This Just In:

Books Responsible for Iraq War!

The other night I experienced something that can only be likened to accidentally knocking my uvula with a toothbrush. Or to put it another way, if I were posting this on undead Molly it would land squarely in the "vomit" category.

It all began innocently enough. I'm rocking the Man vs. Wild marathon when it cuts to commercials. Bear's just finished hollowing out and climbing into a dead camel (after drinking the contents of its auxiliary stomach, of course) and I need a little cuddle time with my two-year-old, Genevieve, to decompress after that intense display. With my attention directed away from the TV, I begin to hear a familiar series of plucked strings, and it takes me a second to get my bearings. Where have I heard that before? Why, it's the beginning of "Read, Eat, Sleep" by The Books! How exciting! What is this, a commercial for the Global Climate Coalition or something? Wait a second... Oh, please God, no! I am not seeing this! My eyeballs are melting! Onto the screen rolls the all-too-familiar metal monstrosity that so conveniently supports All That is Wrong With Our Country on a mere two axles and four oversized tires. The single most abhorrent status booster for those who are too pathetic/lazy/clueless to derive self-worth from actually doing something worthwhile. A mothereffing HUMMER. The Books. In a Hummer commercial.

So there you have it. I was speechless then, and to be honest, I still have no idea what the hell to say. I haven't felt this betrayed since my BFF, Todd, called one night to inform me that The Shins were playing house band for the Gilmore Girls. (No offense, Faith.) And let's face it, that's about 500 times less offensive than SELLING YOUR SONG TO MOTHEREFFING HUMMER. I just don't know anymore. Honestly, sometimes I feel like I've been drugged and whisked away to an alternate universe. Now, after some googling I realized that this commercial's been out for awhile, so I apologize if this is old news/bitching fodder for some of you. I just needed to vent somewhere, and where better than the hallowed pages of Highgate? Where, I ask you?



"Dear Santa."

What made me want to read this memoir written by the famous Victorian era mystic explorer Alexandra David-neel was when i read about the Tupla she created while in Tibet:

"The method involved was essentially intense concentration and visualization. David-Neel's tulpa began its existence as a plump, benign little monk, similar to Friar Tuck. It was at first entirely subjective, but gradually, with practice, she was able to visualize the tulpa out there, like an imaginary ghost flitting about the real world.

In time the vision grew in clarity and substance until it was indistinguishable from physical reality-a sort of self-induced hallucination. But the day came when the hallucination slipped from her conscious control. She discovered that the monk would appear from time to time when she had not willed it. Furthermore her friendly little figure was slimming down and taking on a distinctly sinister aspect.

Eventually her companions, who where unaware of the mental disciplines she was practicing, began to ask about the "stranger" who had turned up in their camp-a clear indication that a creature which was no more that solidified imagination had definite objective reality.

At this point, David-Neel decided things had gone too far and applied different lamaist techniques to reabsorb the creature into her own mind. The tulpa proved very unwillling to face destruction in this way so that the process took several weeks and left its creator exhausted."


Oh great Cthulhu, The Solstice is almost upon us, and i've been a very penitent servant this year, perhaps you will reward me with these lovely plush slippers in your likeness? |link|

Chuck Taylors, all black. Hi tops, This is what i wear, with double thick Wool insoles. I go through about a pair a year, give or take. Right now it looks like my current pair will last me till about March.... 16th. Give or take. But i need at least a month or two break in time.

I think i was one of the lucky few who A) have never watched twin peaks and B) haven't already had the ending ruined for them by some jerk. Regardless, i'm about half way through this nightmare inducing series and I'm getting the impression now that like life, this one's more about the ride than the destination. Regardless, each episode is leaving me unsettled, wide eyed, smirking and desperate for more.

