Friday, September 30, 2005


The remix of "Breathe" by New Creation, the Christian band we recorded with nearly a year ago, is up on the Telecasting Podcast.


Thursday, September 29, 2005


Saw MICRODOT live at Piano's last night. A good time was had by all.

Piano's is apparently a former Piano store. Microdot used no piano in their live performance.

The show was great. I really enjoyed seeing them play - it's funny how even when you strip the music down to the basic three piece, eliminating all the "studio wizardry" or whatever, it essentially sounds the same. They are Microdot, and they sounded like Microdot. They even played MY FAVORITE SONG, the epic "Map of the Ancient World." As it wound down at the end, coming up on the slow trippy outro, the band dropped in volume to the point where Mike Ingenthron could step way back from the mic to sing the lines "set out for finer parts / hoping to win new hearts" nearly acappella and unamplified. Cool. Their new drummer Joe did a good job - he seems to be fitting in quite nicely. He watched Dave and Mike like a hawk, which is incredibly important (and often overlooked) in a drummer.

The sound man, on the other hand, left a bit to be desired. He certainly seemed to have the necessary gear - a mixer, some PA speakers, mics on everything - but neglected to get a healthy guitar level into the house. I wanted to be awash in Dave Cavalier's guitar - or to at least feel its weight against the drums - but this guy just wouldn't give it to us. For some reason live soundmen spend a lot of effort getting the kick, snare, and toms through the PA, but then stop listening. It seems so simple, just listen. Did the balance really sound right to that guy? Bizarre. George says it's because all NY soundmen are deaf.

Enough of that, though. The show was great. A nice energy from the band, especially toward the end of the set when you felt them really starting to have fun. I knew every song but one, which was introduced as being brand new, and which I enjoyed a lot. Melodic with some cool changes, especially going into the chorus.

George Vitray and I did some crowd participation at the end of "Biltmore Clock," singing along with the "rollin' on, rollin on" parts, which I think brought the performance to that next level.

Microdot will be performing at TEDSTOCK, Sunday October 30 at Trash Bar in Williamsburg, so you'd better check them out there.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Spam email really kills me.

I mean, if you were going to use a penile enhancement product, would you really buy one from someone with the email address


Reminder - Microdot performs live at Piano's tonight! 7:30pm, don't be late!

Microdot is:

Mike Ingenthron - bass, vocals
Dave Cavalier - guitar, backing vocals (does he sing live? guess I'll see tonight)
Joe Gorelik - drums

I expect a rockin' and rollin' good time, with plenty of booty shakin' from Dave and Mike. At least, I expect the rockin' and rollin' and hope for the shakin'.

Hear some of their music here.
Or here.

The venue:
158 Ludlow Street
New York

Come on down and support them so they'll come back and record with us some more!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


This weekend was action packed excitement at Smoke and Mirrors.

Saturday at 3:00 was a session with House of Blondes. Mostly we worked on guitars for two songs - "Glorious Lie" and "Long Room Delay" - and I think it went well. We got sounds fairly quickly, there was a minimum of buzz and hum, and both Paul and Mike played well. We got some feedback going and made a lot of noise.

One of the amps we tried out was the Badcat, which belongs to Happy Boy member Rob Kendall, who bought it years ago and rarely uses it. It lives in the studio, and for a long while it's sat idle, but Ted fired it up last week to check that it was still working. It is, and I like the sound of it. It's a boutique amp, made by the guys who used to run Matchless, which were great amps. Very simple, with tube reverb and a master volume, only 15 watts so it breaks up at a low volume, but plenty loud. We haven't recorded it much but it got a little workout on Saturday. Other than that we mostly used the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe (still the most versatile amp in the house) and a couple of pedals (gasp!) - Boss tremolo and a Rat. I love the Rat.

We made some significant cuts to "Long Room Delay" - drums out at the beginning, opened up the middle section, removing some arpeggiated guitars and replacing them with swirly noise. Very cool. Add gobs of reverb and stir.

Sunday I spent about 5 hours remixing "Get It Right" by the Wolfdowners. Aaron from the band and I enjoyed some beers and smokes and cranked everything up. Production wise it's a fairly complex song for the Wolfdowners, with 4 tracks of guitars, layered vocals, and sax; we even tried to do some vocal harmonies. Lots of automation, lots of things coming and going. Not your usual Clevo shitcore mix.

