Monday, January 31, 2005


In February, Lawrence D. "Butch" Morris is celebrating twenty years of Conduction(r), his method of conducted improvisation: using hand gestures to shape, but not dictate, the sound of a jazz orchestra. The fete, called Black February 2005, features Morris performing with a wide range of ensembles every freakin' day of the month. S/FJ put it best: holy crap. Hard to have an excuse when the performer makes himself available for twenty-eight straight days. Prof. LeDrew recommends local NYC jazz fans try to catch at least one of the eight Sunday performances (two each Sunday) of the 27-piece New York Skyscaper orchestra. This group will blow mightily at the family-friendly times of 5pm and 6pm, at the Bowery Poetry Club (Bowery & Bleecker), for the reasonable sum of $10. That's less than $0.40 an instrument.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Somebody keep Delfeayo away from Ascension.

And watch that old guy, Ellis, too.

Francis Davis's typically great jazz page in this week's Village Voice features an assessment of Wynton's LCJO take on Coltrane's A Love Supreme, alongside a sidebar review of brother Branford's live quartet take on same. Per Davis, Wynton suffers mightily by the comparison--
On Wynton: "Coltrane ends up sounding like Ellington, right down to the trombone wah-wah. But not even Wynton's crush on Duke explains the twee flutes." Egad.
On Branford: "He does honor to a classic while finally emerging as his own man."
Me, I would've pitted brother against brother, but Davis doesn't even whisper a word about sibling rivalry, instead pairing his Wynton/LCJO review with a different approach to jazz repetory, Don Byron's recent collaboration with the Sugarhill Gang.

One gets the impression that Papa M. could teach Richard Williams a thing or two about fostering intra-family competitiveness. I like how Branford went to the trouble of releasing the thing on his own label, Marsalis Music, as if to say, "Keep your fancy new house, I'm doing this in the backyard and I'm still going to take you down."

Selling history.

Thursday, January 27, 2005


Some publishing news of limited interest:

Nick Tosches, author of bios of Dean Martin and Sonny Liston and Jerry Lee, has a new book coming in spring, King of the Jews, about Arnold Rothstein, aka A.R., Mr. Big, The Fixer, The Big Bankroll, The Man Uptown, Mr. Broadway, and The Brain, and the inspiration for Meyer Wolfsheim in The Great Gatsby and Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls. Rothstein would seem to be a good fit for Tosches, who's more than overdue for a solid outing.

And, in the get me rewrite department, it would be hard to come up with a more unfortunate lead title for the spring than one written by a celebrated Indian author, set amid an archipelago in the Bay of Bengal, and titled The Hungry Tide.

Out of the Woods

It's official: The new Sleater-Kinney album is titled The Woods. Carrie describes their new sound as "heavy, raw, psychedelic." Which maybe explains why they went with Dave Fridmann as producer. And what's everyone's favorite guitarist listening to these days? Pick three: Jimi Hendrix, Kate Bush, Pink Floyd, Can, Grateful Dead, The Misfits. Answers here.

Sub Pop has a more detailed description of the album and lots of cheerleading language about: Change! Change! Change is good! I can't tell if this is a form of hysterical hype or a way of preemeptively talking fans off the ledge. Are S-K boosters that fragile? Or is the album really that radically different? And am I crazy - or is there a weirdly hedged tone in both the official press release and Carrie's above-cited missive?

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

That's entertainment, version 2.0

Afterward, one sweaty patron in his 20's said, "I hadn't realized how much all the bands I like sound like them."

No, not the Strokes.

Applaud the no new songs approach, but rerecording 15 old songs with "better equipment," and then offering a second disk of remixes in a two-disk package? Tacky. Then again, it worked for Rocket from the Tombs, I guess.

Quoth Han Solo, "My hands were all bloody from punching on the concrete."

I can't get my machine to play this movie, but per Oliver Wang's blog, this short film features the Geto Boys' "Mind Playing Tricks on Me" as performed by Star Wars action figures.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Reject #3.

More good news/bad news on the book front. The bad news is another rejection letter. The good? It was a complimentary rejection letter:

Dear [agent]:
Thanks so much for your kind patience while we consider Destination Out!!, an extremely well-done proposal by Misters Jackson and Golick. I've seen several proposals on this subject, and this one certainly towers above the others in its thoroughness and accessibility, which makes me even more sorry to say that we have decided to pass. As I'm sure you know, we've published a lot of books on pretty much every style of jazz over the years, and unfortunately the last few have been difficult, sort of like we're faced with a shrinking audience. Free Jazz is even tougher--avant-garde by nature, it demands a committed, serious audience--and sales isn't sure we can reach enough of them to drive this beyond the core crowd.

