Tuesday, June 27, 2006

My beloved Mimicry shifts its values and finally updates its site

[From: http://www.webofmimicry.com/ ]

How so? Taking valiant works and isolating them in difficult formats, and then burying them further under a suicidally inappropriate sheen of avant gardeism constitutes a 'shift in values'"?

Yeah, well... But we're mainly just getting in the habit of freeing our limited resources to support only what we feel are truly "special case" instances in music. Kang's acoustic recordings of actual ensembles is a good start. We've learned a lot in our EIGHT FUCKING YEARS as a label. If in the last year we've been intentionally gettinglighter of releases, it's because we intend to re-awaken a space (probably often outside of the usual band format) where the disappearing art of compositional mastery is most highly valued -- and/or where a true "exceptional-ness" of some sort really shows, be it on an order approaching Beethoven, GG Allin, or Bernard wwParmegiani; its important that a certain poetic / philosophical explosiveness be seen THRIVING here in all its innate madness...

Besides the fact that in general things like we are dreaming of don't seem to be happening in music on the artistic side of the spectrum very much (yet / anymore), we do see fewer and fewer obstacles to fulfilling our objective as a label. In order to be a good host whenever this muse should authentically strike, we'll stubbornly wait in silence for her, and only her. Our Halls (and the gaping void in our release schedule) will henceforth be filled only with the Maenads of extraordinary compositional /philosophical acumen, or with the mad fucking shrieksof Dionysus himself.

Monday, June 26, 2006


Maybe the best band working today:


Their record, One Step More and You Die has been played a lot 'round these parts as of late. I see "post-rock" used to describe them, but those sorts of classifications can get dull. I prefer to call their music beautiful. They're certainly the most exciting thing I have heard in some time. Mono is proof that art is not dead.


After waiting almost a year, what I thought was the newest Fe-Mail CD, Voluptuous Vultures, is coming my way. There was a ridiculous delay in the release of this CD, so much so that another Fe-Mail CD has been recorded and released by a different distributor. Follow the link to read of the new massive 2-disc recording and video by these two Norwegian noisemakers. My birthday passed, but anyone seeking to get me a late gift is welcome to buy this for me. Thanks, you're the best.


There go my plans of cheap relocation...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

“…one of those people hardly anyone notices”

Outsider art is a curious thing, and often quite interesting. Other times, well… not so much. Regardless of the actual art, there is usually an interesting story attached. Henry Darger’s has long fascinated me partly, I’ll admit, because he’s a local guy. I may not want to read his book but wish I could have been the one to discover his trash collection and handwritten opus.


Ambitious Greenaway


I, being at work and having responsibilities, have only visited the above site for a brief period but I will fully investigate later. I doubt I am sharing this prematurely, as it is a link that has something to do with a Peter Greenaway project (therefore, worth my time and yours) that I will most likely never see. His films are largely unavailable on American friendly DVD and I am still waiting for another chance to see Prospero’s Books on the big screen (ahem… loca).

The Tulse Luper Suitcases is, as far as I can tell from IMDB and other unreliable sources, a ridiculously mammoth undertaking involving the evolution of filmmaking, mostly by incorporating it with other forms of technology, new and old. To properly see the thing one must experience the film, the printed/written passages and some CD Rom and internet related ho-ha all at once. Or in pieces. Or something. I’m not sure, but it sounds ambitious and I always applaud this kind of ambition.

Greenaway is one of my favorite filmmakers simply because he made The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover but also because he is daring and different and his films take chances. Cinema is too often dull. At least when Greenaway fails, he fails magnificently. Tulse Luper might fail. It certainly has the potential to implode under the weight of such a gigantic vision. But still, the results are bound to be interesting. Greenaway, I know, made three parts of the thing and many feel it could only be complete after 92 installments. Meanwhile, Nightwatching is in pre-production and I’ll be happy if that makes it to these shores. I guess I ought to move to the Netherlands if I want to keep abreast of Greenaway’s output, however bizarre. He was quoted as saying that cinema is an archaic art form and so this project, I guess, is supposed to help it evolve. Doubtful, but again, I have to applaud the guy.