In the end I think we got a good mix. It seemed pretty heavy at the time. Maybe that was just my head...


Yesterday I thought I was going to lose it.

First I overslept, then when I got to work I realized I forgot my medication. So I got to spend the day dancing with dopamine, or more accurately dealing with a dearth of dopamine.

I held open doors for three people who didn't even say "Thank you." What's up with that? Are New Yorkers getting more rude?

Things at my day job are weird. In short, the person I was hired to replace is not leaving after all (it's taken them a year to figure this out) and so I get to stay in my little cubicle 'till, well, I guess eternity. Fortunately they did give him a raise so that eases the pain a bit.

By the time I got home I was in a black, foul mood. Went to bed around 9:30.

Ah, well. Still, this morning walking from the subway to work I passed the people sleeping on the benches outside Madison Square Park and said to myself (as I try to do every day), "There but for the grace of God go I."

Monday, September 26, 2005


I'm through with social discussions on this blog.

The fact that we can waste so much time on this speaks volumes, I believe. Let's get off our asses and do something about it, if we really care, and if we don't really care, then what we're writing here is meaningless anyhow.

The next comment I want to see is from someone who actually did something to make a change. Otherwise, let's conserve the bandwidth; people have stock trades to make, after all.

Friday, September 23, 2005


How 'bout some lighter fare?

Check out "Solitary" on the Telecasting podcast. This is a Chan Chandler song (Chan is a good friend and was the man responsible for writing the KISS video for "Let's Put The X In Sex") so you know it's good. This is a rough production mix, done last night after some editing, overdubbing, and drinking.



There's been some chit chat over at Jackson's blog about "the system" and its problems. I asked Tony Alva for some concrete suugestions for fixing the system, and we talked about the flat tax a bit, about spending, about the sytem itself.

I've made a few comments about eliminating the money, which are certainly half joking - but only half.

To me, the problem with "the system" is simple. The problem is that there is a "system," and it's based on human flaws that are no longer necessary.

The only way to fix the system is to eliminate poverty. Pure and simple. This isn't some kind of utopian ideal, or something we can legislate, debate, politicize, or mandate.

It will take nothing short of evolution. It cannot happen in our lifetimes, because evolution cannot happen to an individual. We're talking about a long term change in the very genetic makeup of our species. If we really want to solve the fundamental problem of "us and them" - which is, after all, the only problem - we're going to have to undergo a fundamental shift in our behavior, which is certainly possible but which will require possibly many many generations to bear fruit.

The fact is that our society is based on abstract concepts of worth, wealth, and money. These are abstract concepts - there's no such thing as money in the natural world. Of course, there are exchanges, which when abstracted can become the idea of money - using an object to represent a value. But the objects have no inherent value. Take your money to another planet, or the bottom of the ocean, and see how far it gets you. Eliminate the framework and the contents become meaningless - just look at what happened in New Orleans when "society" broke down. Money? What did money matter when there was no system of exchange?

We, as a culture and a species, can eliminate the idea of poverty, because that's what it is - an idea. Why is one person "worth" more than another? Why can't everyone have enough to eat, the medication and health care they need, and a home? The resources exist, but no amount of meetings between world leaders and rock stars will do a damn thing. We need to select out the connection between "worth" and basic human needs. One should have nothing to do with the other. Beyond a certain point, the ONLY reason to make more money is because you want more money, which can be defined simply as greed. That's the difference between the upwardly rich and the truly destitute. The rich want money, the poor need it. These are too completely different relationships to the same thing.

Behavioral evolution is a tough thing to define or study, but it's real. We've been undergoing it since our cells were floating in the ocean, and it will continue with or without our conscious knowledge or consent. But it's not an easy thing to manipulate. There are selection advantages for people (or birds, or rats, or amoeba) who take more than they give.

But as humans we have the ability to influence, or even define, our own evolution. Instead of looking for a cure for baldness or impotence, how about the cure for greed? Is it just "human nature" to want the biggest piece of the pie? It doesn't matter. It's not human nature to fly, or to send email.

"WASHINGTON (AP) - Before Hurricane Katrina, they were among the poorest of America's poor. In the hardest hit counties, some 305,000 people not only lived in poverty, their families' income fell below 50 percent of the poverty line — about $7,500 for a family of three. Now, many live in strange towns with only a few dollars in their pockets."