I really appreciate the opportunity and hope we'll connect on something in the future.
With best wishes,

The really bad news is that this particular publisher, Da Capo, was a leading candidate to take it on, one of the best publishers of serious jazz books out there. I recall saying to the agent that the first couple of rejects didn't really bother me, because they didn't surprise me; Da Capo, on the other hand, that would be a disappointment. Color me disappointed. The proposal is now moldering on or under the desks of four additional editors, and four more will get it within a week or so. We happen to think this guy, and the others, are wrong about the audience: it goes well beyond the serious jazzbo crowd, encompassing everyone from Phish phreaks to hip hop heads to Sonic Youth acolytes. Or so we say.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Long Distance Dedication

Inauguration Day, a time for the country to come together and begin healing the wounds of a divisive election. Although I didn't vote for the man, I'm still big enough to send a shout-out to my fellow Americans who did. Straight from my heart, I'll be playing this for all day for all the Bush supporters out there. Appropriately enough, it's by a band from Texas. So here it is, with my sincerest wishes: The Dicks "I Hope You Get Drafted."

Free Toronto.

The Globe and Mail's Carl "I'm not a Beach Boy" Wilson wrote recently about the free music scene up in the Great White North, and in particular the Association of Improvising Musicians [of] Toronto, or AIMT. More on AIMT here. We'll take them at their word that the Tontono improv scene is "burgeoning."

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Make the Music Go Pop

The Pop Group: post-punkers who took the Gang of Four's angular funk, abrasive textures, and radical politics even farther out. I'm not saying they were better (they weren't), but The Pop Group's extremist approach created some jaw-dropping music. Their willingness to let On-U Sound dub guru Adrian Sherwood fuck with their songs made for a fascinating debut, but alienated many of their punk fans. If they had played it straight, they coulda been contenders but instead the band (and related side projects) stubbornly followed their nose wherever it led and left a messy-but-provocative body of work. Not a bad way to go. They've been ripped off by countless DFA-style bands in recent years, but the group's albums remain sadly out of print. In fact, their second release has never even made it to CD! So visit this fine homage site and check out the MP3 blog while you're at it. New selections are added frequently but don't stay up very long. Start now and in few weeks you'll have your own killer Pop Comp. You'll be the envy of Bedford Ave (circa 2003).

I Waste Time So You Don't Have To

The new Sleater-Kinney album is slated to be released by Sub Pop on May 24th. You'd think there'd be much murmuring around the web about the new songs, new direction, etc but information is surprisingly scarce. So here's a compendium of what I've been able to track down so far.

Punknews was the first to break the tracklist and announce the title: Moonless. A fine title. Several days later, Pitchfork announced the same tracklist but a different title: The Woods. A less fine title. The only person on the web who claims to have heard the album is Matos, who lists the title as: Entertain. A not fine title. He ranks the album as the third best of 2005 and says it sounds very different from their past releases, more murky and garage. OK, except what exactly did he hear since the band just finished mastering the album today? Maybe we should just take our info straight from the group. Here's an interview with Corin Tucker discussing their new music - it was conducted just as the band wrapped recording at the end of December. More to follow as it surfaces.

Monday, January 17, 2005

V.D. on the Dance Floor

Curious about the new Beck album? You can hardly be blamed for stifling a yawn after the smug and empty dance floor pantamime of Midnight Vultures and the sincerely sad sack but deadly dull acoustic outpourings of Sea Change. Still, this is the guy who made Mellow Gold, Odelay, and One Foot in the Grave and he may still be capable of rescuing his head from the clutches of his asshole. So if you care to preview this as-yet-untitled opus before it's officially released in April -- check out this site which has leaked the entire thing in convenient mp3s. Just don't say who sent ya.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Congratulations, you are now

Not sure this is worth comment, but the [ shudder ] Pitchfork redesign is up and running. See also the editor's introductory letter, concerning "indie purist issues."

In which a former Blast First intern explains it all for you.

SFJ appears to have woken from his '05 slumber all funky fresh dressed, ready to party. You'll want to read this, at least, and then find your way all down the line. He also posts a correction to this -- his part begins on page 144 -- and to which we linked earlier.

