this is a classic electro track from '83, covered countless times over the years (by Insane Clown Posse, even!). i don't know much about them, but i wouldn't be surprised if they were from detroit (like the A Number of Names guys (and ICP for that matter, lol)).
the rest of the album is fairly lame, so don't worry about it. :)
I just finished reading Wil Wheaton's The Happiest Days of Our Lives in one sitting. If that's not enough of a book review in itself, I don't know what is. :)
To the right, you'll notice a screengrab from wikipedia's entry on Wesley Crusher. I wasn't fond of him (the character), though I didn't hate him like many; in fact, I think I disliked Wil Riker more (though Wheaton's fond memories of Frakes have certainly tempered that).
I saw every episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and while I wouldn't call myself a fan, I really liked it at the time. And here I am now, two decades older, and I can't even really remember much about the show. I'm not really interested in seeing it again, and I'm certainly not particularly interested in frickin' Wesley Crusher.
Here's the thing, though: when I read Wheaton's blog, I don't think about that Crusher kid, unless the character is specifically mentioned. In part it's because Wheaton has, as I have (we're two years apart in age), grown up and become an adult. Mostly, though, it's due to something else, something that many of us have trouble realizing with celebrities, especially those not on the paparazzi radar: the actor ≠ the character.
Nothing reinforces that (perhaps obvious) statement than reading The Happiest Days of Our Lives. It, like his previous efforts Dancing Barefoot and Just a Geek, is a collection of autobiographical, memoir-type stories, though that description doesn't really do it justice. These are more like vignettes, little memories that come across as if he's sitting there with you, Guiness in hand, telling you the story (in this respect at least, his writing reminds me of a smaller-scale Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman).
This conversational tone is one of the great things about his blog, actually, and this carries right over to the book (naturally so, since many of these stories appeared there first). For example, at one point he listed some of his Star Wars action figures: "...Obi-Wan Kenobi (I lost the plastic robe and broke the tip off the light saber version), Princess Leia (pre-slave girl 'man I wish I could hit that' version), C-3PO (tarnished version), R2-D2 (head stopped clicking a long time ago version)...."
I wanted to respond, "yeah, man, my brother's R2 stopped clicking too, and we didn't have a lot of the same figures you did, but I had the ultra cool Lando Calrissian (Skiff Guard Disguise version) with the helmet, though my cousin lost him in the mud at the bottom of my grandpa's pond."
The best thing, though, is that I was wrong in one assumption. The title, The Happiest Days of Our Lives, coupled with the late-70's-early-80s photos on the outside sort of implied that Wheaton would be reinforcing the old adage about childhood being the best time of your life. On the contrary, these stories come from his whole life, from early childhood ("the butterfly tree") right up to present day ("lying in odessa"), sending a much better message -- they're *all* the happiest days. Even in "let go - a requiem for Felix the Bear", one gets the sense that despite the decidedly *un*happy loss, he wouldn't trade that memory for the world.
So enjoy your days. And buy Wil's book.
My soundtrack for the book was varied, though the most fitting was Valgeir Sigurðsson's Ekvílíbrium (so much so that i had to mention it). Imagine the excellent chilled electronic glitch of múm with a male singer-songwriter-but-reminiscent-of-Björk-type vocal. Wait, don't imagine it, try it for yourself: "Baby Architect" and an excellent instrumental, "Equilibrium Is Restored". The latter, in fact, came up during Felix's requiem, and was probably the tipping point for that one tear that escaped. (Dammit! I have a rep to maintain!)
Libra: There's a choice to be made. You can live fast and hard in the hands of the coke dealer, or you can have the sedate life with regular maintenance, dealing with nothing harder than the occasional phosphate salt. The difference is as simple as a chain with a lock.
I found a great dj mix on the I HEART COMIX! blog last night. it's done by excellent trouble & bass dj Star Eyes, and is chock full of industrial goodness. there's no track listing, but there's a great selection of artists, including skinny puppy, nitzer ebb, leaether strip, psychic tv, and TONS more. follow the link above and check it out.
the pic above is one i took of her when i caught her set last year in NYC. awesome.
In May 2002 I started posting my daily diary comic strip online. However, the strip actually began several years earlier than that, in October 1998. The early years were collected in book form by Top Shelf, but they were never included in the online version of American Elf... until now!
The early strips are black & white, and then when I began putting them online I decided to try a 2-tone color system. However, that two-tone system very quickly expanded into a full and vibrant exploration of color. I've tried to use it to enhance the emotional power of the work. But the early black & white strips do have a special power of their own. Both are good, powerful in their own way. Now the readers can see the full evolution of my grand diary experiment, which is really turning into my "life's work" it seems.
The above image is that first one. I think (though i'm not sure) that i've read most/all of them. It's neat to see James' (and Amy's!) life progress: I've watched them go from a couple to a family.