Yes, that's $7500 for a family of three. There is no reason this has to happen in our country. There's enough resources to go around. We need to start selecting out greed. It might sound like eugenics, but it's not.

We're talking about a change in the fundamental nature of how humans are interacting. If it happens, it'll be a long way off, and it will look a lot like utopia. But it can happen. We just need to start laying the foundation.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


So yesterday I took a copy of "I Surrender All," the CD we helped record and mix for New Creation (the Georgia based Christian band), and put in in my CD walkman for a little critical listening on the subway. It's been about long enough since the record was completed to have cleared it out of my head, which of course is the best time to listen to it, and the subway is about the harshest environment to check a mix.

Over all, it still sounds pretty good. There are a few tracks that I skipped over, just because they didn't grab me in the first few seconds, but it sounds like a record. I can hear the work we put it.

One thing we had gone back and forth on a bit - and which always caused me to wonder if we'd a made a mistake - was the song "Breathe," which was supposed to be loaded up with reverb and echo. Listening on the subway it seemed like there was enough reverb, Joyce's voice sounded spacious, but then I got out to the studio and put it up on the speakers. It seemed pretty dry.

So, I did it. I opened up the project to poke around a bit. There is reverb, and a fair amount, but it just didn't have that "trail" that made it sound echoey, and Joyce's voice is big enough to fill the space the reverb was creating. So.... I started messing around.

Next thing I know, Ted and I are sitting there doing a "remix." Since we'd gone as far as we did, we kept going. And going.

The result will be posted to the Telecasting Podblaze very soon...


Seeing the dramatic pictures of the JetBlue Airbus A320 making its emergency landing at LAX yesterday - its front landing gear stuck at a 90 degree angle and shooting out flames as the jet touched down - made me think of my own freaky little flying experiences, particularly my non-stop flight from LaGuardia to JFK.

About 6 years ago, during my previous life as a roving producer for the Daily Show (notice how I choose not to link to their site), I was dispatched to Nashville to break the story of a missing Wallaby (this was normal operating procedure for my job). I was scheduled to leave from LaGuardia in the morning, arrive at the shoot in the early afternoon, do the story, and head home. My correspondent was based in LA and flew out the day before.

Everything was normal on the ground, just another flight (in those days I racked up the frequent flier miles like crazy). Do you remember, prior to 9/11, how getting on a plane was like getting on a bus? I do.

So we taxi down the runway, the plane lifts off, and I'm looking out at the bay as we hear the landing gear start to come up. Suddenly the plane shudders as if it were being pulled backward, there are weird noises from outside and below us, we start hearing alarms, and I see the stewardess at the front of the plane leans over and looks down the aisle at the stewardess in the back of the plane.

She doesn't look very happy.

It was a pretty bumpy climbout, followed by a sharp right turn. All of us just kind of looked at each other.

Finally the pilot comes over the intercom, "This is your pilot, you probably noticed something's going on. I just wanted to explain what happened there." Ah, great.

"One of the landing gear is not coming up. We've gone through the procedures to re-cycle the gear but it didn't work. So we're requesting clearance to land at JFK."

Well, we circled around NY for a while - big lazy arcs. They kept trying to get that one wheel up, but it didn't work, and eventually we got clearance to make an emergency landing. Needless to say, we were a bit worried. Was the gear actually locked in the correct position?

A little nervewracking but the landing was fine. Total distance traveled - 11.2 miles, probably my shortest flight in a jet. We sat on the runway while techs checked the plane. (Sure! Let's go right back up!) When they couldn't fix it we got off and I got to take a shuttle bus back to LaGuardia, where I got the next flight to Nashville.

The wallaby story didn't turn out so great, but the emergency landing story kinda made up for up.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


You may have read this already, but Happy Boy drummer Kory Smith is injured and will not be able to make the reunion show at Tedstock.

Ted has already laid out a few options, one of which involves recruiting a new drummer and getting him/her up to speed in a month or so.

I made the suggestion to morph the set into a "Brain Shivers" bit. Obviously the whole notion of Happy Boy getting back together and cranking up the old machine is already somewhat busted, and what's a reunion without all of the original members?

Of course, Brain Shivers has never played live, but the songs aren't too hard and Ted and I could certainly do a lot of practicing between now and Oct. 30. Assuming Machold will recreate his studio magic live, and perhaps with the help of George Vitray, we could make a show of it.

