Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Culture News and Traditional Cosas


Easter is coming and that means only one thing, it’s time to reread your favorite book. Hmmm, this year I may be stuck with Dostoevsky’s The Adolescent, which bothers me little as the book is quite good and one of the only ones of his with a first person narrator. Okay, Notes From Underground, but that’s a short book and not the staggering 600 page spectacle sometimes translated as The Raw Youth. Still, Notes is pretty powerful stuff. Big things come in little packages, you know.

But while mi niña contemplates revisiting her favorite poetical journey into hell, a Lenten tradition, I was thinking of starting a new tradition of my own by rereading The Master and Margarita every year sometime between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. It seems fitting. The Devil is in there, as is Jesus and Pilate and Matthew, and the action takes place during the weekend of Easter. And it’s my favorite novel, so, perfect! But I doubt I’ll get through The Adolescent with all the schoolwork to do, thus my break will be spent finishing off that book. And I promised myself that this would be the year I finished Karamazov. And I’m still waiting for the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation of War and Peace, but sources indicate I’ll be waiting until 2008. Ah, I am sure I can squeeze a third reading of Bulgakov in before reacquainting myself with Ivan, Alyosha and Dmitri Karamazov. Besides, I own so many copies of The Master and Margarita that I really ought to read it at least as many times. Current estimate… I believe I have eight copies and am in need of at least two others I know to be in existence. Oh, and I still need a copy in its original Russian if I am to truly call myself a collector. So that means I have to read the novel six more times. Hmm, well I ought to get at it.


Can you believe it has been this many months and I have not bought the new Melvins record? What is my goddamn problem? I know I can find it for cheap (9 bucks or so) but I am lazy and keep thinking that one day it will appear in the form of a present (I was sort of hoping I’d get it for Xmas, but I can’t complain as I got books and money and the sights of Taipei) but as of yet no package has arrived with even a burned copy of the thing. Damn people, I thought you loved me? I am a fan, a HUGE fan so I ought to do as I often preach and just go buy the thing. Yeah, I get paid next week, I think the first thing I ought to do is part with a sawbuck and get the full experience, cover art and all, of (A) Senile Animal. For fuck’s sake, they retooled the line-up again, and while seeing Kevin kicked out of the band (he is a damn good bass player, one of the best they’ve had) was hard enough I suppose I was a little put-off by the addition of a second drummer. Dale Crover is without a doubt my favorite drummer and, to me, there was no need to add someone else's kit. But, as Buzzo said in an interview, “we didn’t need a second drummer which is exactly why we did it.” Ah, the Melvins are always ones to stupefy and go against any and all grains, god love them.

On the subject of musical heroes and new CDs and me not having any of it, I have not gotten it within myself to get a hold of the (count ‘em) 3 CD box set of Tom Waits music. Sweet Jesus, once upon a time I would have robbed a store to get my hands on anything by Tom, but that was the old, drunk, less respectable me. Now I'll just wait for some extra money to come my way or for one of my friends (hi, Xtop!) to burn me a copy. Forget that there’s probably liner notes and photos galore—I just want the music.

I actually could find the money. I probably already have it, but I just don’t want to spend it. Like I didn’t want to spend 75 bucks on a ticket to see Tom last year. Yeah, there was a day I’d eat ramen noodles for a week in order to get a copy of a new Tom Waits release. It’s funny how I didn’t care about money as much when I had none. Having a little can skew one’s view of the value of a buck.

And you know who else has a new CD on the shelves? That’s right Dälek, New Jersey’s finest hip hop outfit and purveyors of dark samples, noise beats and spoken word style rap have put out another CD. Thus far, nothing has matched the brilliance of their first release, Negro Necro Nekros, but they always manage to raise a puzzled ear. Puzzled ears are good, far better than complacent ears. I can wait to nab this one but not for long. Someone needs to support these cats.

And now for the old.

I need to get my hands on the following discs soon, as I can’t believe I ever parted with them in the first place:

Quadrophenia – The Who
Live at Leeds – The Who
Rum, Sodomy and the Lash – The Pogues
Old Lead – Boiled in Lead
Give ‘em Enough Rope – The Clash
It’s Understood – Estratosphere

I especially need the Boiled in Lead CD as that one does not pop up often. And where else can one get Celtic rock from Minnesota? And “Biker Hill” is truly a fantastic song that haunts me though I have not listened to it in well over six years.


None. Really, there is nothing new that grabs me. Okay, I do need to see Pan’s Labyrinth, but otherwise no new releases seem the least bit worthwhile. There are scores of midnight shows and second runs that I will seek out, but no new movies are anticipated by lil’ ol’ me. 300 looks like a big digital nightmare, ditto Ghost Rider. Eh… movies are second-rate art anyway.

Okay, enough out of me. I’m off to see how the Chicago land lays and plot the demise of my enemies. I’ll taste their blood yet, the bastards.