We get it. You are cooler, better read, and take better pictures than us. We hate you. More downloads please.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

You Think You Got Trouble

Do you remember the excellent Infinite Zero reissue label started in the '90s by Henry Rollins and Rick Rubin? It featured some great titles including the first three Gang of Four cds (all with bonus eps), early Devo, The Monks, Tom Verlaine, and the prime movers of the Washington DC go-go scene... Trouble Funk.

Infinite Zero was too cool to last and all those CDs are out of print and fetching staggering eBay sums. I was always curious about Trouble Funk but by the time my curiosity traveled down to my wallet, it was too late. But wait. The estimable Mr. Rollins has just started a new reissue label under his 2.13.61 umbrella and its first release collects both of Infinite Zero's Trouble Funk reissues. This generous two-fer gives you "Live" and "Early Singles" for -- check this out -- $10. A seriously righteous bargain. One dollar from every sale even goes to charity.

Both reissues got raves at the time and are highly touted by the good people at AMG. Here are more details about this fine enterprise.

I got a little problem with you not calling me.

There's of all things a quaint O.D.B. tale in The New Yorker's Talk of the Town this week. Well, quaint for the surviving Russell, anyway.

The story sounds like something out of a Paul Auster book, which brings to mind this link, which appeared at Sarah Weinman's place a week or so back. Years ago yours truly fell into an Auster hole. The first pill, The New York Trilogy, spurred an Auster marathon, fed by an all-too-eager enabler that I knew at his publisher. Reading those first three stories as an impressionable new city dweller was like peering behind the Matrix; they gave a sense of the enormity and mystery of the notion of identity, and held out the promise, the possibility, of losing oneself. In the throes of my Austermania, I was sure his name was fabricated, so that, in French, it was an anagram for pas l'auteur. Problem was, the more Auster one reads, the more one discovers the same book, the same story, the exact same issues. It got so I couldn't keep one book from bleeding into the others in my mind. Hearing about Oracle Night, which I haven't read, in the linked essay, it's clear that Auster is the Ouroboros of authors, endlessly feeding off of his own creations. Now he's feeding off of others. At this point the only work of his I can stand is the graphic novelization of City of Glass, which holds up tremendously well, and which, of course, is a collaboration. After sampling himself to death, Auster needs a good producer -- say, Art Spiegelman, the literary RZA -- to get over.

Piracy Funds Terrorism

Have you been reading about M.I.A.? First, there was the SFJ profile in the New Yorker; then the rave review at Pitchfork; then the DWA got into the act in a Village Voice article. Problem was, the album they were all raving about was a gray-goods mix available only on CD-R. Other Music was selling if for the blink of an eye, but they ran out quicker than you can say "Williamsburg."

Now you can download the whole thing here. Don't expect this link to last long. So, uh, wouldja mind doing me a favor...

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

What year is this? dept.

True or false:
The current UK Top 40 singles chart includes the following artists in the top 10:
Elvis Presley
Iron Maiden
Band Aid
Green Day

Answer here.
Plus ca change doesn't even begin to cover it....

Monday, January 10, 2005

The voo-doo that you do (is doo-doo).

The King is dead. Long live the King.

WARNING: The following post contains anecdotage of the father-and-son type, and should probably not be read by those with a low tolerance for such.

My four-year-old son is a big Elvis Presley fan. People who know me might find it hard to believe that I had little to do with this, but other than introduce the lad to a few songs every once in a while, just to dilute the kiddie playlist some, he took it all the way home, all by himself. First with a ukulele and now with a kid-sized six string, he has for years filled our apartment with his ungodly caterwauling, angry-faced posturing, and extemporaneous “Hound Dog” lyrics . (All rock & roll is angry to him.) He’s particularly taken with the amped up, ramped up versions of “Hound Dog” and “Jailhouse Rock” from the ’68 comeback show. And since he hasn’t (to my knowledge) seen any video of Elvis, only still photos, he’s had to let his imagination fill in the steps in between the frozen karate chops and leg twists he’s seen in the illustrated Elvis books he’s long enjoyed perusing. No joke.

On Saturday morning, to celebrate Presley’s 70th birthday, we threw a little dance party at home. It was after this shindig -- heavy on the Sun Sessions, and his current fave, “Blue Suede Shoes” (it’s a source of amusement that it’d be okay to step on his face, if only you left the shoes alone) -- that I chose to tell my boy that Elvis was dead.

He cried for a pretty long while. The bromide that “he lives in his music” was the source, ultimately, of a little solace, but not much.