Personally, I think this would be great fun. It's a very different band than Happy Boy, and it would be a great chance to try out some new songs (the Happy Boy stuff is several years old at best) and play with some new people.

Let's hear your thoughts...

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


For those of you not on the mailing list, Microdot will be playing live at Pianos next Wednesday - this marks the debut of their new drummer Joe Gorelick.

Here are the details:

Microdot live
Wednesday, September 28th, 7:30pm SHARP!
Pianos (<-- click for directions or more info)
158 Ludlow Street
(south of Stanton Street)

We actually got to know Microdot through their old drummer Rob Machold, who knew George at Skyway from their days working with Trickside. Rob has graced us with his playing many times, but I never saw him perform live with Microdot, because I'm a big fat loser. Through Microdot we got to know Mike, and as Mike is in around 2 dozen other bands this has led to some other work, notably House of Blondes. So you can see it's like a big family, one made up entirely of men and revolving around music. Kind of like the Village People.

I for one am excited to see the new line up, and will definitely try to make it to the show. You should, too. It's an early show, 7:30pm sharp, so you won't be up late (unless you want to be, of course).


What do we want to do? Make records.

What is our motto? Make records.

What should we be doing? Making records.

This is the simplest way to put it. So what's the problem? Why aren't we able to at least pay the rent?

I guess the whole point of this post is to point out how I feel like, after all this time, we still haven't defined our goals or come up with a reasonable system for getting to where we want to be (which, for me, is getting up to go to work and having work be the studio). So today I'm thinking about simplifying. Back to basics.

1. I am tired of working to make other people money. At my "day job," our sales this year are up 139%, and I make around $10 an hour.

2. I have realized that I cannot force myself to be passionate about work I don't really care about. I spent a lot of time doing this, mostly as a student but also in the "real world." I don't want to act like I give a shit whether my boss makes $120,000 or $130,000 this year.

3. I don't have to be rich. If I can pay the bills, get something to eat (I don't eat much!) and avoid going further into debt, I'm OK.

4. music is the only thing I know I'll be doing for the rest of my life.

I used to say I didn't want to try to make a living off of music, because I was worried it would somehow get "corrupted." Now I worry that I'll spend my life dedicating hours and hours to stuff I don't care about.

Monday, September 19, 2005


Yesterday was the 18th annual Halloween Dog Parade in Williamsburg.

The event is sponsored by BARC, where we got our little dog, Mr. Buckingtons. It's a good time - dogs take over the main strip in Williamsburg, they bark a lot, some of them lie down in the middle of the parade route. Buck went as a construction worker, with a wife beater, tool belt, and bandana.

Buck gets very excited by the whole thing and was pretty energetic. He got some good barking in.

Pictures coming soon.


Well, I was able to try out Digital Performer 4.5 (and 4.6) a bit this weekend, en route to our official upgrade (gonna mail that check any day now, just have to figure out how we registered when we did our last update!).

Let's just say, there is no longer anything holding DP back. Motu has really nailed it with this one.

The upgrade is truly remarkable. One of the only flaws with DP was the way the windows worked - lots of windows open, all over the screen, often hidden by other windows which made the system a bit unweildy. Just a bit, because once you were used to it it wasn't so bad, but the new version allows you to consolidate windows, putting them all in one big window where everything can be seen, moved around, resized, etc. In a few minutes I was able to tweak the look of the program and make things MUCH more efficient.

The most significant update, though, is automatic latency compensation. This is nothing short of a revelation, a major shift in the way the program deals with audio, and firmly places DP WAY ahead of the ProTools curve. I know at least one studio that's switching from ProTools to DP based on this alone - a studio which has invested considerable time and money in ProTools but is sick of the limitations Digidesign places on its users (such as limiting track count to 32).

Let me explain this latency compensation thing.

All digital audio is subject to latency, which is simply the time it takes to do math to the audio file before it's sent to the speakers. Different processes take different amounts of time; if you run a simple equalizer across a track, the track's audio is slightly delayed. Different effects have different latencies.

In some cases this doesn't matter - it can be minimal and inaudible. But in some cases it's a major issue, for example if you have 9 tracks of drums (kick, snare, 3 toms, 2 overheads, and two room mics) and you run one EQ here and a compressor there, your tracks are out of synch, and thus out of phase.

