, iPod would be last - cause they'll just change and get better as time goes on and I'll want new ones.

#3
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King: Extended Edition - And this would probably be number one. With 50 minutes of additional footage, and closure on this most awesome of film experiences, Peter Jackson has offered up one of the greatest gifts the holidays have to offer.

#4
M-49 Electronic Audio Keyboard - Able to plug into Garage Band and a number of other programs, be hooked up to all the effects pedals Miriam left behind for her electric guitar, and perhaps even be hooked up to my techno dance party, this thing is just a fucking must-have. I want to make spacy weird noises and trip out in my room to the sounds of my own madness.

#5
You Had To See This One Coming

#6
A Train Ticket to Pittsburgh, Please.

#7
Anything here would be nice.

#8
Old Habits Die Hard

12.06.2004

qwertyuiop


bits and bites.


For all of you with some time to kill I've put together a few things you may want to take a look at:

Board of Education - it's really strange that these kinds of people still get into public office.

Mordechai Vanunu - I've just got a lot of respect for this guy for breaking out of his country's (Israel's) obsession with overreactive self-defense and spilling the beans...short little article on him.

Dena Schlosser and Doyle Davidson
- You'll need an nytimes.com login for this, so GET ONE! Free, and all you gotta do is sign up once. Anyway, what a pair of names these people have, and what a pair of fucked up characters.

Hmm... - This looks like one classy read...thanks Ash.

Casino Hijinx - Who needs Ocean's 12 with stories like this? Well, frankly, I do.

Last But Not Least - Jambands.com treats us to an article about what the Internet has done to music in general and jambands in particular. I'd recommend anyone read it and skip the phish-specific parts if you don't give a shit, but the guy makes some great points along the way. This happens to be the guy who creates the internet Phish community's system of tracking personal statistics of what shows you'd been to, and which songs you'd seen and which hasn't...and he's sort of admitting he contributed to the death of much goodness.

Hey, I'd also take a look at a link I added to the Tasty Morsels on the right side of the page, the link called "Greg the Boyfriend." The most amusing blog I've ever read. The most recent entry on Miguel is great.


let's all go to japan.

This semester sucks the big one school-wise. This is how it's been for the past three semesters or so though. Excited about class in the first month, coasting in the second, losing interest in the third and finally scrambling to clean up the mess I've made in time for finals. All this periodically punctuated by me realizing it's happening and telling myself I'll turn over a new leaf or some such shit. Sigh. Who wears short shorts? Lucy wears short shorts. So does Eileen. I bet Larry does too, he's snazzy.

What I'm hoping is that I can wrap up this next semester nice and neat-like without needing to take on any extra classes in the summer. I want to be an NYU graduate in May of 2005. I want my diploma and my freedom, which will immediately become my fright as I realize I have no idea what I am doing with myself, at all, and try to scramble my way to Japan. Will I always be scrambling? I think I spend 355 days a year being a lazy bum, and the other ten a-scramblin'. And during leap years I spend that extra day trying to touch my nose with my tongue.

I picked up Chuck Palahniuk's new book, Stranger Than Fiction the other day. What I can tell so far is that as much as this man might get into repetitive grooves in his writing that get tiresome, he is a person that loves to write, and wants to inspire others to write in their lives. The book is a compilation of essays and stories about true life experiences he's had, different places and things and people he has witnessed, that have given him ideas for the books he's already written. In a way, he's killing the mystery behind "how did he think of that?!" which is a pretty cool thing to willingly do. It's like saying, "No, no, I'm no magician. Let me show you all my smoke and mirrors."

Makes me want to write. (Will I? Ho ho ho...) "Our technology for telling stories becomes our language for remembering our lives." He's right. I always think of my life in terms of being a movie.

12.03.2004

Happy Trails

Let's all wish Ani a happy trip into the forest with her fungus.

Onwards, Psychonaut!

Power. Courage. Wisdom.

Back to the Future

I've been pretty absent from this little blog o'horrors for many-a-day now, so where to begin? Thanksgiving was without a doubt most excellent, followed by two delicious nights of The New Deal, and...god, my memory is fucking foggy. My mental diary of the past week is a haze of smoke, Super Monkey Ball Bowling, and Chipotle.

Anyway, there's really one thing totally dominating my mind, so let me share with you the joy of this past week of my life.


m-zelda_oot_gcn_game-jpg

Once upon a time, I bought a game called The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time, and found one of my top 3 favorite video games ever (alongside Final Fantasy VII and Super Smash Bros. Melee.) The thing is, I was at a weird point in my video game playing high school life. Though I'd always had this knack for videogames, could always pick one up and learn the systems the game worked on pretty quickly, whenever I bought these longer games like Final Fantasy VII or Zelda, there were just so many fucking secrets and little side quests. So...I'd buy the strategy guide. And instead of using it the second time around to get all the secrets, I used it the first time around so I could really COMPLETE the game, completely. The games were so awesome I wouldn't get bored even though I was constantly checking the guide to see if there was anything extra to get in a certain spot, but ya know, it kind of ruins the mystery.

So a few days ago, I stepped into the shoes of everybody's favorite hero:

link-young

Starting out as a little young Link, I set out on my quest to save Princess Zelda and the entire Kingdom of Hyrule from the evil clutches of.....GANONDORF!!!!!!!!:

ganondorf

And I remember now in a way I may have never known how absolutely fucking awesome this game is. I think anybody would love this game, girl, guy, young old, it's just...the best. It's a story about growing up, learning, developing, and rising to meet your fate, and damnit, if I don't know what I'm gonna do with my own life, I'm at least glad I'm playing as a green-clad fairy-boy who has it all laid out before him. Yesterday I finally opened the door of time...and now I'm all grown up:

adult link

Faucet Fuckers

I'm totally an advocate of handless things...such as automatic toilet flushers and automatic sinks. Cause if you think about it right before you wash your hands, you're touching the same sink knob that everyone else touched right after they were done grabbing a hold of their junk (well, for us guys at least). So great, stick your hands under the faucet, water pours out, it's like god in heaven or something. Cavemen would shit their pants. Togas. Sabretooth tiger skins. Whatever.

But why the fuck can't I adjust the goddamn fucking temperature? My hands are freezing. FREEZING! Then I come back to my desk, where the sun is shining right down into my eyes and I feel like a character out of Camus' The Stranger. Anyway. I hate my job. Here's hoping for the Apple store.