So he said to Moses, " Take the Israelite leaders who are responsible for this and have them killed in front of my sacred tent where everyone can see. Maybe then I will stop being angry with the Israelites."
so after the gil mantera show, they introduced me (and everyone else who was hanging out at ultimate donny's house) to the wonders of Local On-Demand tv. it's just like any other O.D. channel, except that it's all local interest stuff.
here in cinci we don't really have anything good, just fishing shows and town meetings. up in youngstown, though, we watched a couple awesome O.D. programs. the first was what seemed to be the "speech" part of a county fair queen contest. pretty pretty good. we followed that up with the vocal competition section of "kean idol", a sort of local, low-rent american idol ripoff.
both were pretty swell, in a terrible way -- not exactly "outsider", but definitely in that direction. the speeches in the former were hacky & hammy at best, and the songs in the latter were either of the "hey cute, this 3rd grader sings Cats" variety or were performed by housewives who've seen every episode of american idol and imagined themselves just as good.
it was pretty funny, too, that they had the 3rd graders and the ladies (and the token not-very-good rapper) all lumped in together in one competition.
man we need that stuff here. i might try the fishing show, though...
so, i decided somewhere around early afternoon on thursday to take friday off. i was tired from being a little sick, and show nonsense and whatnot. a day of sleeping in would do me good.
i got a myspace message that same afternoon from Ultimate Donny, the vocalist/guitarist in the mighty Gil Mantera's Party Dream, asking whether i'd like to open for them the next day in youngstown. it was last-minute, for sure, and a long drive, but an opportunity i couldn't pass up, despite being sick. after all, it was their hometown, and they hadn't played there in something like a year and a half.
i slept in (which was awesome) and left the house at around 3:30, grabbing some espresso for the monkey and dayquil for what ailed me. the 4.5 hour drive was the longest i'd ever driven for a dj gig. (i played nyc last summer but that was a plane flight, and when i was in the haywards, we drove to nyc.) i had grabbed a couple sam harrisaudiobooks, and they made the drive ninja fast.
i got to the venue right at the beginning of their soundcheck. donny had mentioned that they had added a drummer (tony) to their lineup, moving from duo to trio, and that this would be their second show with him. the party dream sound is basically dance music with a toungue-in-cheek cock rock twist, and adding a drummer really fleshed out an already great sound. i was eager to hear more!
i set up as i usually do when i'm doing an all-night, in-between bands show, off to the side of the stage where i could leave things and they wouldn't be in the way. after the party dream were done with their soundcheck, i got to mine, and since it was 9:30 (door times) i just went ahead and started playing. the reception wasn't stellar, but a few people seemed to be digging it, nodding their heads to the beat. i played till 11, and by then the place was fairly packed. goLab (the other opener) had set up by then, and with a couple test notes were ready to go.
goLab is joel from stylex, though for live shows he's helped by stylex's drummer. i had bought simplicity banquet last year when i saw stylex, and though i liked it, it didn't really grab me. that's not really a quality judgment, though; it's more of a personal taste thing. i was still eager to see the live show, and they didn't disappoint -- much like (the now-defunct) stylex, the cd pales in comparison to the live show. there were loads of synths, with drum beats from machines as well as from live drums. there was a kind of "barely contained" vibe to it, and their weird, almost booji boy-esque masks lending to the feeling that shit was going to blow up any second.
after their set finished, it was back to me. by now the crowd was well warmed up (as well as lubricated with adult beverages, i imagine) so the reception was a bit warmer this go-around. not being on a stage (and this not being highly visible), i think the packed environment precluded many from realizing that i was providing the music. fine by me, though, since it seemed like they were digging it. this was a short set, though, interrupted by a minor, just-to-be-sure type soundcheck from the party dream. they went off for a costume change, and returned to rock.
their costumes were typically party dream-esque. gil mantera had a chain-mail head covering and blue mesh waistlet/skirt thing, which covered his tiger striped speedos, the outfit made complete with sunglasses, a black scarf covering his face, and knee-high boots. ultimate donny went with a red singlet , with a brown leather vest and a red, hooded cape. tony, their new drummer, had a decided non-costume appearance, wearing normal street clothes.
i never really know how to describe the party dream. i usually point someone to "elmo's wish", or just describe them as "electronic dance music with a toungue-in-cheek cock-rock twist". that works well enough for their albums, but doesn't really capture the live show. youtube has plenty of clips (including an excellent, moroder-esque, as-yet unreleased track called "ballerina" that was stuck in my head all weekend), but they're no substitute for the real thing. (what a cliche! i suck.)
but yeah, they rocked it out hard, and the crowd loved it, this being a long-awaited hometown gig. many new songs, too -- i'm excited for a new record. they need to get on that shit.
in my myspace profile, i have a picture of myself at a dj gig playing sandpaper instead of records:
this was a noise show at Base Gallery in downtown cincinnati.
someone (evan? matthew? i can't remember) asked, in a myspace comment, something to the effect of, "wouldn't that mess up your needles?"
in short, yes:
the blue needle on the left of the low-quality scanner image is a new needle; the two black ones were old, worn out needles i hadn't yet thrown away. as you can see, the sandpaper completely ravaged the needles. :)
i recorded the set; i want to edit it an release it. when i have a second.
UPDATE: For the curious, i used a variety of sandpaper grits, from (i think) 60 to 200.