May 13th, 2004


The Believer runs a regular "Child" feature that describes, you guessed it, a child and her or his environment. It's interesting and a little unnerving. When I came to the "No Disney" quote in the current entry, Esmé, I cringed. But, then again, I put a ban on Barney when Skylar was very small. Let's hope that my wife spends enough time talking naked on the bed to dissuade her from running away with a woman on her ultimate frisbee team. It could happen. I must be vigilant.
  • Current Music
    Pendulum Music - Steve Reich - OHM: Early Gurus Of Electronic Music (Disc 2)

Down With Fundamentalism

While the BJP has softened a bit over the past two years, backing off from their apparent dedication to waging nuclear war with Pakistan, this is still some of the best political news in a long time.

For all its PRI-style lassitude over the past, what, thirty years, Congress still has a little aura left.

Personally, I'm just delighted to see a religious party lose out to a secular one.

Now if we could only pull off democratic elections here in the United States and achieve similar results, the world might seem less doomed.
  • Current Music
    Water instrumental - The Beach Boys - Smile outtakes

175 Words

After my music editor at Phoenix New Times Chris O'Connor -- to whom I remain extraordinarily grateful for prompt, practical input on my writing -- was let go, I wasn't sure I'd have the opportunity to do anything for the publication. Thankfully, I'm once again getting an opportunity, though features are out for the time being.

On my birthday they published a concert preview I wrote for the Einstürzende Neubauten show that tommix and I attended Sunday evening. Watching the concert -- more than worth the financial and fatigue expense of attending a Phoenix-are event -- I felt good about what I'd written, because it provided a context for appreciating the art-happy Germans as something other than Germanic extremity.

My music reviews for Phoenix New Times last year averaged about 400 words in length. Now, though, they are suppose to come in under 200. Today they published my first review in the abbreviated format. It's hard to say much in so little space. But apparently Robert Christgau is facing the same problems at the Village Voice -- a burgeoning advertising crisis at the free weeklies seems to be to blame -- so I won't complain. I really like the Tortoise record, BTW: I've often wanted to live in a glass house.
  • Current Music
    Crest - Tortoise - It's All Around You

Two for $10

The other day, after meeting my delicious wife for a delicious BLT at Beyond Bread, I stopped by CD City and spent an inordinate amount of time scanning through the bins in the back of the store that offer thousands of CDs at either two for $5 or two for $10. I didn't have the energy for the BTF CD grab box randomness of the former category, but spent a long time poring over the latter.

Apparently, distributors are now unloading so much of their back catalog that even future Hall of Fame bands like REM are popping up as cut-outs. I mean, Reveal makes sense. But Monster?

I resisted the urge to buy a second copy of favorite albums like Bettie Serveert's Palomine and Teenage Fanclub's Bandwagonesque. I noted that my dearly beloved Pavement has still managed to avoid the ignominy of the clearance item. And I laboriously narrowed down my many desired purchases to a finely honed couplet.

The first CD is a 1982 Tuxedo Moon compilation featuring Suite En Sous-Sol, Time To Lose, and Short Stories, purchased in honor of the delicious one telling me about the band in the first months of our relationship.

The second CD, currently playing in the other room, is the album Silur by the German -- and formerly East German -- band Tarwater. Several Tarwater songs are available on and have become staples of my mix CDs. Silur's "Watersample" -- you can download the MP3 legally here -- is a particular favorite. I never saw Tarwater in Tucson stores, however. So imagine my delight to get one of their records for $5!

Taken as a whole, the record is even better than the tracks I'd heard had led me to imagine. It's dreamy and edgy at the same time, with a "roll" that escapes most electronically inflected acts.

I couldn't be happier with my bargain birthday present to myself.

Anyway, you Tucson locals might want to overcaffeinate and head over to CD City -- Campbell, just north of Glenn -- to see what they have in stock. This Tucson Citizen story gives you the goods on CD City and other places to get bargains on clearance and/or closet-cleaning culture.
  • Current Music
    Tarwater's Silur in the living room