Question: Did you know that Mr. Tojamura was really Catherine, cause it took me about 2 episodes to figure it out. I was really proud of myself when i did. |Link|

On Vinyl. Remastered? Please. I've got the rest of his albums on vinyl, well at least the ones i want, actually i need The Lodger, but that can wait. But that i don't have this perfect album, is unforgivable. |Link|

Anything and everything. Preferably double disc, collectors editions, box sets are nice - but why the hell don't they ever contain everything he's done, their's always something left out. When the cold nothingness of January and February roll around I'm desperately going to need his films to get me through. A long Wednesday night with one of those big bottles of wine and Barry Lyndon... yes please. |Link|


PJ II - Rude of Me

The oh-so-witty title for this post goes out to my girl Sue Westfield in Berlin. Schreien aus, hündin! And seriously, it was terribly rude of me to whet your appetite for some Philip Jeck and not come up with the tuneage. I’m sorry, OK? They hate me…They aaaaall haaate me! (Remember when Nels and Harriet Oleson adopted that freakish Nellie clone, Nancy, and she would play the marginalized orphan card and say this every time she was caught doing something manipulative and evil? (Like, say, tricking Willy into locking a classmate in the icebox overnight so she’d miss auditions for the lead in the school play?) That is how I say this--all defensive and quivery.)

I present to you a mix with some of Jeck’s better, but not necessarily best, material. “Why not the best, Josh? W…T…Frick!” you ask and assert. Well, guys, some of his best songs are ultra-long, so for variety’s sake, I went with all relatively short ones (which for him is anything under ten minutes). Get ready to become ob-freaking-sessed with “Pax.” - Josh.

The tracklist:

1) Above
2) Wholesome
3) Pax
4) Surf Finger
5) Wipe
6) Below
7) Lambing
8) Now You Can Let Go
9) Veil
10) I Just Wanted to Know



Too much Red Wine...

and sun dried tomatoes,
and heavy cream,
and Parmesan cheese,
And bursting yummy pomegranates
and crispy Pancetta, and butter paw licking JC
and fresh stuffed tortellini
and homemade Maple basalmic vinigarette
and happy house guests and pets.
and a Skillful chef
And Doctor Doolittle.
and fresh local nuts and vegies
and a lovely handmade dinner table
and did i mention the wine?

Oldham says: "Josh, you go ahead and eat, i'll handle this one


Top 41 things to do before taking a roadtrip across the United States.

About 4 years ago i moved to Olympia WA to get some schooling at the Evergreen State College, also just to get out of dodge for a while. A few days before leaving on Christmas morning, my friends threw me a going away party. Earlier that evening i was in serious packing mode, and had started a list on my PC containing what i needed to remember to do before leaving. I'd only written down 3 things before people started arriving.
At some point during the party - someone opened that list and throughout the night drunkards took turns adding list items; the results are what follow.

Might i also add, "good lord..." and that i have the bestest friends ever.

1. Get the truck tuned up
a. Pack clothes
b. Camera
c. Cell phone
2. Get food for trip
3. Sign up for classes
5. Throw a big party yeah!!!!!!
6. wake up with a tampon in my ass
7. eat out bob evans
8. pull at u.s. road atlas (cum receptacle)
9. find quickest route to graceland
10. pick the corn out of my poo
11. sigh with relief
12. call up my friend todd and tell him he is the hunkiest motha fucka this side of frankfurt
13. sleep with a homeless man
14. drive by aids clinic and flip them off
15. delouse
16. sigh with relief
17. get in car
18. drive with vengeance
19. call friend tyler and tell him he is the greatest speller, ever.
20. Live on a prayer
21. Bang girls to cover my homo-ness
22. fuck madonna
23. do coke while fucking madonna
24. let madonna blow line off of rock-hard penile
25. junk up madonna's butt
26. thank JB for the condoms
27. make madonna wear her bra UNDER her clothes
28. waaa waaa waaaaahhh\
29. dudes. dudes and booze.
30. pull over to nearest rest area and sleep off all the fucking
31. drive to bay area and visit all the rest areas
32. rest while some guy plays with your area
33. sigh with relief
34. pull into olympia with raging desire and sweaty palms
35. sigh with relief
36. if transcendance is a tool of the gifted, may Tanner combine the elements to hack through the mediocrity of American "values" and comb his hair...or blow dry, if you will...
37. blow coke off a stripper's tits
38. be like, "who the fuck wrote number 36?"
39. then be like "whoop there it is!"
40. ok, so it was that guy in the green shirt with the nose rings. (see # 38)
41. it's been awhile....remember that time we blew coke off the private pilot whale? It drew ambergris like nothing else, and let's perfume ourselves with bellyoils of magnificent animals


Gene Simmons, ladies and gentlerockers.

Rock and Roll (somewhat) elder statesman and budding intellectual Gene Simmons added his buck oh nine to the whole radiohead/NIN vs the industry vs music downloading debate in US magazine, stating:

"The record industry doesn't have a fucking clue how to make money," said Simmons venting his spleen on both band's recent decisions to make their albums available for download on a pay-what-you-like basis.

