Sunday, September 28, 2008


So the My Bloody Valentine show last night was kind of a stunner. I think I wanted to go in part out of a sense of obligation--I don't think there is any record I have listened to more in my life than their Loveless, and Isn't Anything is close behind. But a big part of me assumed that the live experience wouldn't quite be able to translate the feelings that I associate with the recorded version-- that was the whole reason they try to be the loudest band, right? To make up for their inability to recreate the album? That's what I thought, anyway.

It was the loudest thing I have ever heard. Ridiculously, I skipped the ear plugs until the finale of "You Made Me Realize." I tried them, but it made the sound to muddy. I mean, if Kevin Shields wanted it to be that loud, who was I to try to counteract his vision by wearing ear-condoms? My ears don't ring at all today, though, which is kind of a surprise.

And I decided not to wear my lawn-mowing ear protectors, too. And I'm glad, because I saw one other guy wearing them, and it would have been awkward.

But the music was just so, well, awesome. I think the entire Aragon Ballroom was in awe of what we were seeing after 16 years of waiting. You could really feel that.

Here's Youtube from last night of one of songs I especially dug.

And Nathan--no sale. By the time we got there, the street was swarming with scalpers asking for only $10--and there were no takers I could see. Sorry!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Last fm correction

Because Last fm does not track what I listen to in my car, I feel the need to post a correction to the data it compiles there. For the record, I have played AC's song "Frightened" exactly 3,000 times on my way to and from work this week. I don't even live that far from school--I just turn into subdivisions and drive around and around, pressing repeat on the stereo.

And I also need to say, as far as my "mental" Last fm goes, that I have thought about MBV's song "Only Shallow" about the same number of times while doing dishes this week. I have heard the song so many times, it is built into my muscle memory or something now, just like my golf swing, because I have listened to it so many times since that album came out like 17 years ago or so. I don't know what I'm going to do when I see it played when I see them this weekend. Probably look around at all the kindred souls as we get misty-eyed.

But really, for real, the song on my mind for real this week is this version of "Alysoun," or "Alisoun," depending on which Middle English minstrel you ask. Too beautiful. Have had two different students sing striking versions of it, too. I really need to get one of those flip cameras to record moments like that.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Best in Show and Tell

This here is Sarah Jane reading from the journal she kept in, I think, 5th grade, and it was the funniest thing, the perfect example of why journals must be compiled and then kept, no matter how banal they may seem to us at the time. The best part for me when hearing this was how easily Sarah Jane slipped back into the voice of her ten year old self.

This was all part of our first Show & Tell club, which is a kind of side-project or offspring of a book club we started a year ago, and I think it is going to continue for a bit. The book club still exists, but it's now more of a "this is what I read and liked in the last month or two" club on alternate months, and with the initial success of this new gathering, we'll have to see what happens. Maybe we'll start a recess club to take its place on the off months.
Here I am flipping through a darkly funny flip book made by Marie, whom I just met that day. I think most people left that day thinking "I want to make one of those things that [insert name] did." That's how I felt, anyway.

Cath and I had initial plans to do a cover version of Animal Collective's unreleased song "House," until we realized that we were bad. We had no problem embarassing ourselves--we just didn't want to embarass anyone trying to watch us. It was a lot of fun rehearsing, though. I love that song. And I learned how to use this cool free download music program to make some background for it. Mason, if you read this, I totally want a Fruity Loops tutorial some time.
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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Scraper Bike

Hilarious. There might be some bad language in this, but the parts I could make out sounded innocuous enough. The wife: "They have a great sound. Some producer is going to see that and think they could be a pretty good rap band."

As heard on NPR.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Last Day at Markle Pool

The Flop

The kid regretted it. A belly flop from the 8'3" board. And he jumped, too, so it was even higher than that, probably. The seen-it-all lifeguard and the swimmers waiting in line up on the cliff all heard the smack and we all winced in unison.

But that's part of the greatness of the Markle pool: that element of danger. The diving boards are tall, the 30' slide has almost no sides to it, and the lifeguards have this way of tacit encouragement to anyone willing to take a risk.

Click on this shot to get a better look and notice the guy going off the same board--he's in the middle of a weird kind of flipping dive he seemed to have patented. He landed feet first, but in this picture you can see him caught in an upside-down Christ figure pose right before he flipped back over and hit the water.

Me, I just jumped. Pointed my toes a little and it always feels like such a long fall. Then it feels like you are so deep, like 20, thirty feet, but it's probably only 8 or so. I held my breath and tried to swim as far as I could underwater and I couldn't see (or wouldn't look at--I don't remember) the bottom. It's so nice and I wish I were there right now, but it's closed for the year.
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Saturday, September 06, 2008

Ligonier Marshmallow Fest

So you tell the kids that you're going to the Ligonier Marshmallow Fest and because they are too young to recognize the absurdity of it, they say "okay" and climb into their car seats. And so you say "okay" and climb into your grown-up seats and drive some part of an hour to stand in the sun and compare this small town fair to all the others you have been to.
And this one was sad, just how I like them. Hopeful, mostly vacant streets. The carnies too hot to bother you much. They let the kids cheat. The kids climb over the rail and knock down the targets with their fists, choose their crap, and leave.

This guy's van was parked next to about a hundred fancy antique hot rods. At first I assumed it was for sale, but now I think the sign was just for laffs.
It is not often you see a tent at a town fair selling--what are these, exactly? Under or outer wear? I was afraid to ask.

Slush/ No Slush
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