Fearful Symmetries

Witness a machine turn coffee into pointless ramblings...

29 April, 2005

Auf Wiedersehen Libido

I think I ate too much sandwich goodness for lunch as I'm a bit on the lethargic side right now. That'll learn me for going to the coop to grab a bite to eat. But man! The black-haired hippie chick who rang me up was hot! She must work only during the week during hours I'm normally at work because she didn't look familiar. And I've committed all the hottie employees' visages to memory that I have seen. It's been a weird day as far as frauleins go. I saw Miss Jolene this morning and, although I still think she's a hottie, I didn't chat(flirt?) with her this morning. And I've had the chance to talk with Lovely Linda Meter Maid here at the regional office as well as gawk at her callipygian figure from behind. And then I offered my chocolate to Julia. Julia is a blonde here at the regional office who could be a model, if she so desired. She's about 5'10", thin, and has a face that could launch a thousand ships. Plus she is wearing this shirt that almost but not quite covers her belly. I had to really concentrate not to look at her exposed skin. She reminds me of The Tall Thin One, not only in that she has that tall, thin, anorexic look to her, but also in that she wears those sweater-jacket hoolies. You'd think that I would find garters or panties to be my favorite bit of female clothing but not necessarily. I don't know why but those long, calf-length sweater jackets - there's something about them that I find to be attractive. I just love 'em. To top things off, I've traded a few emails with The Chili Princess as well as The Dulcinea. So you'd think that I'd be glued to a desk shielding everyone from a bulge in my pants. But you'd be wrong.

While I have enjoyed flirting, chatting, and gawking at various womyn today, I must admit that I haven't felt particularly aroused. At least not aroused as I should be. My libido left earlier this week when I went to Iowa and it hasn't returned. I'm not sure when it will return or if there's something I can do to help it along. I want to be a frisky devil but it just ain't happenin'.

Instead I'm looking forward to tonight at Cthulhu One with Marv and a bunch of Call of Cthulhu playin, H.P. Lovecraft readin' occultist type geeks like myself. Ought to be fun. I've no idea what is happening tonight, though. Presumably some gaming, some dark electronica music, and lots of dorkiness all around. I've got my camera with me and both batteries charged! The convention continues through the weekend. In addition to more wacky Cthulhu exploits tomorrow, I'm going to hear Elaine Pagels speak. Her lecture is entitled "Beyond Belief: A Different View of Christianity". Her scholarly speciality is early Christianity and Gnosticism. For more info about her, go Gnosticism. I must remember to buy a new audio recorder hoolie tomorrow morning. I want to get one that has a longer recording time and well as a USB jack for easy offloading to my PC.
|| Palmer, 3:36 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

28 April, 2005

I'm (In)famous!

It recently came to my attention that a picture of me naked has made its way onto the Net. You see, The Dulcinea has a naughty blog to which she posts pictures and apparently a French person snagged one and put it up on his/her site. To wit:

Here's the site in its native French.

Here's the site translated into English.

We're in the really dark photo in post- or pre-coital bliss. Can't remember which. The dark blob in front is The Dulcinea's face and you can see my left side in the background. Share and enjoy!

Of course, this could be a decent down a slippery slope. I mean, The Dulcinea is now online friends with Lola, Brett & Hiromi, and was listed as a favorite link by Violet Blue. Add in this French site...I mean, let's say my cock appears on her blog, which is not something I would ordinarily obejct to. Then it makes the rounds of the sex blogs. Soon it'd end up on UseNet. Then it'd become part of photoshop lore. I'd just never be able to run for office. I've got less than 3 years until I can run for President!
|| Palmer, 4:07 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
Riding the Brown Dragon

Last week The Dulcinea and I went over to A Woman's Touch to attend a chocolate tasting presented by local chocolatier, Gail Ambrosius.

But first, we stopped in next door at the Bandung Restaurant for a tasty Indonesian dinner. It lays claim to be the only Indonesian restaurant in Wisconsin and only 1 of 2 in the Midwest. Let me say that it was really good! I remember the appetizer was Rujak Cuka - a tasty cucumber salad. Cukes with cabbage, bean sprouts, tofu, and peanuts in a nice vinegary dressing. For the main course, I had Bakmi Jahe. It's fried noodles with vegetables and tofu in a sweet soy sauce with lots of ginger. It was absolutely delicious! I can't remember what The Dulcinea had but of course I sampled it and it too was mighty tasty. It took a remarkable feat of mental strength to not order dessert. I mean, take the Gunung Merapi, for instance. It's "chocolate cake with a dense fudge middle, sereved with vanilla ice cream". Or the Chocolate Ribbon Cake: "Sabayon chocolate mousse with whiskey, wrapped in a shell of white and dark chocolate, topped with a chocolate cameo". Oh fuck, does that sound good! But no, I held off as I would be going to the tasting. We got to AWT a bit early so we wandered around looking at all the stuff on display. Garters caught The Dulcinea's attention first thing and she ended up buying a nice black number which, regretfully, I have not yet seen on her. But I can imagine how nice it would look. The black lace framing the black triangle between her legs...mmm...Anyway, we looked at some dildos and vibrators before being called to go across the hall for the tasting.

The womyn herself - Gail - was there making sure her samples, er, I mean class materials were in order. There were 15-20 people there. Lots of womyn. I was only 1 of 3 men there. One guy, who looked to be in his early 20s, had a look of boredom on his face, as if his girlfriend had to drag him there. The other guy, who was next to us, was middle aged and, as I discovered as the night progressed, rode the brown dragon as I do. In front of us were a couple cute co-eds. I recorded the lecture bits of her presentation but haven't listened to it yet.

Gail began by giving us a brief history of chocolate. The Central & South American natives valued cocoa - treasured it, even. Then Europeans came over and quickly caught onto the wonder that is chocolate and it eventually spread throughtout the world. Gail went on to describe how chocolate is grown today with its 3 main types (Criollo, Forastero, and Trinitario) as well as how she goes about buying cocoa for her business. Next, she explained how cocoa is processed and becomes chocolate and she included a description of her daily routine down at her shop. The part that really got the audience's interest was her elucidation on the health benefits of chocolate with all its flavinoids'n'such. In addition, she described how it activates the same chemical receptors in the brain as THC.

After we ran out of questions, the fun part began as we all lined up and took samples of eight (yes eight - 8) different kinds of chocolate. We also got sheets on which we could write down our descriptions of the various aspects of each chocolate and assign a rating. We checked out the chocolate's:

Appearance (glossy, dull, red, mahogany, dark brown, black)
Primary Aroma (weak, delicate, penetrating)
Texture (velvety, smooth, sticky, sandy, waxy)
Aroma & Flavors (floral, fruity, herb, spice, nuts, others)
Taste Balance (of acidity, sweetness & bitterness)
Aromatic Balance (of intensity, richness, finesse, finish)

We'd look at, smell, and then taste each sample discussing them all the while amongst ourselves. It was funny how, after someone said that a particular chocolate had, say, a citrus-like taste, that everyone would suddenly taste citrus and nod in agreement. Once we'd tasted and rated all 8, Gail revealed the chocolates' identities, origins, and make-up.

My favorite was #4 - by Santander. It's from Columbia and Columbia only. (single-origin) Its appearance was semi-glossy and the primary aroma was cherry, for me. I labeled its texture as "sinewy" and found that it had a plum taste to it. It was fairly bitter but not too much for my taste. and I thought that it just had this rich, intense balance. Mmm...One had a banana-like flavor and another had a smokey finish. With the initial round of tasting done, Gail then busted out samples of her finished product. Manna from heaven! She had one that contained pink peppercorn. It was a taste sensation, lemme tell ya. First I had the bite of the peppercorn on the tip of my tongue. Then, as the chocolatey goodness made its way back, the luscious chocolate titillated the center of my tongue with its rich sweetness. Mmm...(I am salivating heavily as I type!)

With the end of the night near, we were all flushed and I was giddy as a schoolgirl. Laughing and giggling and making bad puns. On top of all of this, I had a nice buzz. I don't know if it was caffeine or if the chocolate had hit my THC receptors or what, but my head was aglow with a gentle tingle. Folks began to clean up and a hot little co-ed who was sitting in front of me bent down right in front of me so her nice, tight ass was mere inches from my face with the small of her back showing. Mmmm...The Dulcinea and I chatted briefly with Gail. (I asked her why the percentages of cocoa in chocolate always seem to be of the same amounts. E.G. - why do I see lots of 82% chocolates and never 83%?) Then I got my picture taken with the chocolatier herself!

Leaving, The Dulcinea and I made our way to her car. We stood by it for a while as I held her before I took her up on the offer of a ride to my own automobile. Not that it was a long walk, mind you...So we get in the car and almost immediately her hand is rubbing my member through my jeans and my hand is shooting up her skirt. So she drops me off at my car and each take off like a bat out of hell for her house. I think you can figure out what happened once I arrived.
|| Palmer, 3:30 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
Detritus

Here's Kevin Smith's review of Revenge of the Sith. Lots of spoilers, so beware. Best quote: "Look, this is a movie I was genetically predisposed to love."