"I open a store and say 'Come on in and pay whatever you want.' Are you on fucking crack? Do you really believe that's a business model that works?"

also this:

"Every little college kid, every freshly-scrubbed little kid's face should have been sued off the face of the earth. They should have taken their houses and cars and nipped it right there in the beginning."

That's a hell of a way to treat your fan base Gene, i'm sure they'll appreciate the sentiment. After finishing the interview Gene then mounted his velociraptor and returned to the cave he's been living in since 1987.
In other Kiss related news. I'm working for them now. That's right, somehow i got wrangled into redesigning a Flash based pinball game based on their "Rock and Roll, over" album, for the official Kiss brand Coffeeshop. Apparently Gene realized that if you plan on alienating your fanbase, you'd better start looking into other avenues of profit.

In other news, i scrub and scrub, but I can't wash off the filth.



Hi, everybody! Well, I’ve decided to kick off the first of my rants by bringing your attention to one of my favorite artists, Philip Jeck. (My apologies to those who may already know and love him.) Before I start, though, I want to throw it out there that if you only have a few minutes in your day to hit the blogs, go to the awesome www.spittingoutteeth.com before you read my posts on Highgate. Jay is a local aficionado of the highest order, and we’re lucky to have his website as a source of information and entertainment. I look forward to reading his posts every day, and his quips and insights make my mundane workdays much more tolerable.

So, Philip Jeck. You may be wondering, “Just how much do you love Philip Jeck, Josh?” Let me put it like this, you guys: As you’ll be reminded over and over (and over) in future rants, Radiohead has always been and will always be the first among my many loves. Jeck is a close number two. So yeah, I frickin’ adore the guy.

Based in the UK and signed to Touch, Jeck is one of the main players in the fascinating genre of avant turntablism, and he shares virtually no common ground with a traditional DJ other than an affinity for crate digging. He salvages old, damaged turntables from junk shops, stocks his studio with obscure, scuffed-up vinyl, and squeezes out profoundly gorgeous, haunting, and occasionally disturbing noises using these components, as well as delay pedals, a minidisc player, and the odd keyboard. He spins his records simultaneously using anywhere from six to 80 turntables at a time, and allows serendipity (to a certain degree) to negate how the compositions emerge. The various scratches, skips, and pops of the weathered vinyl are vital ingredients to the overall sound, as they provide rhythm, depth, and momentum to the pieces. To quote one of Jeck’s contemporaries, Martin Tetreault, “Everything you don’t want to hear on a record, I’m interested in.”

Jeck isn’t the first to create transcendent noise using these methods. Others such as Chrisitan Marclay, Otomo Yoshihide, and Tetreault have employed similar techniques for years, and each has his own eccentricities to distinguish one from the other. I’ve checked out the works of these artists, and while everything I’ve heard is certainly striking, I find Jeck’s creations to be far more pleasurable. His particular breed of vinyl crackle, warped, narcotic loops, and ghostly voices that perpetually float in and out of the mix resonates with me like no other music does.

I don’t really want to delve into describing particular albums at this point, because that’ll come later when I introduce a list I’m currently putting the finishing touches on. In the meantime, if you’re interested in checking out some of Jeck’s stuff, I suggest you start with his two most current solo works, Stoke and 7, and if you’re looking for more, grab 1999’s Surf and 2001’s Vinyl Coda IV.

I’m thrilled to report that I will no longer be able to end with the final paragraph I’d initially written up, which is the following:

“According to some, his piece-de-resistance is Vinyl Coda I-III, but I can’t seem to find that sucker anywhere. If any of you more savvy hunters can figure out a way to locate it, you’ll have a friend for life. Actually, I’ll be your friend regardless, but this would definitely speed up the process!”

Best-wife-ever, Cheryl, read my post when it was still up on the computer screen, and without me knowing, went online, and within 45 minutes found and purchased Vinyl Coda I-III for me on Germany’s Amazon! Oh hell yes. There were four sellers, and thankfully one of them was willing to ship it to the U.S., so it should be showing up in the next few weeks. Hooray for me! (And hooray for you if you ask me nicely for a copy…)


associated link: Buddy Rich vs. Animal on Spanish Television. (Ed. - ok, so there's no association. but i mean, damn this is awesome. )

Take it from Riskay

Think of this as a public service announcement from the Hip Hop community and Highgate. Sort of like, "The Source presents: The More you Know (bout your boyfriend's dick)".