This was a parental miscalculation of some magnitude. Not on the order of, say, a public browbeating over a pants-wetting accident, but up there with other dream-crushers as the accidental revealing of the death of Santa. I think on the surface I was trying to be honest (“Where does Elvis live?”) in the face of his questions (“Can we go visit?”), but given his belief, and the unlikelihood of his driving down to Memphis to discover the truth for himself, there was zero harm in letting him think that Elvis still walks the earth (others do, after all). There was something cruel and hard in my telling him.

Of all the possibilities, the one that feels truest is that I wanted to watch him experience the loss, and that I wanted him to feel something that I didn’t, or couldn’t. I remember when Elvis died -- it was 1977, I was nine -- and my main concern was that he and my father were the same age: shades of dad’s mortality. But I wasn’t a fan, then. When I discovered, much later, Elvis’ music, he was already long dead, and an approachable figure. Elvis, as far as my son was concerned, lived, and no amount of Greil Marcus mythologizing or Peter Guralnick reportage could make it so for me.

As someone whose enthusiasms often feel, to myself, prefabricated, I hope I can steer clear of my son’s loves enough to let him discover the inevitable disappointments and loss on his own -- just be there to pick up the pieces. Thankfully, my kid doesn’t listen to or believe everything I say, evidenced by a question he asked of his mom the next day, Sunday: “Elvis isn’t gone, right?”

For Your Eyes Only

If I thought someone else was reading, I probably wouldn't dig this out. Not sure if it's a breach of etiquette since I got the link off a newsgroup. Anyhow, check out this hot rock site and see if you can, um, retrieve any of the goodies. Obviously, it's the new brand songs that are likely to be the most rock 'n' roll fun.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

He walks with me and He talks with me.

Happy 70th birthday, E.

Friday, January 07, 2005

That beeping sound you hear is Chuck Klosterman getting his GameBoy on.

The Last Top 10

Or at least the last one I'll link to for a while. And appropriately enough it's not even a Top 10. Just a list. Of albums the author spent a lot of time playing and thinking about this year. And that author? If can't guess from my last few posts, you're just not trying. It's a lovely list. Did I mention that? So go.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Feels like old times.

Douglas Wolk, or one of his many minions, digs deep into the Wolk archives for an aged top ten, his favorite records from 1994. This makes sense to me. Why not see how picks hold up over time? The yearly round-up is so obligatory even [ ahem ] people with seldom-seen blogs make time for it. Stepping away from the avalanche of year-end generalizations and rushes to judgment, leaving some room for more prolonged listening and contemplation -- yeah. That's not to say Wolk's list wasn't generated under an avalance of year-end generalizations at the time, but checking the list now does make it easier to see what was nasty and what was nice. And it gives a fogey like me time to catch up to his references; I'm about eight years behind him.

The Year in my Head

Like most people, I have a love/hate relationship with Top 10 lists. I can't stop reading them even as my head spins and my stomach churns with the imbecility of it all. Truth is, I have enough trouble keeping straight my own faves without sifting through the random likes and dislikes of total strangers.

But because I can't stop myself from contributing to this mess, here are some things I encountered that made the possibilities of an otherwise dreary year shine a bit brighter. Many weren't released this year, but they were new to me.

ALBUMS: Arcade Fire "Funeral"; Atmosphere "The Lucy Ford EPs"; Flatlanders "More A Legend Than A Band"; Four Tet "Rounds"; George Lewis "Hommage to Charles Parker"; Libertines "Libertines"; Mountain Goats "We Shall All Be Healed"; Postal Service "Give Up"; Pylon "Hits"; Ann Peebles "The Best of the Hi Years: Volume One"; Archie Shepp "Blase"; Craig Taborn "Junk Magic"; Talking Heads "Fear of Music"; Television Personalities "And Don't the Kids Just Love It"; Toots and the Maytals "In the Dark/Funky Kingston"; Randy Weston "Blues to Africa"; Brian Wilson "Smile."

BOOKS: "Wittgenstein's Nephew" by Thomas Bernhard; "Herzog on Herzog" edited by Paul Cronin; "Bleak House" by Charles Dickens; "Chronicles, Volume One" by Bob Dylan; "Catch 22" by Joseph Heller; "The Beauty Supply District" and "Julius Knifl, Real Estate Photographer" by Ben Katchor; "On Boxing" by Joyce Carol Oates; "THB" by Paul Pope; "Palestine" and "Safe Area Gorazde" by Joe Sacco; "Street of Crocodiles" by Bruno Schulz.