Oh, here’s a list of people Greenaway envisioned as appearing in The Tulse Luper Suitcases:

Victoria Abril, Ernesto Alterio, Imanol Arias, Pilar López de Ayala, Fairuza Balk, Antonio Banderas, Javier Bardem, Kathy Bates, Toni Bertorelli, Lothaire Blutheau, Barbora Bobulova, Mark Boone Jr, Hugh Bonneville, Miguel Bosé, Jeff Bridges, Rosalinda Celentano, Christy Chung, Roberto Citran, Penelope Cruz, Gabino Diego, Juan Echanove, Umberto Eco, Carmen Elías, Sabrina Ferelli, JJ Field, Morgan Freeman, Dawn French. Anna Galiena, Vincent Gallo, Bruno Ganz, Claudia Gerini, Remo Girone, Richard Griffiths, Francesco Guzzo, Debbie Harry, William Hurt, Sabrina Impacciatore, Celia Imrie, Joel Joan, Don Johnson, Charo López, Sergi López, Madonna, Keram Malicki-Sánchez, Laia Marull, Ewen McGregor, Tanya Moodie, Nick Moran, Anson Mount, Ornella Muti, Nick Nolte, Gary Oldman, Lena Olin, Mercedes Ortega, Rossy de Palma, Marisa Paredes, Amanda Plummer, Franka Potente, Josep Maria Pou, Juanjo Puigcorbé, Miranda Richardson, Molly Ringwald, Vincent de Rooster, Isabella Rossellini, Andre Schneider, Maria Schrader, David Selvas, Assumpta Serna, Sting, David Thewlis, Naim Thomas, Kristin Scott Thomas, Goya Toledo, Ana Torrent, Zoe Wanamaker, Leslie Woodhall, Guillermo Yeso.

All these names were considered by Greenaway to be a part of the project at one time. Of course, the great director made this list public before he had signed contracts, so most of them may never appear in his multimedia magnum opus. Thankfully, Madonna remains among the unsigned.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Hail to the King

Monday, June 12, 2006

Shut Up and Play Your Guitar

Dylan all ready had a documentary devoted to him, a rather tedious and annoying film that perfectly reflects Bob’s music. Anyway, this movie is considered a classic of sorts, but that was not enough. Now there’s a four-hour celluloid blowjob called No Direction Home to fully satisfy the rabid fans that buy anything connected to Mr. Zimmerman, including his tragic Starbucks endorsed material. Following suit, Neil Young has a movie out, or someone has a movie out about him, however that works. Today I read that Leonard Cohen is to be the subject of a new documentary. Now I love Leonard Cohen, but for Christ’s sake this is getting to be too much.

Wilco, a band I truly despise, has a documentary as does Fugazi, and even R.E.M. I think. Well, even if they don’t, theirs will along shortly, I am sure.

I suppose I might get excited if The Melvins or The Boredoms or Tom Waits suddenly became worthy of a documentary, but at this moment I’m starting to agree with Patton Oswalt’s comment that we are living in the over-lit ages.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Coulter's Lame Controversy

Not more than 24 hours after I posted about Ann Coulter’s new book, she appears on Matt Lauer’s show defending her comments regarding the 9/11 widows. I read about it, heard people on the train talking about it and so on, so I decided to do what most people on the right fail to do, investigate. Yes, rather than use hearsay to form an opinion, I searched and searched until I found a video of her on the show, hearing with my own ears what Annie had to say.

In her book she makes some incendiary comments about the widows of 9/11, mainly about how they are very rich now (which she uses as an accusation, although I know not why since that form of capitalism and wealth is always celebrated by republicans) and how they not only used their husband’s deaths for their own gain but also to further their political beliefs in the press. As opposed to Ann writing a book to openly state hers. (I’m sure there’s a difference somewhere and some right-winger will point it out, flaws and all.) She seems to feel these women, as victims, are wrongly considered to be above criticism, which is exactly why she criticizes them. Showing the kind of sensitivity the right is known for, she uses the word “broads” as a stand-in for “women.” How edgy. Even funnier to these eyes is the point Coulter makes that these women behave as though the terrorist acts have happened only to them. Funny, considering the way our country does the does the same thing.