... Anyway - In the past Hip Hop and I have always had a love hate relationship, while i knew what i liked, and why i liked it, i couldn't categorically say whether or not said track was infact "good music".

I mean, i know it bumped in da' club and i truely felt it was a novel idea to put 'em on the glass. But would it stand the test of time? I couldn't tell. I still cannot tell... But not this time. This time, i'm certain i've found the holy grail, a perfect storm, if you will - of a timeless cautionary tale, and nuts rattling club thunder. Needless to say, I laughed, I cried, I skeeted, on the wall.
(Oh yeah, NSFW.)

Bonus white boy version.
Bonus Bonus: Remember your first time?


Take it from Josh

Highgate would like to introduce to you and welcome, one Mr. Josh LaClair, former Pure Popper, and current Franklin County resident, into the fold, as it were. You can expect semi-regular music reviews, mixtapes, and rants, and to start things off on the right foot Josh has compiled a dance mix for your headphones, as well as provided a track by track rundown so you can read while you listen. What more could you ask for on such a dreary Wednesday?

No, i don't sell weed.

Download it!

1) “Live at the Sahara Tahoe, 1973” - Farben

Farben is one of the aliases of Jan Jelinek, a microhouse juggernaut from Germany, and this remains his finest moment. The beat that courses through the track is remarkably complex, but not so much that it confines you to headphones on the couch. Jelinek has been sadly underappreciated for years, and if you’re feeling it, you’d do well to track down Texstar, which kicks off with this and has eight others almost as good.

2) “Phantom, Pt. 1” - Justice

I couldn’t possibly put together a dance mix and not include “Phantom,” the best song from my favorite album of 2007. While others like “Stress,” “Waters of Nazareth,” or “D.A.N.C.E.” (see Tanner’s mix) are probably more suitable, I completely lose it every time the brain-melting midsection segues into the song’s brutal climax. I almost asked JB to throw mattresses (mattri?) on the sidewalk, just in case anyone decided to catapult out the frickin’ window. I’m only half joking.

3) “Reverberation” - 13th Floor Elevators

Mama always said, “Josh, a dance party just isn’t a dance party without the electric jug.” Yes, ma’am. (It’s best not to argue with a former nun.)

4) “Go Check” - Ms. John Soda

While Morr Music’s usually noted for its breed of gorgeous electropop lullabies, Ms. John Soda didn’t seem too concerned with these constraints. This one’s a flat-out scorcher compared to anything on The Notwist’s Neon Golden, with crisp, treated guitars, bongos, and tambourines. And that refrain

5) “Everday” - The Field

Another one of my favorites from this year. The first half sounds like a saunter through the slot machine section of Mohegan Sun under the influence, and just when you think it can’t possibly sound any more crazysexycool, it blows wide open at the 2:38 mark. Absolutely majestic.

6) “24 Track Loop” - This Heat

Many consider this song to be the birthplace of jungle, and given that This Heat unleashed it in ’78, it really does sound about 20 years ahead of the game. Really, only about half of it is danceable, but it just felt so naughty to toss a cut from This Heat into the mix. Hey, just be thankful the Excepter track I was planning on got nixed at the last minute.

7) “Enrico” - Isolée

It was rough trying to choose a track from Wearemonster because, really, the whole thing’s so consistently awesome and danceable. I’ve found in situations like these, however, it’s best for everyone to just go with the one sporting the tripped-out staccato vocals. So that is what I did. You’re welcome.

8) “Caramel” - Cluster

It’s funny how so much of today’s IDM can be traced back to Cluster’s indisputable masterpiece, Zuckerzeit, and yet this is one of two songs on the album that’s even remotely danceable. Even if you’ve never had the pleasure of hearing these guys, the guitar sounds should sound vaguely familiar (cough-cough, Another Green World, cough-cough, Berlin-era Bowie), and yeah, you can wobble to it.