MOVIES: The Bad Sleep Well; The Battle of Algiers; Before Sunset; Dogville; Eraserhead; Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind; Eyes Without A Face; F for Fake; Faces; The Goalie's Anxiety At the Penalty Kick; The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner; La Dolce Vita; Lola; Los Angeles Plays Itself; Rose Hobart; Senso; Shame; Why Does Herr R. Run Amok?

And topping them all was my pilgrimage to this mecca.

Last year's models.

Over at [ sigh ], Jason Gross of Perfect Sound Forever has done a yeoman's job of compiling an alternet-ive version of the annual Da Capo Best Music Writing anthology, culling together more than 100 articles for commendation. There are links to most if not all stories, and the whole thing is pretty overwhelming. Go to.

Using Da Capo's book as a point of comparison doesn't really do justice to the selection, particularly in light of Gross' call-out to Jeff Chang's piece that excoriates the series for its unchecked rockist assumptions and overwhelmingly starchy, Y-chromosome-osity. Trouble here, of course, is that Gross and Co. might need to check the back windows; a rough count yielded 17 women authors behind the 124 top music stories, which, given Gross' presumably wider net (or Net), is nothing to crow about. I'm not hating, I'm just saying. Certainly, the racial/cultural spread appears a lot richer that what you'd typically find in the Da Capo book.

Also, Jeff Chang rules, here, there, and everywhere.

Oh, and don't go to unless you have an extremely good pop-up blocker.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

He is risen.

The blogger formerly-and-forever-known-as-TMFTML is back to provide loyal readers with that familiar burning sensation, and starts things off with a list of things he liked from last year, including lots of music.

Sympathy for the Mekons.

The New Yorker runs down their top ten jazz recordings of 2004, in alphabetical order. (The intro text that ran in the print magazine doesn't appear here.) As someone who purports to be something of an authority on jazz -- at least that's what it says in the "about the author" section of a book proposal now moldering on the desks of several editors -- it is with some chagrin that I confess that I ain't heard a one of them. This is due to several factors, among them limited income and no "reviewer's copies" gravy train (except occasionally by proxy).

But it also brings to mind another reason why I'll never be any kind of reliable source for a year-end list (aside from the failing memory) -- which is itself cause for a list:

5 Inane Rules for Buying Music
1. DO NOT PAY RETAIL. A Massachusetts Jew in New York, I could no sooner pay retail than eat my own head. It would take a catastrophic genetic mutation at the RNA level to allow me to pay full price for a CD. This leaves sales and used bins as the only sources for "new" music.
2. DO NOT BUY CDs OF TITLES ALREADY OWNED ON LP OR CASSETTE (homemade or store-bought). This is related to the skinflintiness of #1. Why duplicate what you already have, even if it means you'll never listen to the thing again, ever? That would just be silly.
3. FAVOR THE NEW AND OBSCURE ITEM OVER THE UNASSAILABLY, MIND-BENDINGLY FANTASTIC KNOWN COMMODITY. "Hey, the Frausdots, I've barely heard of them, surely I should bring that home and put A Love Supreme back -- I mean, Coltrane, sure, but what untold pleasures await me as delivered by the Frausdots!"
4. SERENDIPITY IS MY CO-PILOT. What serendipity like, serendipity get.

And there you have it: why a top-ten list from these quarters is totally useless. That said, I have been pleasantly surprised by the sounds coming off of The Sweetness of the Water -- Spring Heel Jack with Wadada Leo Smith et al. (thanks again, JJ) -- but how much of that is due to the fact that the length of the disc aligns perfectly with that of my daily commute, I'm not sure.

Also, Tom Hull takes over Robert Christgau's usual Consumer Guide page at the Voice this week, and picks an exceptionally varied group of jazz titles, two of which even I have heard -- Harmony & Abyss and Souls Saved Hear -- though I'm not over the moon about either of them. Hull, whose own taste seems to hover somewhere between out and way out, saves his best line for the Duds section, talking about Chick Corea: "The problem with fusion wasn't that good jazz was cheapened by crass rock and roll. The problem was that so many fusioneers were suckers for bad rock." Amen.

Oh, and Joe Levy should really be the only guy allowed to write about Pavement.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Hail Satan!

So enough pussyfooting around. Let's get down to brass tacks: DEATH METAL! Lots of crazed and frequently Scandanavian bands that don't just sing about hating God, they actually burn down churches! That sort of dedication, my friends, is what true art is all about. There's a documentary about this subculture and the filmmakers recently discussed their fascinating experiences interviewing some of black metal's literally murderous stars in jail. Want to check out some of the perps for yourself? Give our regards to Gorgoroth and Burzum. You can find the link to Deicide yourself.

