Sunday, November 25, 2007

Psychedelic Horseshit - Magic Flowers Droned LP
Def Jam, Inc. book by Stacy Gueraseva
Beethoven - Piano Concerto No. 5 "Emperor Concerto" CD
Winnie-the-Pooh book by A.A. Milne
new Harper's Magazine

Still not completely sold on the Psych's good but not great, I like it but don't love it, etc. I am intrigued by it and want to give it more listens, but it's a pretty vicious drag through the mud. They're a song band, freewheeling existential noise-pop-something, their name is an exact description of what they sound like, and at album-length the "psychedelic" increases in duration and the "horseshit" becomes an entire messy stables, a physical space that the band and later the listener must navigate musically, an aesthetically Herculean labor, not necessarily in a bad way (i.e. instrumentally the band is very often amazing but the tunes aren't clicking with me as tunes like they did on the Who Let The Dogs Out 7-inch).... Picked up the Def Jam book on a whim at the weak branch library up the street. Not exactly great literature but it's fun to read with plenty of anecdotes, like the one about Rick Rubin getting kicked out of his NYU dorm for playing music too loud every night. At the residence hall hearing he argued, "I am a punk rock musician, and volume is integral to the music. To have punk rock without volume is to diminish its artistic value and merit. Therefore, volume is a necessary part of me doing my art." He also argued that by listening to his music, he was studying, just as other students were up late studying for law classes or whatever. They ended up letting him stay. Another memorable story is the time Slick Rick "walked into [the Def Jam office] and after being unable to get the staff's attention, took out a pistol and fired three shots into the ceiling, yelling 'Attention, peasants!'".... the kids love the Beethoven and improvise surprisingly intense and interpretive ballet-style dances to it. Shit, I love it too, probably because I'm a Dad. Instant fuddy-duddyhood.....speaking of which, the Pooh book involves reading the first two chapters out loud to L'il Phil. More kid stuff, but A.A. Milne was a genius. These books are hilarious, especially when Milne goes off describing Pooh's thought patterns, just goofy stuff like, "When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it"......always great to get the new Harper's in the mail. Now reading the intense lead article on the Iraq oil infrastructure. I've already been thinking of infrastructure collapse a little too much, not only the dams in New Orleans and the bridge in Minneapolis, but mainly watching the entire public transit system in Chicago slowly crumble over the last five years, along with hundreds of other examples that are much smaller but nonetheless evident on a daily basis, like having to walk or work or drive around a large, messy, and seemingly ill-advised construction project every day, or elevators in your building always being out of order, whatever. Anyway, it's a good article. And this might be considered a spoiler, but the last line of the always-classic back-page "FINDINGS" feature is a doozy: "All possible universes exist."

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