This is the biggest issue with digital audio (once a certain level of quality in the initial analog to digital conversion is achieved), although its effects can be so subtle that often they only register as "not sounding quite as good."

The new DP looks at the tracks it's playing, the effects that are on them, and adjusts its playback to keep everything in synch. It's just that simple, and just that revolutionary.

No, the stock ProTools does not do this.

I could detect an immediate difference - take for example one tune I worked on this weekend with a bass track that's actually 2 tracks, a direct signal and one from a mic'ed amp. Running effects on the direct signal puts the tracks slightly out of phase, mushing up the bass sound. DP 4.5 takes care of this with no effort on my part.

The free upgrade to DP4.6 adds another revelation. Built in pitch correction, complete with automation and the ability to take the pitch info from a track and convert it to MIDI.

This is huge! DP will now correct pitch for you without the use of a plug in, allowing you to draw in the correction curves right over the audio in your main windows, as if it's a simple volume or pan adjustment. The pitch info can be copied right into a MIDI track and sent to a synthesizer, so you can have that solo doubled without even knowing how to play it.

There are other improvements too - better management of CPU resources, some new plug ins, a more streamlined "Bounce to Disk" option, and plenty more.

Has DP surpassed ProTools in terms of features? No question (it probably did when DP4.0 was released, but now there's really no comparison). Will tracks recorded at Smoke and Mirrors sound better now? Again, no question.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Last night we did a session with House of Blondes.

Unfortunately, I was completely unprepared - I had actually thought there was going to be a Happy Boy rehearsal at Smoke and Mirrors (postponed) and that House of Blondes was happening at Skyway studio. By the time they arrived I had a splitting headache and wasn't myself.

I was able to help George get a guitar sound, set up the tracks, and send them on their way. I left early - for all I know they're still out there, tracking away, George saying "Almost..." after each take.

On a positive note, we were using the knockoff Strat thru the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, which sounded great and hummed very little, and Paul (drummer who was playing guitar on this track) played well.

Soon I'll write more about the Hot Rod Deluxe, one of the most versatile amps Fender has ever made. Everyone should own one.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Ultimately it's the band's responsibility to make things work.

If the band has a gig, and they haven't practiced, maybe they'll be good or maybe they'll suck and get relieved and sent home. Maybe they'll break up.

These days the government is considered to be responsible for making sure we're prepared and help if we aren't.

They are the guitar techs, but they're also the amp manufacturers and the owner of the club. And the autotune. And it's a lot of little bits to keep track of, from plugs to knobs to the lease to getting the beer

Rather than making them pay more taxes, why not given the more well of to option to be the guitar techs, or make their own amps, or build a nicer club with sprinklers and everything. Or be in the band. I'm sure there are some who could fund it and run it, and get some buses in when's there's trouble.

Sean Penn for Head of FEMA.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Michael Brown, the FEMA head everyone loved to hate, is out. He resigned yesterday, ostensibly to "get the media focused on the good things that are going on, instead of me." Good things like Michael Brown resigning.

He's not a scapegoat. I don't care that he's a Republican. As head of FEMA he should have been better prepared. As a government employee he shouldn't have confused "Assistant City Manager" with "Assistant to the City Manager."

Well, at least he can go back to the Arabian horses.

Bush instantly announced that career firefighter R. David Paulison would head the embattled agency. I don't know if R. is a Republican or Democrat, if he's ever even met the President, and I don't care. He's led fire and rescue in Miami-Dade County, and worked at FEMA heading their emergency-preparedness force. (Wait a second - should he have been more prepared too? For now we'll give him the benefit of the doubt.)

At least there's some logic here. Yes, you should have someone with experience in disaster relief heading the nation's disaster relief organization. It seems so simple, but G.W. sometimes has trouble with the simple concepts. No, you should not give emergency response jobs to people who supported you in an election. You should give them to men and women who've been there, who've put their lives on the line, who know what death and destruction look like. It's good to know there's a firefighter on the job.

Friday, September 09, 2005


Really, this post is only an excuse for that title.

Katie Holmes will drop her surname when she marries diminutive Scientologist Tom Cruise. She'll also drop the "i" from Katie.

"I felt the 'I' was coming between me and Tom," she might have said, although she didn't.


Well, everyone's favorite FEMA Head - Michael Brown - is being removed from his role overseeing the recovery efforts in New Orleans.