Before tutoring yesterday, I stopped in at Mad City to grab a copy of Deadwing since I failed to do so at lunch yesterday. (I had lunch with Dogger instead.) Of course I couldn't buy just one CD so I bought 3. And a DVD. In addition to Deadwing, I grabbed Marillion's first album, Script for a Jester's Tear and Impending Ascension by Magellan. Script was a necessity missing from my collection so I grabbed it up right away from the used bin. (It is the 2CD remastered version.) I've heard a couple Magellan tracks which were covers of prog faves ("Aqualung" and "Man of Our Times") but hadn't heard any of their original material. So far I find the album to be mediocre but I'll give it a chance. Finally, I bought Tull's latest DVD, Nothing is Easy: Live at the Isle of Wight: 1970. I've only watched the performance of "My God" so far and it is fucking killer! For anyone ignorant of Tull, "My God" appears on the Aqualung album which was released in 1971. So what we have on the DVD is a good performance of the song before it was actually laid down on magnetic tape. Excepting the flute solo in the middle, the song is musically the same as it would be on vinyl. However, the lyrics have some substantial differences. You'd think I'd know them by now as I have 2 live versions of "My God" that were recorded before the song was committed to vinyl but, alas, no. The original lyrics went after the Big 3 world religions whereas the final recorded version seemed content with the C of E. Up until very recently, Tull performed the song live with an improvised flute solo in the middle replacing the flute/Mellotron chorus of the recorded version. On the DVD, we get Mad Dog Fagin in all his glory. He does the flute solo with his Rashaan Roland Kirk influences on his sleeve. All the snorts, grunts, and whoops. At one point, Anderson is grunting into the flute and he rubs his naughty bits. At another, he taps out - was it "Yankee Doodle"? "Pop Goes the Weasel"? - on the flute. The performance on the whole shows Anderson running around the stage like a crazed vaudevillian performer hopped up on cocaine: flailing his arms, pointing his flute all about, putting it between his legs, standing on one leg - it's all there. Like I said, Mad Dog Fagin in all his glory. I'm looking forward to watching the rest of it.

And lastly, I've finally gotten a hold of last week's episode of Doctor Who - "World War Three". Haven't watched it yet, though. I'm looking forward to this weekend's episode as it features the return of the Daleks!
|| Palmer, 1:27 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
Ownership Society?

Time to play catch up. A couple weekends ago, I saw Siva Vaidhyanathan give a presentation called "Who Owns Folk? How Should We 'Protect' The Public Domain?" down at the library. Siva is the author of a couple books, Copyrights and Copywrongs and The Anarchist in the Library. He is a cultural historian & media scholar and he was an absolutely wonderful speaker. Unfortunately, my little recorder hoolie ran out of space and I was only able to capture about 15 minutes of his presentation.

He began by playing an excerpt of Robert Johnson's "Walking Blues". He then played "Country Blues" by Muddy Waters from his The Complete Plantation Recordings. They were basically the same song. It was Alan Lomax who recorded the young McKinley Morganfield at Stovall's Plantation in Clarksdale, Mississippi in 1941 and 1942 and he asked Muddy where he got the song. He replied with three answers: 1) he made it up, 2) it was from the cotton fields, and 3) he heard Robert Johnson do it. Siva argued that all 3 explanations were legitimate and true given the context of folk music.

He went on to discuss the Free Culture movement and a movement whose name I can't recall right now - a reaction against the big businesses of the West. Mostly American businesses, I would assume. Proponents of this movement want to protect indigenous cultures from homogenization and from being appropriated/co-opted by commercial culture. As an example, Siva pointed to a few Maori tribes in New Zealand who took offense at Lego's use of their culture in a game. This example also demonstrates well the tension between Free Culture and Global Culture. People on the latter side are offended by Lego's use of their culture, the Free Culture folks would say it's fine, that no culture is the exclusive domain of a particular group of people. But Siva also argued that the two camps have common ground upon which they can work together. Both want to see culture, in the general sense, a participatory entity instead of one that is packaged by corporations and consumed by we the folk.

He played a few songs and talked about various aspects of Intellectual Property law. For instance, he played part of Negativland's "U2" and discussed the lawsuit that it's release entailed. I chuckled while looking at his iTunes playlist. It was mostly a mess of pop songs that inspired lawsuits. "My Sweet Lord" by George Harrison, for instance, was ruled to have been plagiarized from The Chiffons' "He's So Fine". Then there was 2 Live Crew's version of Roy Orbison's "Oh Pretty Woman" that was ruled to be a parody. I also noticed Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Run Through the Jungle" and John Fogerty's "Old Man Down the Road". This was a fun bit of absurdity as Fogerty was sued by his former record label for having ripped himself off, he being the composer of both songs. Siva also showed a bit of a video from The Grey Album. It was really neat to have someone who obviously knew the issues and laws involved here who was able to explain IP law & issues in terms that a dummy like myself could understand.

One thing I noticed was that most of his examples were from music and rock/pop music. There was this dichotomy built up about blues & folk having a distinct set of rules for its progression and pop & rock have a different set. For instance, Muddy Waters took from Robert Johnson. This is generally seen as a natural, organic way for blues/folk culture to progress. Someone takes an artifact, changes it a bit - puts an individual stamp on it, and then puts sends it back to the community. For a rock musician to take from the cultural pool of rock music, put a twist on something, and put it back is plagiarism. Siva didn't go into this, from what I recall, but it would seem that $$$ is the reason for this distinction. Oddly enough, blues musicians and their music publishers have successfully sued rock musicians for plagiarism. Led Zeppelin is band that comes to mind immediately. They were sued in 1985 for having ripped off the lyrics from "You Need Love" and used them in "Whole Lotta Love". Willie Dixon was an in-house bassist and songwriter for Chess Records and he penned "You Need Love". Now, from what I can tell, it was Dixon who initiated the lawsuit as opposed to his music publisher acting without his knowledge, as was the case with U2 vs. Negativland. There was obviously a lot of money to be had for Dixon. But it seems hypocritical considering that Dixon worked within a tradition (or was he?) in which appropriating others' material and putting one's own twist on it was SOP. For instance, take Dixon's "Spoonful". It was done by bluesmen like Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters as well as rock bands like Cream and Canned Heat. But it derives from "A Spoonful Blues" by Charley Patton, recorded in 1929 when Dixon was 14 years old. So it seems, at least from Dixon's perspective, that "bluesmen" work within one realm where taking from others and reshaping is acceptable but rock bands like Led Zeppelin work in a different arena where this process of appropration and modification is considered theft. Willie Dixon didn't seem to have any reservations about taking from Charley Patton but didn't want anyone taking from him. Funnily enough, Led Zeppelin continued this tradition. No qualms about taking from others but they sued someone whom I cannot remember for horking "Kashmir". (Kingdom Come for their "Get It On" which uses the same chord progression: A5, A+, A6, G, A...?) Does anyone know if LZ sued Pearl Jam for "Given to Fly"?

To go back to the beginning of the lecture, Robert Johnson make his "Walking Blues" out of, among other things, two Son House songs: "Preachin' the Blues" and "Walking Blues". (For more on Johnson's influences, go here.)

My knowledge of these matters is far outweighed by my ignorance, to be sure. However, it seems that my little tangent on blues illustrates the heart of the matter that Siva was addressing. This whole isssue is, in large part, about who owns culture. Do the Maori own their culture? (What makes a person a Maori?) What happens to culture when it's owned by large companies and people are only allowed to consume it but not appropriate it for their own creative endeavors? Disney has made billions of off Mickey Mouse, which is derived from a Buster Keaton character, but fiercely goes after people who seek to use MM for their own expressions. Companies have this attitude that it's OK for them to take from the cultural melting pot but that they don't have to give back to it. (One can, however, pay for the privelige of using what they make.) And copyright law has been crafted to protect their greed. I think the spirit of the Copyright Clause in the Constitution is best summarized by Jefferson:

"If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one(Emphasis mine.), and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me...

Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property. Society may give an exclusive right to the profits arising from them, as an encouragement to men to pursue ideas which may produce utility, but this may or may not be done, according to the will and convenience of the society, without claim or complaint from anybody."


It would seem today here in the U.S. that culture is owned by whomever has the most money. Corporations need to stop acting like possessive 5 year-olds. In addition to being profit-making entities, they also have roles as cultural arbiters and cultural custodians. They are by no means the only entities in those roles, to be sure, but they have those roles nonetheless. And it's about time they stepped up to the plate and lived up to those responsibilities. Yeah, make your profit from the new Britney Spears album but realize, once you release the album, you can't take it back. It's out there for everyone to use, co-opt, and appropriate. Releasing something to the public de facto means that you lose at least some control over how it is used afterwards. This is not to condone theft, but, once I buy music, it's ours. I will not lay claim over its composition or anything like that, but the band put it out there so I'm gonna rip the tunes and put it on a million mix CDs. There will be a copy of it on every one of my computers. If I had a portable music hoolie, I'd put it on there too. If you don't want your work to become part of the nebulous melieu that is culture, keep it to yourself.
|| Palmer, 12:04 PM || link || (1) comments | links to this post

27 April, 2005

Unsightly Labia?

Are your labia minora not proportioned the way you'd like? Does your perineum need to be rejuvenated? Is your hymen torn? Want it repaired? Yes, now you can get vaginoplasty! Just talk to one of the helpful and friendly doctors at the Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation Institute of San Antonio.
|| Palmer, 1:01 PM || link || (1) comments | links to this post
Beer'n'Music

Although I wish it were just a bit warmer these days, spring has basically sprung. Stevie has a bunch of seedlings under grow lights in the garage so I have a summer of fresh vegetables to look forward to as well as some canning/drying this fall. I'm really fired up to make some more hot sauce this year. And as the seasons turn, so does the selection of fine local brews. With May closing in fast, we can look forward to Capital's Fest Beer. Get your Mindblock while you can! A little south of here I see that Dan has a Double IPA and a barley wine coming soon. His Sour Brown Ale sounds tasty and intriguing. Must find me a bottle. Lake Louie doesn't appear to have anything particularly seasonal but a growler of their suds goes well year-round.

