April 23rd, 2004

Five Songs

Catfish Vegas asked me a few weeks back to contribute to an ambitious project of his, for which he is collecting five favorite songs from everyone he can. I finally complied with the request:
Hi [NAME DELETED],

I've been agonizing. Here's my list, which has a definite Desert-Island-Disc aspect to it -- I thought of how the songs would work in relation to each other.

New Order, "Leave Me Alone" off _Power, Corruption & Lies_

Pavement, "Grounded" off _Wowee Zowee_

Buddy Holly, "Words of Love" off the greatest hits comp of your choice

Throwing Muses, "Hate My Way" off self-titled debut album

The Geto Boys, "Mind Playing Tricks on Me" off _We Can't Be Stopped_


Coming in just a little lower were songs by the Beach Boys, the Cure, Jimi Hendrix, Bruce Springsteen, and Prince.

Best,

Charlie, apologizing for the delay.
I realized the minute I hit send that I should have made a plea to couple "Mind Playing Tricks on Me" with Bushwick Bill's "Ever So Clear," because they comprise one experience in my mind. I usually have to listen to them back-to-back.

And then there's the matter of Prince. I feel that "Kiss" ranks right up there with "Good Vibrations" and "Eight Miles High" in the firmament of greatest singles ever. But I don't listen to it that much for some reason. I listen to "When You Were Mine" a lot more and probably like that song and "Pop Life" best from all the songs in his -- here you go, Steven -- oeuvre.

It's remarkable how powerful the compulsion to have a "representative" list or, better said, a list that represents you "best" is.

In the end, I made my extraordinarily painful decision from a list of about 20 songs that inevitably stop me in my tracks. That is, when I hear them, no matter the place, I have to tune everything else out.

Take the Geto Boys song. I don't listen to it out loud much anymore, because of the language problem -- Skylar picks up words so fast it's astonishing -- but I have on many occasions stood perfectly still trying to pick up the barely discernible words of the song from somewhere in the distance. And I'll even stop dead for the censored version of the song, because I can feel the other words underneath.

But it's definitely the case that I elevated the Geto Boys over songs I seek out more regularly in the interest of balance. The I'm-creating-a-syllabus mindset is hard to shake.
  • Current Music
    Grounded - Pavement - Wowee Zowee

Retroactive Auratic Experience

Well, since everyone keeps asking me about Ana Marie Cox, in light of Sunday's New York Times feature on Wonkette, I will spill the beans.

Yes, I did visit her in her apartment. But only once!

No, I never figured out how she got the scar.

Yes, I purchased a Silkworm album after she told me that Urban Outfitters was using Silkworm in its in-house magazine.

No, I never understood the East River Pipe fixation.

Yes, I started reading Beer Frame on her recommendation.

Beer Frame

No, I don't think she and Paul are still on good terms.

Yes, I wish she'd stayed in graduate school.

No, I'm not sad that Suck has departed the earth.

Yes, I was a little put off by her business wear and martini glass when I talked to her that time in the anteroom bar area of Bimbo's during the Noise Pop festival.

No, I don't have a thing for redheads. Or maybe I do, but not Ana's sort.

Yes, she always struck me as a psychologically damaged person.

No, I don't hold that against her.

Yes, this editor's column was co-written by the two of us. Could I have penned that bit about the gold watch?

No, I don't feel that she was particularly kind to us after departing the Bad Subjects fold.

Yes, we should be grateful to her for the transformation she wrought on both our design sensibility and our sense of ourselves.

No, I don't think she has room in her brain to remember that time in her life.

Yes, you may send this to her.

No, she won't write back.

Peace out.

  • Current Music
    Man In The Corner Shop - The Jam - All Mod Cons & Sound Affects (Gold Disc)

Picture of the Moment

I've redone my links to include one for the photo album in which the pictures taken by friends and family are archived. It includes two photos I uploaded but, for various reasons, never included in an entry. So I'm going to catch up with an exercise in contrast.

The first photo shows Skylar sleeping on her mom, during her first day in the world:

Skylar Sleeps On Mom:

The second dates from our vacation last month. A half hour earlier, Skylar had asked for a straw sun hat for sale in a shop full of curios and second-hand items. Seeing that it was a new hat, made in China, and selling for $16, we said, "No."

Skylar was annoyed at first, but we eventually got her to make a more practical purchasing decision. We walked back to the awesome Pannikin coffee house, so Kim could use the bathroom and order more stuff. Skylar and I waited outside. And the gears started turning. She began to talk about the hat, seeing whether a new strategy might soften our resistance. When it became apparent that I was not going to give in, Skylar began to show me some of the attitude for which she may one day be famous. This is the face of a fearsome intellectual adversary. Trust me.

Future Attitude

  • Current Music
    Boxcar - Jawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge Therapy

Situating Myself

Here's another picture from the Picture of the Moment archive that I have yet to include in an entry.

danlmarmot took it in January, when he, cpratt, and sinnabor -- who refers to my loss of karaoke virginity (to "Y.M.C.A.", remember!) in his account of Spring Thaw, which coincided with the EMP conference -- all stopped by my office for a brief visit. This is my reality.

CLB and Chris in ML 428

Believe it or not, I can actually identify a number of the books on the shelf in the background.

  • Current Music
    Die Interimsliebenden - Einstürzende Neubauten - Strategies Against Architecture III

So, So Strange

So I'm updating my LJ stuff and note that a few new people have added me as "Friends." I do what I always do, which is to check out their blogs. Most of the time, I add them to my own "Friends" list in the interest of reciprocity.

My first surprise today was juneyear. Judging by the people this person lists as friends, I must know her or him. But I don't have enough information to figure out who it is.

Then I visit sub__rosa's blog and realize A) it's this guy who asked me how to contact Brittany when I was at Club Congress a few months ago and B) he has, just today, written a long and stunningly accurate description of her, past and present.

I hope she gets things sorted out. The last few times I saw her were pretty worrisome. The transition from school to the "real world" is always difficult, but particularly when you are struggling with other difficulties that are deeper and more personal.
  • Current Music
    We're Unused - Quickspace - Everything Is Ending Here