9) “La Rock 01” - Vitalic

This is another one that could conceivably send partygoers through the window. I’ve rocked this one on many occasions in the past couple of years, and like “My Friend Dario,” it places my jaw squarely on the ground every time. Ooh, fun-little-side-story time! During a cross country trip in the summer of 2005, my wife, daughter, friends and I spent the night in a sketchy mill town in the middle of Wyoming. I thought it might enjoyable to blare OK Cowboy through the downtown area and study the locals’ habits. After about the third spin through, shaking fists and expletives provided a clear indication that we were no longer welcome in that settlement. This really was quite a shame, because their McDonald’s had the best Big Macs I’ve ever tasted--so fresh, and I think they put a little extra salt on them or something. Anyway…

10) Government Center” - Modern Lovers

“We gotta rock-a rock-a rock-a nonstop tonight, uh huh, at the Government Center!” JB used to be a contractor for The Man, and I currently work for The Man at the esteemed Vermont Service Center in St. Albans, so this doubles as a party pleaser and homage of sorts. And yes, I realize Richman isn’t alluding to that government center, but both our little hearts just go pitter-patter, pitter-patter every time the word is even mentioned. Right, JB?

11) “Music to Interrogate By” – Jan Jelinek Avec Les Exposures

Ah, more Jelinek! I chose this one because it displays his adeptness at burying what’s typically way out front and allowing tiny clicks and scrapes to dominate the mix. It’s initially a little disorienting, but that’s what makes his sound so distinctive. I’d be surprised if after hearing this and the Farben track, you aren’t scrambling to locate his entire back catalog. If this is the case, his other moniker is Gramm. Start with Texstar, and then go for loop-finding-jazz-records (released under Jan Jelinek), Texstar’s impeccably serene counterpart.

12) “Shiny Metal Rods” - Aphex Twin

I’ve always found it interesting that this fits so perfectly amidst the otherwise placid tracks on Selected Ambient Works, Volume II. With a layer cake of static and distortion that slice through the air and intensify with each passing loop, it might sound better in a spooky abandoned warehouse than at 12 Clarke Street. I figure it’s close enough to the Old North End, though…

13) “Hendrix With Ko” - Manitoba/Caribou

Honestly, has there ever been a more perfect amalgam of all that was right with late-‘60s psychedelia? Colossal drum breaks, Koushik’s breezy vocals, perfectly nuanced instruments drenched in reverb, handclaps, and an air unrestrained exuberance all swirling around, pounding on every happy button I have. Like, wow.

14) “Internal Wrangler” – Clinic

Nothin’ like a little deranged surf-rock stuffed with sinister vocals about “sunny weather” and “filth machines” to keep the party going. Internal Wrangler was busted out for many of the impromptu two-person dance parties at my friend Melissa’s old apartment. The title track was always the highlight for me, not necessarily because it’s the most upbeat, but because it sounds curiously like bubbles circa Super Mario Brothers, World 2-2. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I chose this with the sincere hope that I could get a roomful of hipsters pretending to swim away from jellyfish. That’d be a good thing. Yeah, that’d be a real good thing.

15) “Baby Interphase” - Biosphere

Norwegian electronica guru Geir Jenssen has spent much of his 15-year career conjuring images of the frozen tundras and eerie isolation of his homeland in the Arctic Circle. Many don’t realize, however, that he started out by creating killer ambient house tracks, most notably on 1992’s Microgravity. This song has a menacing undercurrent with a sci-fi vibe, and I figured it’d be a nice follow-up to the equally creepy “Internal Wrangler.”

16) “Green Cosmos” - Deerhoof

Bongo drums + synth-organ stabs + music box melody + junkyard percussion + funky-ass guitar + Satomi = Wheeeeeee!

17) “Hold On, Baby” - Ike and Tina Turner

I love Phil Spector’s production on this, and given that Tina’s practically begging you to shout “You…know…they’re trying to tear us apart, you know they’re trying to break our hearts!” along with her, I thought it was a mighty fun way to end the mix.


Jennie Moore

As my more regular readers know, I've been steadily publishing the daily entries from an old leather bound journal of one Ms. Jennie Moore. What i know of her, is very little - only what I've read in this Journal and that she must be related to me, perhaps distantly. My middle name is Moore, given to me me by i believe my great grandfather Charles Moore - but the fact that i have her diary, and share a common name, could still be coincidence.

While transcribing Jennie's journal entries I've also been scouring them for clues, dates, names locations; hoping at some point she'd drop a name or a date that i could use to sort of triangulate her in space and time. I hadn't turned up anything useful, until i read today's entries.