Of course I need to be all music-geeky now. It is with glee that I read that the tape archives at The Farm are being scoured and some ditties have been turned up:

01.05.76 The Starlight Bowl Burbank, CA SBD
13.06.76 Hammersmith Odeon London UK SBD
01.01.77 Rainbow Theater London UK SBD
11.05.77 Gigantinho Stadium, Porto Allegre, Brazil SBD
30.03.78 War Memorial Rochester, NY SBD
22.03.80 Friar's Club, Aylesbury UK SBD
29.06.80 Madison Square Garden New York, NY SBD (1 tape)
25.09.81 Plaza de Toros Monumantal Barcelona Spain SBD
26.11.81 The Spectrum Philadelphia, PA SBD
09.08.82 The Forum Los Angeles, CA SBD (1 tape)
22.08.82 Forest Hills, New York, NY SBD (1 tape)
07.11.83 Horton Fieldhouse Normal, IL SBD
13.12.83 The Omni Center, Atlanta, GA SBD
26.11.86 Entertainment Centre Sydney Australia SBD
23.10.92 Mayflower Theater Southampton UK SBD

While there's no guarantee that any of these shows would be released in the Archive Project, it seems likely. The '77 Rainbow Theater show would be really fucking cool to have in some form other than an audience recording. It was the first Genesis show to feature Chester Thompson on drums. Plus it's the only appearance of "Wot Gorilla?" live ever and the only performance of "Lilywhite Lilith" done after Pete Gabriel left the band. Personally, it's the gigs from 1983 that interest me the most right now. There are a handful of excellent quality boots from this era that are drawn from radio shows like the King Biscuit Flower Hour. (I recommend A Phantastically Phabulous Philly by the Coaster Factory, a "remastering" group comprised of fans.) While excellent shows, they all leave out "Carpet Crawlers" and the first oldies medley which was a variation on the combo of "Eleventh Earl Of Mar (intro) / The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway / Firth Of Fifth / The Musical Box (Closing Section)". "Ripples" was in there for a stretch as was "Behind the Lines". One thing that A Phantastically Phabulous Philly does capture is the best version of "Mama" that I've ever heard. Phil Collins' vocals are absolutely maniacal! The song is about a kid who is obsessed with a prostitute and the performance takes obsession beyond even Michael Jackson proportions.

I listened to Coma Divine last night. While I think the Tree's last few albums have been great, I do occasionally miss their more Floydian exploits. I think that Signify was really a high point. It melded their psycheldelic leanings with minimalism and electronica so very well. And there was a fair amount of found sounds included too. (The demo version of "Sever" almost goes overboard.) Just a bit of everything. Speaking of the Tree, Deadwing was released yesterday here in the States. I shall have to go Mad City and buy a copy at lunch. Everyone should buy one, in fact.

The last bit of musical geekiness I'll present here is the announcement that The Alan Lomax Database is now up and running. It is "...a multimedia catalog of the audio and video recordings and photographs made by Alan Lomax from 1946–1994, as well as of recordings made by few of his colleagues. It will also ultimately include some of the older collections of audio recordings made by Lomax on behalf of the Library of Congress, which have been transferred and remastered using cutting-edge technology." So there ya go.

Next I've gotta give spiels on Siva's speech, the chocolate tasting, and my day spent in Iowa interning my father's ashes to the earth.
|| Palmer, 11:15 AM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
To Pete

I got the Warren Zevon Covers bootleg in a trade with a guy in suburban Chicago. I think he found my list up at Tape Trader and proposed a trade. The album is all Warren Zevon covering other people's tunes. I don't have the complete tracklisting but here's one of the CDs:

1. Barricades Of Heaven
2. From A Distance
3. Hand Of Fate
4. Ramrod
5. Back In The High Life Again
6. Atlantic City
7. If You Don't Love Me
8. Dark Eyes
9. Jackson
10. I Kissed A Girl
11. 5th Dimension
12. Santa Can't Stay
13. Chimes Of Freedom
14. Up Where We Belong
15. Honky Tonk Women
16. You Were On My Mind
17. If You Don't Love Me (Electric)
18. Wooly Bully

If you want a copy, just lemme know where to send it.
|| Palmer, 9:11 AM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

25 April, 2005

Banning Books

I found a list of some banned books (via Siva Vaidhyanathan) and was disheartened to see so many attempts in my home state of Wisconsin. To wit:

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. Dee Brown. Holt. Removed in Wild Rose, Wis. (1974) by a district administrator for being "slanted." The administrator also said "if there's a possibility that something might be controversial, then why not eliminate it."

James and the Giant Peach. Roald Dahl. ABC-Clio; Knopf. Challenged at the Deep Creek Elementary School in Charlotte Harbor, Fla. (1991) because it is "not appropriate reading material for young children." Challenged at the Pederson Elementary School in Altoona, Wis. (1991) and at the Morton Elementary School library in Brooksville, Fla. (1992) because the book contains the word "ass" and "promotes" the use of drugs (tobacco, snuff) and whiskey. Removed from classrooms in Stafford County, Va. Schools (1995) and placed in restricted access in the library because the story contains crude language and encourages children to disobey their parents and other adults.

A Light in the Attic. Shel Silverstein. Harper. Challenged at the Cunningham Elementary School in Beloit, Wis. (1985) because the book "enourages children to break dishes so they won't have to dry them." Removed from Minot, N.Dak. Public School libraries when the superintendent found "suggestive illustrations." Challenged at the Big Bend Elementary School library in Mukwonago, Wis. (1986) because some of Silverstein's poems "glorified Satan, suicide and cannibalism, and also encouraged children to be disobedient."

Where the Sidewalk Ends. Shel Silverstein. Harper. Challenged at the West Allis-West Milwaukee, Wis. school libraries (1986) because the book "suggests drug use, the occult, suicide, death, violence, disrespect for truth, disrespect for legitimate authority, rebellion against parents." Challenged at the Central Columbia School District in Bloomsburg, Pa. (1993) because a poem titled "Dreadful" talks about how "someone ate the baby." On the other hand, this book does present the negative consequences of not taking the garbage out.
|| Palmer, 11:02 AM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

21 April, 2005

The Internet Is All Vernaculary

Last Friday I attended a couple of lectures given as part of the Future of Folk festival. The first was entitled "FoklNets: The Emergence of the Vernacular Internet" and was given by Robert G. Howard, an Assistant Professor of Folklore & Communication Arts here at the UW. (I'm doing this from memory although I recorded his lecture.) The room was pretty empty when I got there but some people filed in towards the starting time. I was a bit perplexed as the topic interested me greatly so I wondered how it could interest virtually no one else. Presumably the nice weather kept people away. At any rate, Howard began his lecture by briefly defining what folk culture is.





Basically he said that folk culture is a body of expressions of a community that are innovated upon and then returned to the community. He then described 'photoshopping" and used the infamous fake, "Tourist Guy", as his primary example. Here he is:



He went on to show how the idea was picked up by others, modified, and put back into the Internet community:



He gave other examples and showed how newsgroups and websites sprang up as places for people to share their photoshopped pictures. Not surprisingly, he continued with blogging. Howard used a couple blogs by people who have fish tanks as examples and contrasted them with an about.com page pertaining to the same topic. He noted how the two types of sites looked different and had dissimilar content.



Personally, I found the lecture to be very interesting and I can see what he means by the "vernacular Internet". And I buy his argument of blogging, photoshopping, etc. as being new forms of folk culture. One of things I would have liked to heard him address was about the community to which these expressions belong. The World Wide Web is only about 10 years old and the culture he described even younger. What I wonder is who makes up the community that photoshops, blogs, and the like. How many people actually photoshop? How many people actually maintain a blog and post to it on a regular basis? All of these forms of Internet culture are fun, neat, and whatnot but there's a fairly steep entrance fee. Older forms of folk culture don't require computers, access to the Internet, and special pieces of software. Folk music, for example, at its most basic level, only required that a community memeber go somewhere local to listen. If you wanted to play, well, you could buy an instrument or you could make one yourself. Internet culture, by contrast, has a fairly steep initial outlay. I'll grant Howard that it's another incarnation of folk culture but I'd bet that the community here isn't as diverse as the all-inclusive utopian rhetoric about the Net would have you believe. Every culture on this planet has folk music but I'll bet ya that Internet culture is practiced predominantly by a community that is white and male. And a very large percentage of those members are also American. Just as Latin was the lingua franca for science and religion in the Middle Ages, English, in large part, is the language of the Internet. By no means is it complete and total, but I think it's the most common. So there's another prerequisite for entering many of the nascent online communities. However, non-whites, womyn, and non-English speakers have plenty of room to form their own communities.

Despite the brevity of the lecture, I found it quite interesting. It gave me a lot to cogitate upon and some good references for further inquiry.

The next lecture was by Siva Vaidhyanathan and entitled, "Who Owns Folk? How Should We 'Protect' the Public Domain?" Unfortunately, I was only able to record about 15 minutes of his lecture and I'll attend to it here later...
|| Palmer, 4:20 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
Hello, I'm Warren Zevon

As I headed to get me some pre-tutoring coffee at Mother Fools yesterday evening, I was listening to some guy on WSUM talk about how he helped organize some promotion for a book put out by a small publishing house that involved getting bloggers he knew to read and comment upon it. At the end of the interview, he was asked by the interviewer whom his favorite authors were so he rattled off a list and remarked that he prefers contemporary fiction. One of the reasons he gave was that he enjoyed the anticipation of an author's next being published as well as being able to go hear the author read and speak to him or her in person.