The whole 9/11 Wives statement is a minor point of her larger argument, I am sure-- but more to the point, it is clear that Ann is up to her old tricks again. She exists for very simple reasons: to piss off the left, to generate a distraction from real issues and to be a soapbox clown for conservatives who, for some reason, love her and hate her liberal doppelganger, Michael Moore.

The controversy Coulter seeks to spark is lame. There is no basis for her comments expect to incite left-wing anger, which is a standard tactic of the right. And we on the left side of the fence fall for it every time. We get pissed when a memeber of the right says something this stupid and we let our anger get the best of us, raising our voices and calling these mere goons worse names, like “Satan Bitch” or “Cunt” or “Horse Faced Loon” which, while perhaps apt, only makes us look like the knee-jerk reactionaries we so deplore. Coulter is not worth it. She’s not nearly funny or intelligent enough to deserve such reactions, much less this post on an insignificant blog. But I post it for the same reason I celebrate her new book—as I always celebrate her books— because it achieves one very important goal: it offers ample evidence of right-wing buffoonery. Go, Annie! Keep making your side look stupid.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I Love That Horse-Faced Loon

Wow. I just saw Ann Coulter’s new book at Borders. Normally when Ann releases a new book I glance at it in the store long enough to get an idea of what kind of malarkey she’s selling, but this time I may have to actually read the thing cover to cover.

You see, Ann’s taking on liberals (big shock) and trying to turn its member’s disinclination to align with organized religion and spin it (the right is good at spinning things, hi Karl). She essentially is arguing that liberalism is in itself a religion. Wow. Big shock, Ann. Real hard hitting stuff from the woman who was ranked one of the nation’s top intellectuals, proving what Reinaldo Arenas meant when he said, “There are no American intellectuals.”

Since one can argue the same about the right, Ann’s book seems sort of a waste. Her argument is all ready summed up nicely in the book jacket, but the real issue she seems to be focusing on is the theory of evolution. It is, according to the italicized description (hold on for the next big shock), bogus science. By that Coulter means it has not been proven with hard science. Well, that’s why it is a theory and not a fact, Ann. I assumed a top intellectual might understand the difference, and to be sure, I think she does. She’s just counting on her reader’s semi-literacy.

My thoughts on evolution:

As a bleeding heart liberal, I am inclined to believe in evolution, or at least to support the research of the theory. It may lack definitive scientific evidence but it is still more logical, rational and contains more validity than creationism, intelligent design or any other bit of religion hokum. There is little scientific evidence supporting it? Yes, but there is NO scientific or historical evidence supporting Christianity. Don’t bother to point out that there is some withered piece of papyrus that says a guy named Jesus Christ once walked the Earth. Yeah, well, there are many people with my unusual name around Chicago, so I guess there could have been many Jesus Christs. And where in this parchment does it mention him changing agua into vino?

It seems the religious folk would love nothing more than to dismiss Darwin’s (pay attention to the next word) theory any way they can. I can only assume it bothers them because it asks them to question their faith, which must be paper thin if a mere theory can upset them this much. I can only think of witch-hunts and the burning of heretics as examples of past religious zealotry and its quest to eradicate anything that contradicted their fairy tales. Jesus would be ashamed.

So yes, I may have to read an Ann Coulter book. I’ll be sure to shower after I’m done. Who knows, maybe I’ll be converted. I mean, if we can’t prove evolution, well, that means there can be no other option but to swear allegiance to the church, right? In the case of this country, yes, so long as it is a Church and not a Mosque.

Proof That There is No God.

Lioness in zoo kills man who invoked God

Mon Jun 5, 8:31 AM ET

KIEV (Reuters) - A man shouting that God would keep him safe was mauled to death by a lioness in Kiev zoo after he crept into the animal's enclosure, a zoo official said on Monday.

"The man shouted 'God will save me, if he exists', lowered himself by a rope into the enclosure, took his shoes off and went up to the lions," the official said. "A lioness went straight for him, knocked him down and severed his carotid artery."

The incident, Sunday evening when the zoo was packed with visitors, was the first of its kind at the attraction. Lions and tigers are kept in an "animal island" protected by thick concrete blocks.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Winterson on Books