Jennie mentioned that her birthday was today, March 4th, and that she was 38, putting her birthday at March 4th 1894. Now i had a name, and a birthday. I went searching through google, trying all sorts of combinations till i came across this page, a listing of the genealogy of one Oswegatchie Family. I'd never heard that name once before, i was a bit incredulous - I searched the page for Jennie Moore, and found one. Still, i wasn't certain - Moore is a fairly common name, and as Jenny J. will tell you, Jennie, or Jenny, or Jennifer, is as common as dirt. But then i saw this:

Then I remembered the inscription on the first page: "Merry Christmas, from John + Chas Dec 25, 1931." It must be her... but there was one problem, it lists her birthday not as 1894 as i'd calculated, but rather as 1892... Could it be that like so many people now and even then, she was hiding her age? I'd like to think that, after reading the last 3 months of journal entries i know a little bit about this woman, but to be honest, i don't know anything - i was rather surprised actually, when i found out that she was a middle aged woman, for some strange reason, she felt like a young lady, a twenty something... with her crush on Arthur ("Art came around this evening..."), love of romantic films, and seemingly adolescent melancholy.

Actually all those things considered, she does strike me as a lady that'd be perpetually 38. Perhaps that's what the ironic quotations were around the number... Or perhaps I've got the wrong gal, perhaps old man time isn't ready to give up the ghost, so to speak - and the search goes on.

You know.... I'd like to think this is her; she seems lovely to me - She seems to fit in my mind - though she is older than i imagined, and the lady in the picture seems to be around that same age, perhaps, 5-7 years younger, i feel like i can see that same girlishness that i read about, in her eyes, in her face - perhaps it was that same child-like spirit that kept her alive all the way up til 1981, almost 90 years, and interestingly enough, the same year i was born.


Righteous Noise

I tend not to post about upcoming shows of musicians i like - not that there's anything wrong with that, but i guess - it's just not what Highgate is all about. What Highgate is about namely, is shameless self promotion via irreverent irrelevant nonsense. I digest digress. But tomorrow night is yet another chance to get out and see two bands that are doing what no one else in Burlington seem capable of; (besides you Greg.... of course....) pushing the envelop. (clever triple entendre.)

Oak and A Snake in the Garden; not to mention special guests all the way from France, (and Maine.) Nozal Cube and ID M THEFT ABLE. |details|

So get out there; smuggle in some whiskey to keep warm and freak out. I'm gonna be there; hopefully. I have an important meeting with my little sister regarding our impending escape to the Andes Mountains. More on that later.


Last weekend Tanner and I went to see The Darjeeling Limited. Let me first say, that although this gal considers herself a loyal Wes Anderson fan, I admit to being pretty darn disappointed with The Life Aquatic. So much so that sitting there in the theatre, waiting for the lights to dim, munching excitedly on a melted twix and buttered popcorn, was making me downright nervous. What if he's just a three hit wonder? What if that signature formula is nothing more than a series of pretty songs and uniform outfits? I thought, can someone, even someone as talented as Mr. Anderson, top a film as painstakingly perfect as The Royal Tenenbaums?

Well maybe he didn't top it, but he sure as heck is back in the ballpark. The Darjeeling Limited is a beautiful film Wes Anderson. Simply put sir, a beautiful film. And part of what makes it so beautiful (outside of Robert Yeoman's brilliant cinematography) is it's ability to exist within Anderson's established world, while creating a palpable environment all its own. An environment that's not afraid to be more spiritual and exploratory than its siblings, without shying from the subtlety and tenderness we've all come to expect from Anderson's films.

This is the story of three brothers Francis (Owen Wilson), Peter (Adrian Brody), and Jack (Jason Schwartzman) who, at Francis' insistence, meet on the the Darjeeling Limited, to travel across India, gain some enlightenment, and reconnect with eachother. The acting is excellent all around, with my favorite performance award going to Adrian Brody. Don't get me wrong, some of that has to do with his scrumptious bone structure and height (what a dish!) but each main actor, Wilson, Schwartzman, and Brody, perfectly embody their roles. This enables Anderson's inumerable nuances about familial relationships to shine through in their delicate, however obvious manner. thanks to the clever writing team of Anderson, Schwartzman, and CQ directing-Sofia brothering Roman Coppola, The Darjeeling Limited is also a bit of a hoot! Not only is the delicious deadpan of Bottle Rocket and Rushmore played in spades, Anderson throws in unexpected sight gags. Somehow, in his way, Wes has borrowed from Buster Keaton and Groucho Marx which not only works, but tickles me pink! Like any successful comedy however, this film very deftly tows the tenuous line between comic and tragic, giving it the type of depth that makes you want to watch it again and again.