I thought of these comments this morning as I was listening to one of my new bootlegs, a 3 CD compilation of cover tunes by Warren Zevon. It saddened me to think that he'll never write another song. He was one of the first musicians in that nebulous musical category of adult-orientated rock that I got into. Warren Zevon, Richard Thompson, Adrian Belew, etc. You know, musicians/bands that aren't for the kids and don't appeal to the Joe Six-Packs but they play rock music. Rock music that is generally appreciated by your middle aged, middle class folk. There's nothing hip about their music and their lyrics make more sense if you're beyond MTV-watching age. I just love Zevon's dry sense of humor and his cynicism. I loved how "Heartache Spoken Here" treaded those fine lines between turbo tonk, rock, and parody. Perhaps only he could have penned a beautiful, tender tune and given it the name "Monkey Wash, Donkey Rinse". I remember when I saw him. Watching as he started strumming his guitar maniacally and singing, "I started as an altar boy..." ("Mr. Bad Example") When performing live, it was all about fun. But that's over and done. There will never be another album of fresh, new Warren Zevon songs. I will never be able to see him in concert again. Same goes for Johnny Cash. No more waiting for the next installment in the American Recordings series. It's done. No more will I be waiting for another DNA book. I waited years for A Salmon of Doubt wondering whether it would be another Dirk Gently novel or whether it had been transmogrified into a Hitchhiker's story. Those days too are gone, never to return.
|| Palmer, 2:32 PM || link || (1) comments | links to this post

20 April, 2005

Expanding Circle

They'll never be able to get rid of me now. I was told that, in addition to being the team lead for the rollouts at SRO, I'm gonna be a technical lead or some such thing for the email migration. And today I got to be the DSU representative for the Weekly Change Request meeting. Yee haw.

The Dulcinea sent me an email today in reply to my having sent her a link to a sex toy store. In it she said:

"Now no more sex talk, it's far too early. Who am I kidding? I just don't need to be all riled up at the moment, I've got a big project to inish."

I replied with some talk of masturbation which related to a conversation we had over the weekend:

" I didn't masturbate yesterday so I'm kinda frisky today. Well, that and reading that blog you sent me. I've been thinking about trying to new method of masturbating. I read a guy's blog somewhere that I can't recall who said that he gets off by using a vibrator just beneath the head of his cock on the underside. I've used those shower head with the massager option like that before and would like to try a vibrator. I can add it to my repertoire along with humping a sandwich bag sandwiched between my matress and box spring. :D"

She replied:

"I have my period this week, so I thought that a little Kermit action might be in order, but no pressure. Maybe I can try out my different toys on you (we need to record this stuff for later podcasting!). Hey, we can review "bend over boyfriend"!"

It's been a while since she used Kermit on me. Kermit is this green dildo that I bought her to go along with the harness I also bought for her. I miss our sexual experimentation quite a bit. (Oh! I'd provide a link to something explaining Bend Over Boyfriend but I'm at work. Let's just say it's an instructional DVD.) She also remarked:

"I'd love to bring more people into my sexual circle. Not necessarily people to have sex with, but people with whom I share predilictions and interests."

I too would like to expand my sexual circle. Miss Pamela is someone with whom I can discuss my kinky predilections but she lives in Milwaukee. It'd be nice to have someone else here. Someone to trade stories with, lend advice to and receive advice from, and, in general, someone with whom I can talk about it so I don't feel quite so out there, so on my own when it comes to sex'n'kink. It's always nice to know that you're not the only one who feels a certain way or enjoys this or that. And now that I've dated The Dulcinea and spring is here, I'd really love to do things like cyber and phone sex again as well as try new activities and delve further into things like spanking and bondage which The Dulcinea and I only began to explore.

Well, work is over. I shall probably pick up on this later...
|| Palmer, 2:30 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
Problem Thinkers

(courtesy of Marv)

It started out innocently enough.

I began to think at parties now and then -- to loosen up.

Inevitably, though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker.

I began to think alone -- "to relax," I told myself -- but I knew it wasn't true.

Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time.

That was when things began to sour at home.

One evening I had turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life.

She spent that night at her mother's.

I began to think on the job.

I knew that thinking and employment don't mix, but I couldn't stop myself.

I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau and Kafka.

I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, "What is it exactly we are doing here?"

One day the boss called me in.

He said, "Listen, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don't stop thinking on the job, you'll have to find another job."

This gave me a lot to think about.

I came home early after my conversation with the boss.

"Honey," I confessed, "I've been thinking..."

"I know you've been thinking," she said, "and I want a divorce!"

"But Honey, surely it's not that serious."

"It is serious," she said, lower lip aquiver. "You think as much as college professors, and college professors don't make any money, so if you keep on thinking, we won't have any money!"

"That's a faulty syllogism," I said impatiently.

She exploded in tears of rage and frustration, but I was in no mood to deal with the emotional drama.

"I'm going to the library," I snarled as I stomped out the door.

I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche.

I roared into the parking lot with NPR on the radio and ran up to the big glass doors...

They didn't open. The library was closed.

To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night.

Leaning on the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Zarathustra, a poster caught my eye.

"Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?" it asked.

You probably recognize that line.

It comes from the standard Thinker's Anonymous poster.

Which is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker.

I never miss a TA meeting.

At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was "Porky's."

Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting.

I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home.

Life just seemed...easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking.

I think the road to recovery is nearly complete for me.

Today, I registered to vote as a Republican...
|| Palmer, 8:19 AM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

19 April, 2005

Back to the Grindstone

If I get lucky, I'll be going to see Elaine Pagels! I've got a few of her books and I think it'll be very interesting to hear her speak.

Had some foo-foo cocktails with Miss Vickie last night at Jolly Bob's. Just after I walked in, Brad, a guy with whom I used to work last summer, greeted me. It was nice to see him again. I guess little has changed at CUNA since I was let go. Apparently they were looking for someone to fill a hell desk spot there and he & Sully lobbied for me - that was nice to hear. We chatted for a short time before Miss Vicki arrived. It was really great to see her again. We chatted about the loss of Toad Hill, religion, faith, blah blah blah. We also consumed many sweet, fruity concoctions and ended up only getting charged for a trio of them. I also saw another TH alumnus yesterday at the coop - Downtown! He's working there again and I caught him facing shelves. We shot the fecal matter and I snagged a couple pictures of him as he demonstrated the correct way to show off salad dressing. The checkout clerk noticed my Yes t-shirt and we got into a conversation about them which ended in me offering him some shows. So I'll give him a call one of these days to drop them off. As I turned my cart to head towards the door, I was greeted with the sight of the blonde hottie on whom I have a crush. She was squatting down so naturally my gaze migrated directly to her cleavage. She was wearing this black sleeveless hoolie and her boobs were almost bursting out. Little foul hippie temptresses!

OK - I've got a meeting to attend soon. Hopefully I can hash out an account of the lectures I attended on Saturday.

Oh! I got the Neil Young and North Mississippi All-Stars shows yesterday and I'm listening to the latter. It's rockin' like Dokken! "Freedom Highway" was really good - love the harmony vocals.
|| Palmer, 9:48 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
Callipygian Figures Hither and Yon

I've started a new Doctor Who audio drama - The Genocide Machine. I have a particularly geeky fascination for it as it takes place in a library, Kar-Charrat. It is located in a jungle and the sound of the rain is very relaxing when listening to it on headphones. Lends an interesting atmosphere to the tale. I also read that Big Finish has been given permission to continue making the dramas until 2008. Good news!

I spent some time tinkering with Audacity and Sound Forge yesterday in my hasty attempt at throwing together a podcast on music. I've got the basics down but can't figure out how to gradually lower the volume of a wav file and then bring it back up again. I can lower the volume but it takes effect immediately instead of a gradual reduction. Oh well. I can adapt, I guess. My idea was to do a little hoolie on Son Volt. I'd give a brief intro and play some of their older tunes culled from shows I've collected, of course, and then play a show of theirs from last month which features material from their new album. I'd like to do a podcast like this for Porcupine Tree as well as I recently got a copy of a gig they did about 3 weeks ago which features new material from their as yet unreleased-in-the-US album, Deadwing. I fear that I won't get it done in time, though.

I see that one can buy Genesis songs individually. Harumph. The files are Windows Media Audio and are DRM'd. Sorry guys. Give me FLAC or give me death! Let's see here...The next 3 Jethro Tull remasters are due soon: Broadsword and the Beast, Under Wraps, and Crest of a Knave. Nothing really special as far as bonus tracks go but I'm keen to know what they did to transmogrify "Astronomy" into "Astronomy 2004". At least they throw in the video for "Lap of Luxury". Unfortunately, not all the Broadsword leftovers are present; just the ones from the 20th anniversary box set. I had a slight hope that "DJ" and/or "Dinosaur" would end up on it. Actually, Tull had more leftovers from the Broadsword sessions than songs appearing on the album itself. And as a complement to an earlier entry with musicians' rants on the music industry comes this tidbit from Tony Levin:

"And, friends have told me they've heard of a new Tony Levin cd being issued this month. I want to point out that it is nothing to do with the new music I've been working on for so long - I think it's mostly re-releases of old tracks - and nothing I approve of. Isn't the music business amazing - so many great artists trying to get their music released, and there are companies putting out music the artist doesn't want released!" (emphasis added by moi)

Tonight I plan on making potato salad and cucumber salad. I'd contemplated stopping at the store on the way home to get some grillin' flesh but it's getting really windy out. Methinks we're gonna get some rain this evening. Still, it is pretty warm out yet. Along the lines of spring - am I the only one getting horny at the drop of a hat? Womyn are wearing less clothes so my head is constantly turning to gawk at an ass here and a set of boobs there. I've lost all compunction about eyeing up teenage girls and gladly do the same to middle aged fraus. I eyed a couple teenage girls making their way to school this morning with bad intent and rationalized this by labeling them "pre-coeds". Ah, the power of language.
|| Palmer, 3:45 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

18 April, 2005

A Murder of a Friday

Friday was a wash. I met Otto out at the regional office by the airport for the SP2 rollout, which went smoothly. My back, however, was fucked up. I had strained it on Thursday morning setting down a full laundry hamper and it was about the same at the office. We helped out on a few problems but mostly sat around waiting for someone's PC to break. We planned on leaving at 2 and were ready by 1:58 when the hot blonde of the joint, Linda, approached us. Apparently word had gotten around about our departure time and a manager suddenly lapsed into anamnesis and sent her scurrying to find us. Otto was in hurry to bail as he was off to Dodgeville to re-enact battles from Lord of the Rings over the weekend so it was left to me. Well, that and I was technically the team lead. So I accompanied the lovely lady downstairs. I ended up staying until 3:30 getting a laptop that hadn't been on the network in several months upgraded. First, the ZenWorks DMA needed to be upgraded. Then the anti-virus software. Finally I could install SP2. At least I got to chat with Linda for a while and try to peek down her blouse. (I was unsuccessful.)