Brown has commented that he's being made a scapegoat by the press, but not by the president.

Turns out Brown has a few more issues with honesty - seems he was also never a Professor at Central State University in Oklahoma either.

Oh well, it's not like any lives were at stake or anything.


(As reported by Reuters)
The Washington Post reported on Friday that five of eight top FEMA officials had come to their jobs with virtually no experience in handling disasters. The agency's top three leaders, including Michael Brown, had ties to Bush's 2000 presidential campaign or the White House advance operation.

Brown, a lawyer, was appointed as FEMA's general counsel in 2001 and became head of the agency in 2003.

Brown served as commissioner of the International Arabian Horse Association before taking the FEMA job.

Brown's biography on the FEMA web site says he had once served as an "assistant city manager with emergency services oversight," and a White House news release in 2001 said Brown had worked for the city of Edmond, Oklahoma in the 1970s "overseeing the emergency-services division."

However, a city spokeswoman told the magazine Brown had actually worked as "an assistant to the city manager... The assistant is more like an intern."

The work in Edmond is the only previous disaster-related experience cited in the biographies.

FEMA was supposed to be our first line of defense, until it was absorbed by the Department of Homeland Security.

This is not about politics. This is about holding government responsible, which is not the right of every citizen, it's the duty of every citizen.

We are in danger, and the people responsible for seeing us through are neither qualified nor prepared. Their jobs were given to them as payback for helping with an election effort. This makes me angry.

Personally, I believe this is grounds for impeachment. Government has willingly put civilians' lives in danger by failing to put qualified people in positions of power. We don't need another investigation. We need another administration.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


Annie sent me this tidbit.

On the day I was born, January 9, 1974, the Number 1 song in the US was "The Joker" by the Steve Miller Band. Makes sense. I've been a joker, a smoker, AND a midnight toker, and from time to time I do still get my lovin' on the run.


"Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this, this is working very well for them."
Barbara Bush, speaking to American Public Media's "Marketplace" program, while observing Katrina victims in the Superdome. (as reported in "the Nation")

"It's payback time... we had 5 hurricanes last year."
Florida Governor Jeb Bush, talking about Louisiana with Brent Musberger during halftime of the Labor Day Miami/Florida State Football Game. (as reported by me)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Oftentimes musicians I'm working with ask me about my favorite albums. Usually I stumble a bit, trying to remember what they are, and inevitably I say something like "Kilroy Was Here," then realize an hour later that I missed a few.

Well, "Star" by Belly is one of them.

This album is a piece of pure neo-post punk pop rock, served up in 1993 with a big steaming hunk of Tanya Donelly, who came into her own as a member of Throwing Muses but really shines on this record, her debut album with Belly. She redefines the role of the dark, brooding rocker as filtered through the pop sensibility of the alternately dreamy and dark (but still pretty and sweet) singer/guitarist, and it works perfectly.

It's truly a record, meant to be listened to as a whole, starting with a gradual introduction to the themes and mood - "Someone To Die For," a lamentation for a "poor thing" without a sister to "stand on one tiptoe in hell for," and "Angel":

"Give the Moon to me, please", I said to God,
"It's only fair."
Instead he sent three angels
to move the river.
So now it flows by my house.
So now it goes by my house.

Then we get hit with the first real scene, "Dusted."

Baby's playing dead in the cellar,
Gave her water just got paler.
Grass stains, backburns, she's a screamer,
She's just dusted, leave her.

The guitars are heavy - not metal, but weighty, and Tanya's voice, multi tracked and harmonized (as it is throughout the record) has just enough sweet self awareness to draw you in close - but not too close. Like a Siren she calls, then whispers deliciously twisted fairy tales in your ear.

Next is "Every Word," with the slowest pop beat you'll ever hear, then "Gepetto," with the guitar/bass/drums pump on the prechorus...

And if you bore me,
You lose your soul to me.

Tanya goes on to show us that all's not well in suburbia:

So that kid from the bad home
Came over my house again.
Decapitated all my dolls.

Up next is "Witch," another slow, somber one, with some great vocal delay and slide guitar, before they launch into "Slow Dog," my personal favorite.

Maria, carry a rifle
Maria, carry a dog on her back
that dog is hit again
that slow dog is hit again
with his see through skin
the kind of skin you can see through
he's shot again
he's shot again
he's shot
Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah!
He's shot again...