Why is this film not as spectacular as The Royal Tenenbaums despite my paragraph plus of praise? Well, the pace for one. While it's fitting for the type of road story that Anderson is telling, there an almost nagging sensation of where are we heading? Take that as you will, good or bad. Personally I was eager to learn about these characters and rarely caught myself saying, ok, where is this going. I also believe this film is slightly less cohesive than its more successful predecessors. This Darjeeling relies just a little too heavily on the Anderson formula to stand as tall and proud on its own as i might like it to.

Go see this movie. It's not often these days that Hollywood makes films with as much thought, intelligence, and downright tender loving care put into each frame, each line, each costume detail. and even if this movie doesn't quite meet all the expectations of Anderson's fans, look at what we're comparing it to. One of the best films of the last century? For every Taxi Driver there is a Raging Bull, every Annie Hall a Manhattan, exceptional films with great follow-ups. The Darjeeling Limited is a great film, but perhaps not Anderson's best. my dearest hope is that it's still to come.



Quietism is the attitude of people who say, “let others do what I cannot do.” The doctrine I am presenting before you is precisely the opposite of this, since it declares that there is no reality except in action. It goes further, indeed, and adds, “Man is nothing else but what he purposes, he exists only in so far as he realises himself, he is therefore nothing else but the sum of his actions, nothing else but what his life is.” Hence we can well understand why some people are horrified by our teaching. For many have but one resource to sustain them in their misery, and that is to think, “Circumstances have been against me, I was worthy to be something much better than I have been. I admit I have never had a great love or a great friendship; but that is because I never met a man or a woman who were worthy of it; if I have not written any very good books, it is because I had not the leisure to do so; or, if I have had no children to whom I could devote myself it is because I did not find the man I could have lived with. So there remains within me a wide range of abilities, inclinations and potentialities, unused but perfectly viable, which endow me with a worthiness that could never be inferred from the mere history of my actions.” But in reality and for the existentialist, there is no love apart from the deeds of love; no potentiality of love other than that which is manifested in loving; there is no genius other than that which is expressed in works of art. The genius of Proust is the totality of the works of Proust; the genius of Racine is the series of his tragedies, outside of which there is nothing. Why should we attribute to Racine the capacity to write yet another tragedy when that is precisely what he did not write? In life, a man commits himself, draws his own portrait and there is nothing but that portrait. No doubt this thought may seem comfortless to one who has not made a success of his life. On the other hand, it puts everyone in a position to understand that reality alone is reliable; that dreams, expectations and hopes serve to define a man only as deceptive dreams, abortive hopes, expectations unfulfilled; that is to say, they define him negatively, not positively. Nevertheless, when one says, “You are nothing else but what you live,” it does not imply that an artist is to be judged solely by his works of art, for a thousand other things contribute no less to his definition as a man. What we mean to say is that a man is no other than a series of undertakings, that he is the sum, the organisation, the set of relations that constitute these undertakings. |The Rest|

-Jean Paul Sartre,
excerpted from a lecture given 1946


Welcome to my latest Mixtape, The Season is Doomed - just in time for the funeral procession that is late Autumn. I got the idea to do an "end of season" mixtape while i was walking around in this pine forest out behind my grandparent's house this past weekend. As i remember the forest as kid, it was dark and impenetrable due to the many pine saplings and dense brambles that covered every inch of ground. Now the ground is bare, and the trees have thinned themselves out. I used to think these woods were haunted, now they just seemed a little sad, maybe a little forgotten about.

As in the woods, another season is on it's way out, just in time for the next.

Track Listing: Sleeping Village - Black Sabbath, Tio Minuter - Parson Sound, Witchcraft - Witchcraft, Fukeiga - Ghost, Journey - Pharaoh overlord, Villages - Hala Strana, I Tried to Leave You - Steven R. Smith, Inside the Keeper's Pantry - Bill Fay, Trilogie Femme - Sebastian Tellier, I'm Your Man - Leonard Cohen, Thelma - Oak, The Captain - The Knife, Hankey Panky Nohow - John Cale, Kristallen Den Fina - Harvester, Eye-Shaking King - Amon Duul 2, Long, Long, Long - The Beatles



I'm Disgusting...