After work, I went home and basically hit the rack after popping some pain killers. After sleeping the sleep of the dead, I awoke around 4 on Saturday…
|| Palmer, 8:52 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
Cozied Up in the Old Church

After work on Thursday, I met up with The Dulcinea for dinner at Vientiane Palace. I had my usual 25B while she her normal 24B. Having filled our bellies, we traipsed down to the First United Methodist Church where some Future of Folk festival festivities were going to happen. We took seats in a pew up front. First the writer and music historian Bart Plantenga gave a lecture on the history and future of yodeling. (His definition of yodeling: "...is distinguished from other vocalizations by its emphasis on that jolt of air that occurs as the voice passes from bass or low chest voice to high head voice or falsetto, and vice versa. No glottal jolt, no yodel.") He gave an overview of the debate over yodeling's origins and demonstrated how many a new band/artist incorporates it into their work. As he read off a list of current bands that yodel today, he mentioned Son Volt. I searched my mind to find a song in which Jay Farrar yodeled and I could think of nary a one. But I let it slide. (I wonder if he mistook the song "Jodel" for a tune that actually has yodeling in it.) He also mentioned Jewel which humored me because I think the best bit of music she ever did was that brief snippet of yodeling in a commercial for Target or to whomever it is she sold out. Perhaps the most interesting parts of his lecture were the samples of music from various countries that featured yodeling. He played not only the typical Swiss incarnation but also Native American, African, and South American. When he finished we were treated to a few songs by Bruce Bollerud of the legendary (around here, anyway) Goose Island Ramblers! He played a few tunes on his accordion, sang, and, of course, yodeled. He played "The Chicken Polka" and made these fowl noises on his squeeze box. It made me feel stupid for never having gone to see GIR when they were still playing. I've had 15 years or so to do it but no – I failed.

There was a brief intermission before John Fabke, Bill Malone, and Mike Seeger(!) came onstage. For the first part, they played some tunes and Malone engaged Seeger in conversation. Apparently Bill is writing a book about Seeger and his role in the folk revival of the 1960s. It was weird to be sitting there with such a legendary figure onstage before me. I mean, he helped form the New Lost City Ramblers in 1958, and "discovered" & recorded many a folk musician. He told some funny and interesting stories before they played. They mentioned names with which I was familiar like Doc Boggs and Elizabeth Cotton and I felt all folky-knowledgeable and proud of myself. They played "Freight Train" by Cotton and a murder ballad – I think it was "Pretty Polly". For the last half of the performance, it was Seeger by himself. He played a really great tune on the autoharp, the name of which I cannot recall. He also did something on the Jew's harp as well as a bit of hollerin'.

At some point, The Dulcinea began to feel chilly and beckoned me to move closer to her. So I did. After a while, we were holding hands and she started to rub my arm. It felt really good but odd. We are still defining our relationship to one another. It is certainly a friendship – but more and I don't think either of us quite know what more is to include. Whatever it shall be, it was nice to have her company. Going out to dinner and a performance as we did was something we never got around to when we were dating.

Leaving the church, I found myself determined to get me some Goose Island Ramblers and check out Plantenga's book on yodeling.
|| Palmer, 7:45 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

17 April, 2005

Son Volt Who?

Christ! I've got so much to write about yet my lasagna beckons me. Let me get the routine blogginess out of the way to begin. Firstly, there's Doctor Who news to be had. As you probably don't know Chris Eccleston has bailed on the series after one season. His replacement has been announced – David Tennant. He's done various TV shows and films in the UK but he has a Who connection - he's a veteran of the audio dramas. I'm currently downloading a copy of yesterday's episode, "Aliens of London".

On a musical note, I've gotten a hold of a couple Son Volt shows from last month. They feature most, if not all, of the new album, Okemah and the Melody of Riot plus another tune not on it called "Joe Citizen Blues", which is probably the most overt political statement of Farrar's career. Plus there's a trio of covers involved: "Justice Tonight/Kick It Over" by The Clash and, if you can believe this, "Communication Breakdown" by Led Zeppelin. Hearing Farrar do Robert Plant is really quite amusing. A whole lotta fun! Here's the setlist for the 20 March show from Fort Worth, Texas:

1. Who
2. Six-String Belief
3. Bandages & Scars
4. Atmosphere
5. Chaos Streams
6. Gramophone
7. Ipecac
8. Joe Citizen Blues
9. Tear-Stained Eye
10. Windfall
11. Jet Pilot
12. Endless War
13. Afterglow 61
14. Driving The View
15. Loose String
16. Route
17. Straightface
18. Medication
19. Justice Tonight/Kick It Over
20. Drown
21. Communication Breakdown

I must say that, of the new songs, "Afterglow 61" is the most catchy. It's quite a bit like the tunes from Trace in that it's got this catchy, wide open riff that makes for great roadtrip music. I've got a couple trades in the works. I'll be getting shows by North Mississippi All-Stars, Neil Young, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Warren Zevon, and Jethro Tull:

Rolling Stones - 1972 tour soundboard compilation
Led Zeppelin - Destroyer 4.27.77
Warren Zevon - covers -1970's, 1980's & 1990's
Warren Zevon – 1.22.99 Madison, WI
Tull – Supercharged in L.A. 7.21.73
Tull - Copenhagen 12.4.74
North Mississippi All-Stars 5.15.2003
Neil Young 11.15.1976, 10.24.2004

After Friday night, I just had to get me a Goose Island Ramblers CD. And I did. It was recorded in 1999 out in Mt. Horeb. It's some killer polkabilly! I'm going to do my first book review. It's Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner. I gave it a brief once-over this afternoon and it looks to be a fun film-geek read. It should also get me motivated to watch the film again as well. A trip to the bookstore yielded a couple purchases. First was Alan Lomax: Selected Writings, 1934 -1997 while the second was The Multi Orgasmic Man. Let's see if I can master the art of multiple orgasms.

Well, the lasagna was tasty and it's getting late. I've gotta find me a new Doctor Who drama to listen to in bed.
|| Palmer, 6:27 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

15 April, 2005

I Missed the Ides of April

Work finally ended. I was to be outta there at 2 but at 1:58 the hottie that is Linda approached us about a laptop. So I stayed late to get it upgraded. I got to chit-chat with her for a bit so it wasn't all bad.

The Dulcinea and I went to the Future of Folk festival last night. Heard some yodeling and got to hear Mike Seeger tell tales and perform. More on that later. I wanna take a nap first and write with a clear head. (Getting up at 4AM bites.) Because of the podcast, I think I'm going to end up writing about sex more often. What would it take for you folks to listen to a podcast? What would you want to hear?
|| Palmer, 12:26 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

14 April, 2005

Well I'll Be Dipped In...

...shit and rolled in corn flakes. Michael Moorcock has churned out a couple new Elric novels this century. We've got:

The Dreathief's Daughter and The Skrayling Tree.

They're part of a trilogy, ergo we can look forward to the last one in the next year or two. So strike up some Blue Oyster Cult and some Hawkwind and head down to your local bibliotek.
|| Palmer, 4:22 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
Briefly...

There's a rumor going around that the lead rotoscoper for Richard Linklater's A Scanner Darkly has quit the team.

The first chapter of Umberto Eco's new book, The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, has been published by the New Yorker. The chapter is entitled "The Gorge". The book is billed as an illustrated novel and the cover looks like that of a graphic novel. Interesting. It comes out in June.
|| Palmer, 2:47 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
While ConsoleOne Installs...

Christ. It took what seemed like an hour for Windoze XP SP2 to install on this laptop and now ConsoleOne is taking just as long. Stupid old laptops!

Some more exciting Son Volt news! Their new album is called Okemah and the Melody of Riot. It is to be released on July 12th. Here's the track listing:

Bandages & Scars
Afterglow 61
Jet Pilot
Atmosphere
Ipecac
Who
Endless War
Medication
6 String Belief
Gramophone
Chaos Streams
World Waits for You
World Waits for You (Reprise)

A live version of "6 String Belief" was on Jay's Stone, Steel & Bright Lights album. It's a good tune and I'm looking forward to hearing the super fleshed out SV band treatment. Presumably they'll be doing a proper U.S. tour after the album's release. I'm still trying to link Bob Fripp to Kurt Cobain in the Inner Knots Degrees of Separation quiz. One web page links Cobain to Nine Inch Nails which makes it a cinch. Fripp-->Belew-->Reznor-->Cobain. Unfortunately, I have no idea how Cobain is connected to NIN. The site doesn't specify and I can't find squat about it. Speaking of Mr. Belew, I've gotta say that his guitar wailing on "Deadwing" is fucking awesome. Nice and dissonant in contrast to the more melodic riffing by the rhythm guitar.