All of which naturally brings us back to the Mountain Goats. There was a great interview in The Believer this summer with John Darnielle where he discussed his love of Death Metal, but they've yanked it from their site. But you can still experience him waxing rhapsodic about Incantation's recently minted classic "Decimate Christendom." He even penned an ode to the genre, which eschews irony and aims to pull your tongue straight through your cheek. Inspirational verse: "When you punish a person for dreaming his dream/ Don't expect him to thank or forgive you/ The best ever death metal band out of Denton/ will in time both outpace and outlive you." All together now...

"They provided lap dances for the musicians and members of the journalistic community."

The Washington Post Magazine Reader column reports on Guitar World's quarter century of fret fingering and whammy bar closeups. In the quote above, the mag's editor is describing a scene from their most recent feature on rock guitar's newly minted immortal, "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott.

Meanwhile, the journalistic community looks for a new pair of pants.

What, no Hank Garland?

Hard to imagine more depressing way to ring in the new year than a fairly comprehensive list of who checked out last year, music division. I was happy (sort of) to see that Al Dvorin, the man behind "Elvis has left the building," was recognized. Some obituaries write themselves. [from the BoB-nominated No Rock&Roll Fun]

Monday, January 03, 2005

Heal Thyself

Because the Mountain Goats made last year's best album, "We Shall All Be Healed," it's worth checking in on the progress of their latest opus. That link has the studio blow-by-blow, more or less. Maybe you have to be a fan to care, so why aren't you a fan? The new album was completed in November and the song descriptions are tantalyzing. Bucking the time-honored rock learning curve, John Darnielle just seems to be getting better as he gets older. And I think the dude's in his early to mid-thirties already. Here's hoping that 4AD sees fit to release this in the next few months.

And whatever happened to albums coming out six weeks after they were finished? Back in the 60s and 70s this was commonplace. Now there's an ungodly long wait for music to get to the marketplace, even on small indie labels, despite the technology to manufucture the stuff being quicker than ever. Are we not living in the age of instant consumer gratification? (Give or take a pair of Zissou Adidas).

Uno, dos, tres, we removed your listing-atorze.

For those wondering what the Negativland iPod for sale last month at eBay took in, the answer is: a cease-and-desist order. Via 'FMU's monthly sites for sore eyes listing.

This year's model.

The musical best of 2004 assemblage least likely to be tainted by press release hyperbole [LLTBTBPRH] is here.

Welcome JJ aka Frank Anne aka Andy Frank aka Billy Dee Ingsroman aka The Propeller!

Please extend a warm chemistry class greeting to our new partner-in-blogging, who will no doubt inject a much-needed dose of energy, sleaze, and high-octane fuel to this generally breakdown-lane-hugging venture.

All together: Hi! Now somebody call the police.

the Shallow End

There should be some more auspicious way to express my greetings and thank you for letting me hitch on to your blog, but whatever. So, hi. Hope you don't mind if I figure out the formatting and whatnot in real time.

So here's something unbelievably trivial that's been taking up too much of my spare time... Life Aquatic tennis shoes! The best thing about "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" was the set design and costumes -- and please don't take that as a diss of the film. Simply gorgeous visuals. Among other things, I left coveting the special sneakers the crew wears, listed on the (lemme find the link) official movie website as "1987 Limited Edition Team Zissou Adidas." The site says the shoes are sold out, but I don't believe they ever existed. A big tease. At least you can order the typically excellent Wes Anderson-compiled soundtrack. Love Seu Jorge's Portugeuse renditions of Bowie.

I was exicted to find a DIY and ghetto fabulous way to create your own (wait a second now) Zissou Adidas -- until I realized that it's almost as hard to find a pair of the Adidas Rom Classics with Blue Stripes that you'll need to create the Zissous as it is to get the phantom Zissous themselves! So an even bigger tease. To further complicate matters, someone was selling pairs of the homemade Zissous on eBay but their auction was summarily removed by the Powers-That-Be (sorta begs for a link, but it's not getting one). Is it all a ruse?

Well, this absurd post should lower any expectations you might have had about my spicing up your blog. Not that it needed spicing, mind you. Now how do I change my blog name?

What your big sister done.

Guitarist Hank Garland died on December 27. But he'll live forever thanks to that wonderfully leering, sinewy guitar part in Elvis' "Little Sister." [Thanks, JJ.]