This came out of my right ear last night. As i fired a jet of warm water into my ear it came hurling out onto the sink basin along with a sensation i can only describe as surfacing from underwater. My right ear could breath again! As i looked down at what my head had birthed my elation quickly turned into muted horror, and then just ask quickly into fascination... I was transfixed!
It was a perfect mold of my inner-ear, all rusty and spongy, something that would give Cronenberg reason to pause and reflect. I called Jenny in to see - i needed a witness. Strangely enough she wasn't as thrilled as i was, probably because she'd just finished cleaning the sink. But i suspected she was jealous.

There was more, bits and pieces flushed out all over the place, I'd been working on this particular ear for a couple days - letting a combination of hydrogen peroxide and this oily over the counter stuff eat away at what must easily have been an 8 year collection of wax and dirt. When it was in my ear i could hear it on the inside of my skull pecking away at it, like a bowl of rice krispies in my brain.

Tonight, i attack the left ear.


Stylus goes Oink.

Like most of us I'm a regular reader of umpteen music blogs, review sites, and rss feeds - especially now that i don't work a record store that gives me access to new music readily. (*cough* bit torrent *cough*) If i'm going to keep up on what's going on and satisfy my twin desires, riding that serpentine wave of culture and feeding my ear and eye holes with tasty treats, i have to devote a least a couple solid work hours a day to this pursuit. Usually it's between 9:30 and noon.

Recently - it's came to my attention that the Illuminati of the music sharing world "Oink" has been taken down - i was never invited inside the digitial fold. [hangs head, dejected] but i know people who were; apparently it was amazing, high quality MP3s non-transcoded or FLAC loss-less copies of the greatest and often rarest albums you'd never heard about torrents heavily seeded and available containing proper tracklistings and album artwork... i often imagine heaven this way... being the web sleuth i am, i occasionally got my hands on some of these torrents second hand. I'd copy the containing folder to my desktop - caress it with my mouse pointer, ever so gently before importing them into itunes...

Where was I! Ah yeah... Oink. So Oink is gone now, but i'm sure another oddly titled underground will be popping back up soon enough; you can't keep a good idea down. And Oink was the best. Or as Demonbaby put it in his long but well states rant:

Oink was not only an absolute paradise for music fans, but it was unquestionably the most complete and most efficient music distribution model the world has ever known. I say that safely without exaggeration. It was like the world's largest music store, whose vastly superior selection and distribution was entirely stocked, supplied, organized, and expanded upon by its own consumers. If the music industry had found a way to capitalize on the power, devotion, and innovation of its own fans the way Oink did, it would be thriving right now instead of withering. If intellectual property laws didn't make Oink illegal, the site's creator would be the new Steve Jobs right now. He would have revolutionized music distribution. Instead, he's a criminal, simply for finding the best way to fill rising consumer demand. I would have gladly paid a large monthly fee for a legal service as good as Oink - but none existed, because the music industry could never set aside their own greed and corporate bullshit to make it happen. |The Rest|

Now Stylus is shutting down, not because they're breaking any copy write laws, or because they're just to hip to be marketable... actually pretty much the opposite. As far as i can tell; they were sort of the Rolling stone to Pitchfork's Mojo... hmm. yeah, that sounds ok. Lets go with that. (Coke Machine Glow can be Spin. Dusted is Wire...) That meaning, kind of dorky, kind of mainstream, a little too diffuse to really hone in and be indepth of any one thing, they covered film, music, books - I think they started out focusing mainly on pop and dance, but as they grew ended up reaching into new areas, some they probably shouldn't have like a beginners guide to "Metal" (or here) which, i enjoyed, but i suspect no actual metalhead would ever endorse. And some that were out and out fantastic. (or here)

So why do i care? They had some great movie reviews - (i'm in almost perfect agreement with their most recent best of the new millennium list) and i enjoyed their site design, very clean and loaded with content. Occasionally they'd offer a review or an opinion that wasn't being passed around the circle jerk of the various music mags. They had some fun lists, and basically covered that Grey area between MTV and Pitchfork (That area is narrowing and becoming a sort of beige color as i type.) That i tend not to travel in, but regardless still have interest in... why? I dont know. Why do i read Wikipedia for 2 hours a day. Did you know that Martin Luther attended a trial entitled "The Diet of Worms"? a Diet being a sort of tribunal, and Worms being the town they were in... how cool is that?!