Tonight The Dulcinea and I are going to grab a bite to eat at Vientiane Palace before heading over to the kickoff activities of The Future of Folk festival. We'll get to learn about yodeling and hear Mike Seeger and Bill Malone speak & perform. I shouldn't have to tell you who Mike Seeger is but, if you haven't a clue, go here. Bill Malone is an expert on Southern U.S. culture and has written on the subject of country music. His Country Music U.S.A. is considered by many to be the definitive history of the genre. He hosts a radio show here in Madtown on WORT called "Back to the Country". He is also a musician himself to boot and plays around town. Unfortunately, I won't be able to record it. I've still gotta get that Lomax lecture off my recorder. I'll do it tonight so I can document some of the other lectures over the next several days.

The last spiel I wanna give relating to music is a series of links. Here are some rants as well as an interesting tale of a band leaving the mainstream recording system.

Courtney Love's Rant

Steve Albini's Rant

Janis Ian's Rant

Marillion Go Indie

In other news, the Quandary Phase of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy radio show begins on 3 May. Check out the Hitchhiker's site at Radio 4 for more info and an extended trailer. What else have we got...? Greg Palast has a newish article up at his webpage now about the Wyly Brothers' role in getting Dubya elected. For claiming to hold in such high esteem a book which says, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God," these Christians sure are greedy bastards.

I think I made my first TiVO recording today! If all went well, the little beast in the living room recorded the Doctor Who movie from 1996. I watached part of it in the den while suppin' coffee before leaving for work. It's bad but Paul McGann is cool and, well, it's Doctor Who. I mentioned that I watched "The Unquiet Dead," the latest installment of the new series. I would say that my previous comments about the series hold true. I've gotten used to the good SFX and think Chrstopher Eccleston was a good choice. Rose is hot. I've even acclimated myself to the new theme. However, I still think the episodes need to be longer. The setup in "The Unquiet Dead" was fucking awesome but the mystery was revealed too quickly. It had the usual Doctor Who elements but they were slapped one on top of the other with no breathing room due to time constraints. I wanted to see more corpses rise and for Dickens to be fleshed out. On the plus side, The Doctor was a little short-tempered at one point and Rose continued in her role as one of the most assertive companions ever. Last week The Doctor gave rose a revelation and this week a maid who is endowed with psychic abilities said something horrifying (and interesting!) while looking into Rose's mind. Next week The Doctor and Rose are back in present day London. A UFO crashes into the Thames and all hell breaks loose! Sounds promising.
|| Palmer, 1:15 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

13 April, 2005

Blathering

The track listing of the Son Volt best of has been revealed:

A Retrospective 1995-2000

1: DROWN
2: WINDFALL
3: ROUTE
4: REX’S BLUES
5: LOOKING AT THE WORLD THROUGH A WINDSHIELD
6: TOO EARLY
7: BACK INTO YOUR WORLD
8: PICKING UP THE SIGNAL
9: I’VE GOT TO KNOW*
10: CREOSOTE
11: STRAIGHTFACE
12: TULSA COUNTY
13: DRIVING THE VIEW
14: AIN’T NO MORE CANE*
15: FLOW
16: HOLOCAUST
17: TEAR STAINED EYE (Four Track Demo)*
18: LOOSE STRING (Four Track Demo)*
19: MEDICINE HAT (Live – Acoustic Café)*
20: OPEN ALL NIGHT

Some interesting stuff but I'd trade the demos for more unreleased bits.

Three-fifths of Marillion will be coming to the USA! Steve Hogarth, Pete Trawavas, and Steve Rothery will be making the trek across The Pond. Presumably I'll have to make a trek myself - to Chicago - to see them.

Planning for the podcast comes slowly. Right now, it looks to be about music & sex. Knowing The Dulcinea, I'd imagine that the emphasis will be on the latter. Speaking of her, we went out for dinner last night and then back to her place. She's such a tease. At the end of it all, we gave one another handjobs. I suppose something sexual had to happen sooner or later. And I was happy that she hasn't shaved down there by the doggy door. It's amazing how much more at ease we are with one another and how well we can just shoot the breeze. We'll see how this friendship thing develops.

Well, I'm calling it a night. My soiree with The Dulcinea lasted into the wee hours of this morning so I didn't get much sleep. Tonight I just wanna cozy up with a Doctor Who adventure and drift into the arms of Morpheus. But, speaking of Doctor Who, I watched the latest episode, "The Unquiet Dead", this evening. It was quite spooky and a lot of fun.
|| Palmer, 9:09 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

11 April, 2005

Late Night Follies in Stevens Point

Trivia was, as it always is, amusing. I'd never done the Point contest before so it was something new and fresh. Plus Marv decided to tag along. Dumb Donald got done with class and was at my house a bit after noon o'clock. We packed our stuff in my car and drove north. The drive went quickly as I hadn't seen Dumb Donald in a while and so we had a lot to talk about. Plus Marv and he, having never met before, got to know one another. Lots of banter and laughter. It didn't take long to find the hotel and we were lucky in that we found a parking spot in their lot. Grabbing our stuff, we went in to find the trivia rooms.

Rooms 303 and 305. 303 is where the trivia action was while 305 was where people could go to crash. We walked into 303 to find Chet, Karl, and Kias scrambling around with beers in their hands while Zeke was crashed on one of the beds with an empty sardine tin lying next to him. As we squeezed some bottles into the last remaining square inches of the frig, Zeke awoke. Marv was introduced to everyone and we got down to business. During a musical interlude, Chet described the trivia parade on Friday evening. They had all crammed themselves into Kias' car and drove in the parade. Instead of tossing confetti, the boys tossed books. Lots of old almanacs got thrown out the car windows. When they ran out, Chet and Zeke started throwing cigarettes to the crowd. There was also a womyn dressed as Marilyn Monroe in the parade who threw condoms to the onlookers. We all settled in for the long haul and got to trivia.

Of course, you can't play trivia Zupan style without cheap beer:

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Nor can we play without our Sigmund Freud bobblehead mascot:

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Here's Zeke and Chet relaxing:

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Before Kias took a nap, I caught a him researching:

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Around 10 Saturday night, Dumb Donald called the studio to take them up on their invite to profile our team for television. The camera crew arrived around 5 o'clock Sunday morning. This is Zeke describing his occupation as a remover of rectal warts for the unsuspecting college kid:

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For my part, I told them that I was the computer operator and that I surfed porn. Dumb Donald was liquored up and threatened to kick the interviewer in the cajones. Karl explained the origin of our team's name while Kias explained that he got his fez by stealing it from a Shriner in Duluth. Needless to say, about 2/3 of the footage they shot ended up on the cutting room floor, so to speak.

I took some truck driver pills as Saturday turned into Sunday and started pounding coffee. With the first mini-pot gone and no more caffeinated grounds left, Dumb Donald and I headed downstairs. We found a gaggle of parents drinking beer in the lobby while there kids played arcade games and swam. Much to my chagrin, the coffee dispenser was empty. In response, DD said hi to a group of people there, reached into their cooler, and snagged a can of Miller Genuine Draft Light. We then headed to the front desk to lay our woes on the womyn there. Hearing our sob story, she gave us a few packets of coffee and we went back upstairs. At some time, Tree stopped by with a 12-pack of MGD Light and he hung around for a while before heading home. Around 4:30 Sunday morning I began to get tired but decided to stay up until the TV crew got there. I figured that I could catch some shuteye after they left. Boy was I wrong. Kias and Karl woke up from their slumbers and shuffled out the door to find the trivia stone and Chet and Marv were passed out. Zeke floated in and out of consciousness leaving me and Dumb Donald in charge. And he was coming up with dandies like, "The Gluek you take is equal to the love you make", so I had no choice but to tough it out. I was finally able to get some sleep around 9:30 but only just. One bloody hour later I was up and back at it.

The questions were quite a bit different than I expected. The New London contest has various categories while this one was almost all pop culture. "What are the call letters for the TV station that Katie Current works at?" Who the fuck is Katie Current? She's from Shark's Tale. It think C9 was the answer. Just piddly shit like that. And also questions like "Who was 10th in earnings in 1948 in the Eastern Stock Car League and won first place at some archery tournament?" Fuck me. I did, however, find out that lilacs are now blooming 4 days earlier than they were in 1965. Damn global warming!

With the aid of some coffee and a Red Bull knock-off, we made it home Sunday evening. I went to bed around 5:30 and woke up at 5 this morning, just around the time Dumb Donald was getting off from work.
|| Palmer, 8:10 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
Breaking Two Fasts

I got to bed in the wee hours of Saturday morning but woke up around seven o'clock anyway. The Dulcinea and I had decided to break our fasts together on Friday so I tried to expand my consciousness a bit before I called her. Upon doing so, we decided to head over to the Original Pancake House or whatever it is over there by the Beltline in Monona.

Walking in, I see that they don't accept credit cards and, like a dork, I didn't bring any cash so The Dulcinea was forced to pay.

Breakfast was good and I was especially pleased with my buckwheat pancakes. We chatted about the shows we had each seen the night before: I Tempest and she The Decemberists. Then I asked if she'd like to do a podcast together. She agreed to it. Not only does she have a magnificent radio voice but, like me, I think she's itching to do something creative other than blogging. We have interests in common and if a podcast about sex were in the cards, we'd be good hosts as we had a wonderful sex life together. I'll have to do some brainstorming about it tonight.