The melody is great, the "ah, ah, ah, ah"'s on the chorus grab you by the throat. This one makes me play air guitar.

Next it's "Low Red Moon," then "Feed the Tree" (a college radio hit), with it's verse about Baby Silvertooth...

This little squirrel I used to be
Slammed her bike down the stairs
They put silver where her teeth had been
Baby silver tooth, she grins and grins

another verse:

This old man I used to be
Spins around, around
Around the tree
Silver baby, come to me
I'll only hurt you
In my dreams

That's some dark shit...

"Full Moon, Empty Heart" and "White Belly," then "Untogether," a song I recently covered. This one is all out of tune acoustics, and the lyrics are great.

I was friendly with this girl
Who insisted on touching my face
She told outragious stories
I believed them
Till the endings were changing from endings before
She's not touching me anymore

I couldn't help her
I got hard
You can try your whole life
But you can't save the unsavably untogether

"Star" and "Sad Dress" are up next, and it all wraps up with "Stay," sweet and sad:

oh oh oh oh stay
Soloman dives for that big dusky pearl
Soloman sighs he knows he's older than me
Sleeps with the fishes soon.
oh oh oh oh stay...

It's not time for me to go
It's not time for me to go
It's not time for me to go.

Sadly, it was time to go. Belly's follow up ("King") didn't quite channel the emotion and depth of "Star," and Tanya went solo ("Love Songs For Underdogs"). But this was the quitessential college rock album with a few more dark shadows in the corners, one that aged very well.


He is cast away no more.

Bob Denver, better known as "Gilligan," died on Friday in North Carolina as a result of cancer treatment.

He found fame after only 3 seasons on "Gilligan's Island," managing to screw up the rescue of the passengers and crew of the "Minnow" a total of 98 times. He played basketball with the Harlem Globetrotters and slept in the same room as the Skipper, and never made any untoward advances on Ginger or Mary Ann.

Previously, he'd played beatnik Maynard G. Krebs on "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis," going so far as to jam with Thelonius Monk, but it was as the bumbling First Mate that he found his true calling. His fellow cast members called him a "bright guy who was articulate and loved Shakespeare." His contract didn't pay him for reruns, so his 40 years of celebrity were gratis, but he still started the Denver Foundation to help handicapped children in West Virginia, where he retired.

Welcome home, Little Buddy.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


This is no time for politics, but that doesn't mean we can't - or shouldn't - criticize an ineffective leader who's completely out of touch.

The Albuquerque Tribune agrees.

Seriously, George W. Bush is a serious liability for our nation. I truly believe he has done more harm to America, both at home and abroad, than any other president in the last 100 years.

The pictures of him, looking out of the window of Air Force One at the damage to the Gulf Coast, make him look like a confused, dazed onlooker.

Which he is.


Here's something to click that will do some good.

It's The Literacy Site, and it's quite simple. When you click on the "Give Free Books" button, you are transferred to a "thank you" page with sponsor's ads. All of the money generated by these ads goes to funding to buy books for underprivaleged children.

You can only click once a day, but you can click every day, if you like.

According to the site, they've already funded over a half million books this year. 100% of the money generated by your click goes to paying for books.

Click on over.


This is no time for politics, I know, but people are starting to get resentful in New Orleans.

Outside of the Superdome, the AP reports that "an old man in a chaise lounge lay dead in a grassy median as hungry babies wailed around him. Around the corner, an elderly woman lay dead in her wheelchair, covered up by a blanket, and another body lay beside her wrapped in a sheet.

'I don't treat my dog like that,' 47-year-old Daniel Edwards said as he pointed at the woman in the wheelchair. 'I buried my dog.' He added: 'You can do everything for other countries but you can't do nothing for your own people. You can go overseas with the military but you can't get them down here.'"

There's a sense that resources that are badly needed right now are not available because of the war in Iraq. People feel that the government should be doing more, that there is a lack of leadership, and that they're not getting the help they need, while we spend billions helping people half a world away.

It's not time for politics, I know.


When I was growing up I was in the 203, since changed to the 860.

In the 203 my # was 345-3554. I went to college (in the 607, if I'm not mistaken) and then ended up in the 718.

Currently I'm 359-3359, which isn't that far from 345-3554.

What am I saying? I don't know, but numbers are cool.