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5/23/2003

For anyone interested in reading more about Otomo Yoshihide's show the other night, I've got a review up in my column this week. (Though I'm not sure why I'm bothering to link it, since if you're reading this you probably already know my column; for the moment, this blog is kind of like that "you've reached the end of the internet" joke pages that used to be funny, back when people weren't sure if the internet maybe really did have finite reach. Which is to say, ain't bloody likely anyone is going to start here. Whatever, links are fun.)
Tigerbeat6 reinvents themselves once again. Nudge's Elaborate Devices for Filtering Crisis comes across like a dinner party heard through the walls, with the stereo on low, the wine glasses humming, the guests alternately jitterbugging and fretting over politics. There are scraps of Burnt Friedman washed down with gulps of Laub, and more Portlanders than you can shake an umbrella at seem to be sitting 'round the table. It's impossible to take your ear from the wall -- and impossible to shake that sense that mere feet away someone's living a richer life than you.

5/22/2003

Otomo Yoshihide played a slow explosion of a set last night at Naut Humon's Compound, down in Hunter's Point. More to come on that, but for now one detail stands out. A lone moth, hardly bigger than a housefly, spent the evening fluttering up into one of Otomo's desk lamps, and then falling back to lie on one of the unused records scattered around the turntables, a smoggy white figure against glistening black plastic. While Otomo bashed away, altering his prepared turntables mid song (if "preparing" is something you do in advance, perhaps he could be said to be "paring"?), playing film reels and drum cymbals instead of records, lifting the decks to allow the needle to stumble downhill, and finally piling the decks high with cymbals and detritus and pressing all his weight against them, summoning vast, squealing blasts of feedback, the poor moth kept up his futile lunar quest, fluttering and falling: instinct amidst the apocalypse. Such determination!

5/21/2003

Invisible Ditties:an occasional feature highlighting bands so absurd that if they didn't exist, someone would have to invent them. And so I did.

Philip K. Dickens: a midwestern emo band given to Victorian costumes and lyrics about cloning, identity theft, and pre-crime. Their lineup includes cello, theremin, and stovepipe.

5/20/2003

Understatement of the Week

ABC Public Relations notes that Gene Loves Jezebel's forthcoming comeback album "Exploding Girls is an album that raises some serious questions."

Indeed. For instance - and if you're reading this, the thought must already have occurred to you - who the hell decided that the world needed another Gene Loves Jezebel record?

5/19/2003

New genre alert! Over on I Love Music, in a thread on the new Luomo album, Tim Finney has just coined the term of the year, as far as I'm concerned. Identifying "a shift within the broader microhouse scene towards a conscious, dance-oriented version of New Pop" (think Coloma, Digital Disco, Borneo & Sporenburg, in fact most of the Italic catalog), he calls this new tendency -

neuromanticism!
It is a perfect summer day in San Francisco -- in fact, it's not an overstatement to note that this is the first perfect day of 2003. Not that that doesn't carry its own particular kind of melancholy: the tank-topped, skirted women in my neighborhood walk uphill, pushing determinedly into the sun, looking straight ahead of them, unblinking, unsmiling, on the way home from their marketing jobs, clutching demure handbags, slim notebooks holding collateral, action items, PowerPoint printouts. Their summery outfits seem like meterological footnotes, worn with no indication of the joys of bare flesh or sun-lit skin. Cold, asexual San Francisco is a no-nonsense town, all business these days, and it seems undeserving of both this almost extravagant sun and also the dramatic, Gothic fog for which it's better known.

I am the only person eating in the neighborhood burrito restaurant, a sunny, red-and-blue room that's usually overflowing with diners popped fresh from the 24th Street BART station. How is it that I'm the only person here? Does every single resident of San Francisco have a deck that they've suddenly remembered? Is there an enormous BBQ going on at Dolores Park that I don't know about? Strange how even the "best" weather can leave one out in the cold, as it were. I eat my burrito while reading Adam Gopnik's Paris to the Moon and then trudge home, squinting into the explosion of light above Twin Peaks.

This is my last week in San Francisco - for a time, anyway - but my numbered days have so far failed to make an impact on me. There is Soutro Tower, and here am I, homing in on it as I climb the hill; ever it has been and ever it shall be.
a new day, a new name. only two posts in over at decaydecor.blogspot.com i've decided to change identities. stay tuned.

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