After breakfast, we headed down to the lakeshore to catch some fresh air and feel the spring breeze in our hair. When we got to the railing, Things turned ornithological when The Dulcinea spotted a pair of robins in media res of what looked to be a mating ritual. She also saw a brilliantly colored cardinal sitting on a bare branch. We also watched the minnows benath us in the shallow water dart away before continuing our chit-chat. At one point, The Dulcinea remarked that she was feeling frisky and said that she could just rub up against something so I offered my leg. It was at this point or thereabouts that I began to get hard. So I quickly leaned over the rail again hoping to hide it. I've gotta admit that, regardless of anything else that we may or may not have between us, we have always had and continue to have more than our share of sexual tension between us. I was sorely tempted to grab her ass - just cop a feel anyhow and anywhere I could. But I guess neither of us has succumbed to those sides of us she calls "helpless animals". We'll see how long that lasts, I suppose. Anyway, we ended up talking for longer than expected and, once she looked at the time, she had to fly.

I'm looking forward to doing the podcast with her. It's just that I don't think either of us have any idea what we're going to talk about. I'd like to incorporate music into it somehow, even if only bumper music. Luckily, between us we have enough non-copyrighted material so we don't have to worry about the RIAA getting on our asses. A bit of music, some Mel & Floyd like commentary on current events...I'm sure we could blather on about various things such as books we're reading, blogs we read/webpages we visit, and the like. We'll see, I guess. We'll see if she is still up for the challenge of having to deal with my swarvy ass.
|| Palmer, 4:40 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
Into Something Rich and Slightly Strange

I don't know about y'all, but I had a fantastic weekend. The first notable event came at roughly 5 o'clock on Friday evening when my workday ended. Hopping into my car, I hastily turned on WORT to catch the end of the Hootenanny. Dave Zero plas "Yeah Yeah" by The Revillos before abandoning the mic over to news. It's a good way to rock myself out of the parking ramp and on down Willy Street. A quick gyros at home and I was off to grab Christopher. I got a chance to meet Amber, his roommate, and her noisy bird. I'd thought that I'd met her previously at Mickey's where she tends bar, but I was wrong. Soon enough, we were out the door and on our way to Stoughton. It was a pleasant evening and a nice drive down. We found a spot on the main drag and headed over to the Opera House. Although Chris had been there before, I hadn't. I was in for a real treat. The place looks absotlutely gorgeous. Small and cozy, it has this almost antebellum look to it. We found our seats (front row center!) and began contemplating a reenactment of Lincoln's assassination with Pete starring as John Wilkes Booth. He'd have a wad of Copenhagen in his mouth and his ass crack would be hanging out as is his wont.

How Tempest got booked at the Stoughton Opera House is a bit beyond me. As other folks came in, it became apparent that we were very much on the young side of the crowd. A bunch of old farts filled in some seats on the sides. I presume that they just go down to the Opera House every Friday to take in whatever is there. After conceptualizing our assassination, I tried to convince Chris to join me in yelling out song titles. I figured we'd start off with "Nine Points of Roguery" and then work our way up to "Barrow Man". I wasn't too successful. Then, oddly enough, the show started only slightly later than advertised.

The band walked on stage and I took in the faces new & old. First the stalwarts. Leif Sorbye, founder and frontman, plugged in his double-neck electric mandolin as Adolfo Lazo took his seat behind the drum kit. Michael Mullen, clad in a stylish black Utilikilt unpacked his electric fiddle and checked out his array of effects pedals. There were also two new folks. Firstly, Ronan Carroll on electric guitar. Secondly and more eye-catching was Ariane Cap on bass. She wore a tight pants and an even tighter shirt. They greeted the audience and then went into "Nine Points of Roguery". (Well, I guess I could just skip to "Barrow Man" in my shouting.) It was a spirited performance but we could tell they were just warming up. After another song or two, things really got crazy. Mullen started running around like a chicken with its head cut off during his fiddle solos. Leif began jumping around. Curiously enough, Carroll, the guitarist, barely moved. Normally it's the bassist that stays in one place looking all bored and stoic while the guitar player scoots around with a contorted face. Everyone knows that bassists are supposed to be that way. John Entwhistle and Bill Wyman - they never moved and set the tone for bassists around the world in popular music. But it was Ariane that had that role. She jumped around and wandered to the front of the stage all the while holding down a groove. It didn't take long for Chris and I to notice that she was freeballin'. And that, as Martha Stewart would say, is a good thing.

The show had 2 sets with a brief intermission and went something like this:

Nine Points of Roguery
Jenny Nettles
Ye Jacobites By Name
Catalina Island
Old Man at the Mill
Coalminers
Tamosher
Green Grow the Rashes
The Karfluki Set
Top of the Hill
Bonden Og Kraka (The Farmer and the Crow)
ENCORE:
Masters of War
Dance of the Sand Witches

I have to say that this was one of best shows I've ever been to. It was just fun. There was only one point when the show approached seriousness and that was the first encore of "Masters of war". Otherwise, it was just a lot of good grooves and crazy jiggin' and reelin'. The last time I saw them was in 1996 at The Chamber (which is now the Opus Lounge or something equally yuppie-infested). The stage there was not particularly large but now they had room to roam and they took advantage of it. Mullen hopped and danced in circles around the stage, nearly running over everyone at least a few times. The energy was infectious. It's too bad I was basically stuck in my seat surrounded to sides by people and the foot of the stage in front of me because I really felt like wiggling my bum. In the middle of the first set (just after "Catalina Island", methinks) they performed a couple new songs. One of them was this incredible medley that began with a tune whose beat that was vaguely funky. Then it went into this bit that had the greener roots of Celtic folk. And then another one and another one. The whole bit lasted about 10 minutes. It was just awesome! Fantastic! All those adjectives that Deadheads use for their favorite performance of "Scarlet-->Fire"! When it was done, I got up and gave them a standing ovation because it just rawked!!

During the intermission, the old foggies bailed as it was obviously too loud and too electric for their hearing aids. We ended up oggling a womyn with large breasts on the balcony before starting a conversation with the couple who were sitting directly behind us. They were middle aged but were very impressed by them. The gentleman really remarked on how talented the guitar player was. His comment got me to pay more attention to him during the second set. He didn't move a lot and didn't have nice breasts like Ariane so I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to him. But once I started actively listening to him, I too became very impressed. It really impressed me how his guitar added muscle to the songs without ever being overbearing. There were only two or three instances the whole night in which a person walking in off the street not knowing anything about the band would think that he or she was listening to a hard rock/heavy metal band. His playing was tasteful, kinda sorta restrained yet it really had balls.

The second half was fantastic as well. They played the only song of the night that I knew, "Bonden Og Kraka (The Farmer and the Crow)". I also noticed that the womyn behind us with whom we had spoken was getting fired up as I could hear her clapping. In addition, I could feel the floor shaking from people stomping their feet. At one point, Mullen did his whirling dervish imitation and began spinning in cirlces as he played. His kilt began to creep upwards and the audience collectively held its breath. He stopped and ran off to the other end of the stage just before we could find out if he too were freeballin'. Towards the end, Sorbye had everyone get up so I started shaking my ass. Another 10 or 15 minutes medley of dances closed the set and everyone was into it. Ariane came out front which gave us a chance to see her erect nipple up close and personal while the rest of the band went out into the audience to do some grandstanding. They got a rousing cheer as they left the stage.

The first encore was just Leif on his electric mandolin doing "Masters of War". It was the only moment of the night that approached seriousness but it seemed appropriate as Bobby Z took the melody from an old song called "Nottamun Town". They finished the night off with "Dance of the Sand Witches". Again, everyone was standing and I was doing my best not to hip check Chris or the womyn standing next me while still shaking my ass.

After the band left the stage for the final time, I grabbed a copy of the set list from one of the monitors and we headed to the merchandise room. There, I bought a bumper sticker, t-shirt, and a copy of their most recent studio album, shapeshifter. I also chatted with Leif for a bit before getting his autograph. Then I met Michael and ended up having a lengthy conversation with him. He was very friendly and talkative. We chatted about the set, the life of the muso, Caliban, and various tunes from the set. Soon enough, the fun was over and it was back to Madtown.

On the way home I asked Chris what he'd thought of the show and I was relieved that he'd enjoyed it. In retrospect, how could he not have? I really must see Tempest again soon. Once every 9 years just doesn't cut it. Ideally, it would be outside too or just somewhere that I can stand and boogie.
|| Palmer, 2:07 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

10 April, 2005

It'll Be Dawn Soon

Now I know that a joint here in Point has been nominated for America's Best Restroom. Dumb Donald is unsober as he's been drinking Gluek Honey Bock all night and morning. He even came up with a new motto: "The Gluek you take is the love you make."

And let's not forget that the student TV station came to our room to do a little profile of us. We were forced to hide various and sundry substances lest they end up on tape and thusly on television. Kias wore his Moroccan Mole fez while Zeke told the guy that he removed genital warts for a living. For my part, I described all the wonderful flavors of pr0n that I view on the Net. So, in about 4 hours, all of Portage County can see us in all of our glory.
|| Palmer, 6:00 AM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

09 April, 2005

Scalp Tingling

Well, I think the truck driver pills are kicking in as my scalp is tingling. Around 5 tomorrow morning, the trivia folks are coming to interview us and they're bringing a video camera. For now, we'll watch the little hotties on TV manning the trivia central phones.
|| Palmer, 11:35 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
The Night Continues

I just took a few truck driver pills and now have coffee brewing...
|| Palmer, 11:11 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
Trivial

What a sad question. What is the favorite vegetable of most 15 month olds? The French fry. We're not kicking ass but I think we're still in the top half. The Brewers are getting their asses stomped by the Cubs. At least the beef jerky is nice and spicy.

...

Now they're expecting us to be eyeing up 16 year olds' butts. Stupid reality TV shows. "In Endurance 3, when they're building boats, what one word is on Nicole's shorts?" Ugh.
|| Palmer, 5:23 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

08 April, 2005

Refelctions of a Lousy Boyfriend

Whas up wit dat?! This is bullshit, I tell you! Porcupine Tree announced some West Coast tour dates yesterday. Not only that, but they also announced that Bob Fripp will be the opening act for a trio of those dates. While I'm not the biggest fan of Frippertronics on God's green earth, his appearance could lead to joining PT for a song or 2. I mean, he could set off a loop and then crank up his Gibson Les Paul for "Deadwing" or "Strip the Soul". I thought about this yesterday: I'd really love to hear "4 Chords That Made a Million". It's got a catchy geetar and that funky drum loop. It won't happen, but a dork can dream, can't he?

Tonight Christopher and I are going to see Tempest. We've got front row seats and I'm trying to save my voice so I can yell for "Nine Points of Roguery". I'm hoping that it'll be nice'n'loud cuz I want my ears to burst when Leif pulls out his double-neck electric mandolin and puts the hammer down on his fuzz pedal. I saw this morning that The Gourds will coming to town later this month - at the High Noon Saloon. That'll be cool. A buncha goddamn rednecks with their crazy folk-rock grooves. Plus I'd like to see Hanah Jon Taylor again. It's been a few years and I always got into the tunes with the oud or lyre or whatever the hell that thing is. Ooh! I see that Bill Maher will be in town come June. I'll have to grab me a ticket for that.

I went to see Sin City last night with The Dulcinea. The film was OK. While the cinematography and overall style was really cool, the characters and the story were mediocre. Kevin, as played by Elijah Wood, was the neatest of the bunch and he didn't have any dialogue. Most of the characters were just too familiar, too hackneyed. And the voiceover came across as a parody of Dashiell Hammett. I became suspicious when I saw that Quentin Tarentino was "Guest Director". What the fuck is that?! Then I saw Rutger Hauer's name in the credits. So maybe things would balance themselves. On top of Hauer, Powers Boothe's name also appeared. Unfortunately, they had supporting roles and precious little screen time. As I told The Dulcinea, the mise-en-scene was fascinating. But the story was boring and the characters didn't interest me. Oh, the sound was good, though. At first, I thought I was onto something. Some motif about the macho men having medical conditions - but it never went anywhere. I wouldn't be surprised if this and other details were more developed in the graphic novels but, in the film, they just felt like dangling details. It was a highly stylized gore fest. Still, it had its fun bits and the one character has red Chuck Taylors like me!

Seeing The Dulcinea again was nice. I'd been rather randy most of the day so the first thing I noticed about her were her breasts. Hey, she was wearing a new shirt that was tight and she has a nice pair and, well, I just couldn't help myself. We chatted during the pre-show crap and she shared her Raspberry Sour Altoids with me during the flick. I must admit that there were moments in which I really wanted to kiss her. Sitting there in our seats, our lips just a few inches apart. Yeah, the thought crossed my mind but I never acted on it. After the movie had finished, we stood out in the parking lot doing this strange pas de duex with each of us wanting to say something more than we were, each of us wanting to touch the other. Somehow. Physically and, perhaps, otherwise. I guess that I was contented with having seen her and not getting kicked in the cajones. It was odd because, having rediscovered a blog of hers earlier in the day, I went to our rendezvous actually having a lot to say to her. Not to say to her, but rather a lot that I wanted to discuss with her.

Intensify the world
Revolutions from within
Take everything in stride
The storied ghost you share

Reading her litany of complaints, I found that I knew them all by heart. Most of her accusations were true and ones with which I was very familiar. They were the ones that caromed inside my cranium for most of March. As I told her, I'm a terrible boyfriend. When things look like they're going alright, I just set myself on cruise control. But relationships are more like gardens than cars. A relationship needs nurturing. You must water it and make sure it gets enough sunlight. And there's always weed pulling to be done. I'm just too much like a dog. I'm all loyal and playful until something to the side catches my attention and then I'm off straining at my leash. Having a girlfriend is a very scary proposition for me. It means that I assume a role of responsibility for a womyn's happiness and her general welfare. That is a position that I should not be allowed to enter. It's like I have this natural aversion to having things demanded of me. It knocks equilibrium off. What ends up happening is that I devote time & attention to repairing the relationship and let everything else in my life slip. So I jump to the other end of the spectrum and devote my energy to these things only to find the relationship decline again. So I focus on it and get caught in this viscious circle.

There's not point in rambling on about this or that is her fault, blah blah blah. Somewhere along the way, we got into this circle and we never got out of it. I guess what I'd like her to know is that our breakup had nothing to do with her meeting my family or with her divorce becoming finalized. Unlike her, I like the freedom of not being beholden to others' desires. And I really didn't want to deal with her depression. So it can perhaps be rephrased to say that I like the freedom of not being beholden to others' desires and needs. I'm selfish. Which meant that I also did not want to assume a stepfather-esque role with her kids. Nothing against them, mind you, I just don't want any. I don't want to be a father nor a stepfather. At first I thought that I could be a friend to them but then it got to the point where I really didn't want to do so. At some point it just seemed like I was facing this wall of things that would make me beholden to others' desires and needs: a potential paternal role, a girlfriend who was depressed - I just felt like running away. I wanted a girlfriend who was able to go out and have fun and instead I was with someone who was, in certain ways, constrained. And I didn't want those constraints. When I realized this situation, my ability (desire?) to just do the normal things that boyfriends do dissipated as well. Add to this poor communication on both sides and, well, you know what happened.

I know I made the right decision last night. The tension between us was fun. I didn't feel like anything was expected of me. I was able to enjoy talking with her. And, gawk at her body, of course.
|| Palmer, 4:35 PM || link || (1) comments | links to this post

06 April, 2005

A Little Chai With Your Viking Cello?

Let me begin this entry with a tasty recipe. This for chai and was given to me by my favorite (practicing) barista.

Boil 1½ cubes of chopped ginger in 5 cups of water for 15 minutes

Add:
6 cloves
5 peppercorns
½ stick of cinnamon
8 cardamom pods

Boil all for at least 15 minutes – 30 is best

Take off heat. Add 2 heaping tablespoons of black tea. Steep.

Add: Brown sugar to taste & a pinch of saffron

Strain & add milk or cream to taste

I’ve tried this out and the result is mighty tasty. Unfortunately, it makes only a serving or 2 so my next project is to kick it up a notch and make more. I’m thinking a nice big cauldron would do the trick. That way I can stand over it muttering to myself:

Round about the cauldron go
In the ginger cubes throw.
Berries of peppercorn and clove
From the co-op a buck thirty-one
Stick of cinnamon I’ve got
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot
Fire burn and cauldron bubble!


Last night I attended a lecture by Jim Leary, a professor here at the UW, entitled "Lomax and Wisconsin". It was - how shall I say it? - really fucking cool! (I recorded it so, if I ever get into padcasting, perhaps I'll use it.) Lots of interesting and funny stories plus great music. Lomax only spent a day here in Cheeseland back in 1938 but spent a longer time in the UP. However, people from Wisconsin took the torch and did field recordings here. At one point, Lomax wrote his benefactors in Washington D.C. asking for more beer money. He went to various parties to record and barley pop quickly ate up his cash. Leary recounted growing up in Rice Lake (in northwestern Wisconsin) and all the various folks there playing there own music. He went on to describe an imaginary trek of Lomax's and what he would encounter. Chippewa Indians playing the fiddle, Norwegians with Viking cellos, and blue-faced drunken Finns singing songs trying to persuade lumberjacks to join the IWW. Probably the most contentious thing he said was that, if Lomax had recorded more in the Upper Midwest, then the hegemony of the South as American folk culture would never have been attained. I see where he's coming from but I still think the tendency to equate Southern folk culture with that of America as a whole is due in large part to rock'n'roll. Rock'n'roll would still have happened as it did in the 1950s even if Lomax had recorded extensively up here. Elvis Presley would still have had "Blue Moon of Kentucky" and "That's Alright Mama" on his first single. A bluegrass and a blues song. Southern musical styles. Would the 60s folk revival have been different had Lomax recorded more folk music up here? Possibly. Still, lots of folk/blues tunes that entered rock music were not recorded by Lomax. Take that Harry Smith compilation. Would the Chess Records phenomenon not have happened? I doubt it. I think the ascendance of Southern folk culture to great popularity has to do with popular music and rock'n'roll was destined to be a confluence of Southern cultures.
|| Palmer, 1:18 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

05 April, 2005

PT Setlist Ramblings

The news is in! Setlist for the first Porcupine Tree gig this year:

Deadwing
Sound Of Muzak
Lazarus
Halo
A Smart Kid
Hatesong
Shallow
Arriving Somewhere But Not Here
Fadeaway
Burning Sky
Glass Arm Shattering
Blackest Eyes
The Start Of Something Beautiful
Even Less

Encore:
Shesmovedon
Trains

Hopefully "A Smart Kid" will stay in the set. It's interesting that they're doing "Fadeaway-->Burning Sky". That should be neat as they didn't doing anything from Up the Downstair when I saw them previously. "Deadwing" was kind of a given as opener. "Hatesong" was fucking awesome at that gig, though. Who knows. This is from a UK show and I'm sure the setlist for US gigs will change at least a bit. Looking at another setlist, I see that "A Smart Kid" was dropped while "Glass Arm Shattering" was replaced by "Mellotron Scratch". Plus "Futile" and "Strip the Soul" appeared on the list itself but weren't played. Wait! "A Smart Kid" came back the next night! Plenty of time for "The Creator Has a Mastertape" to make in back into the set. Or "Gravity Eyelids". That was really fucking cool too with the psychedelic lights/projections and the roar of the Mellotron. OK, I need something to eat. Tomorrow, ramblings about work and the Lomax lecture.
|| Palmer, 9:53 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post