Monday, 31 March 2008

Real Emotional Trash - Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks

Is there anybody (with good taste) out there who hasn't yet stumbled across the Album of the Year thus far? Well consider yourself informed - Real Emotional Trash is it. I haven't really followed Malkmus' post-Pavement career, and although I liked Pavement I also never got really into them as a band. But I'm seriously in love with Real Emotional Trash. Thankfully, it's about alot more than Malkmus' unique and infectious vocals and lyrics - this is an epic and legendary album, and one that rewards repeated listening. Indeed, like many of my favourite all-time albums, I wasn't overly impressed on the first spin - I had an inkling of it, but it wasn't until a few end-to-end sessions that I really felt it properly.

It's getting rarer and rarer these days to here albums that stand alone as a unit, and that need to be treated as a whole rather than a series of "hits" and "B-sides". This is a return to the album as an art-form.

I've never been very good at describing music, which makes me very bad at reviews and even worse at pigeon-holing into genres. The Rolling Stone's review seems to be more than a little over the top, but here's some of the description used there, to give you an idea:
  • a fantastic psychedelic feast, full of cosmic guitar crackle and electric piano and batshit poetry
  • a full-body baptism in John Cipollina's bong water
  • "Elmo Delmo" fuses the Grateful Dead's "Cryptical Envelopment" with Sonic Youth's "Karen Koltrane."
I'm not sure if I agree with all that, but I can say for sure that this album is definitely worth checking out.

love,
monuments.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

of course i don't believe in horoscopes! however...

Scorpio

As a Scorpio, you may have been told quite a few times not to get so emotional. This week, however, it is time to be sensitive -- in a good way. Nurture your emotional needs and you won't go wrong.

JESUS CHRIST! Well I think it's very appropriate, although it might be a bit hard to drop my current harder exterior this week in order to be more sensitive. And what does in a good way mean? Hmmm! Oh well, I suppose like most things in life, it's about balance.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Living Alone

A very short passage from my current read, London Fields, by Martin Amis:

"Living alone, you know," she said today, "it's all right -- it's good.". Queenly Incarnacion lives alone. Her husband is dead. Her two children are grown up. They live in Canada. She came here. They went there. "You have advantages. When you living alone, you do things when you want. Not when they want. When you want."
"True, Incarnacion."
"You want a bath. You have a bath. You want to eat. You eat. You don't need them to say so. It suit you. You sleepy, you want to go to bed. You go to bed. Don't ask. You want watch the TV. Okay! You watch the TV. Up to you. You want a cup of coffee. -- Coffee. You want clean the kitchen. You clean the kitchen. You want maybe listen to the radio. You listen the radio."
Yes, and the same goes for any solitary activity you care to name. But after twenty minutes on the upside of living alone, we get twenty minutes on the downside of living alone, like there never being anyone else around and things like that.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

With Grace - DJ Krush (featuring n'dea davenport)

This has always been my favourite track from DJ Krush's "Zen" album:

Reason
Is there any reason
Why my heart must now understand?
We had the fire so many times
Changes like the season
Convinces me
That we've come to an end
But your love was undescribable

Woo ooh, woo ooh, woo ooh, woo ooh
Woo ooh, woo ooh, woo ooh, woo ooh

And as I watch I see before my eyes
The truth is my reality
My emotions are high
And I'm at the risk of falling again
Right now everything's on the line

Being alone is not what I prefer
But I've got to face this feeling
With grace
I will step aside
But if you're in need,
Holler and I'll be round
Holler, holler, holler
Holler, holler, holler

Please don't try
To make me less than I am
Let's not drag it out anymore
With grace
I'll politely remove myself
With grace
I'm all too willing
'Cause being alone is not what I prefer
But I've got to face this feeling
With grace
I will step aside
But if you're in need
Holler and I'll be round
With grace
I will step aside
But if you're in need
Holler and I'll be round
Holler, holler, holler
Holler, holler, holler
With grace
I will step aside
But if you're in need
Holler and I'll be round
But if you're in need
Holler and I'll be round
But if you're in need
Holler and I'll be round

a dreary start to the day

colleague: you have a holiday tomorrow, yes?
me: yes.
colleague: what is your plan?
me: i have no plan.
colleague: oh. *nervous laugh*
me: *puts headphones back on*

Saturday, 15 March 2008

another gem (after a night on the Pastis)

For years I had believed that these lines:

'Shot? So quick, so clean an ending?
Oh that was right, lad, that was brave;
Yours was not an ill for mending,
'Twas best to take it to the grave'

were about a horrified young Edwardian who had discovered that he was a homosexual. I am in a position to correct literary history in this matter. The lines are about a horrified chap in early middle age who has discovered, one morning, that he has no head for Pastis. This, you see, was not the common hangover of commerce, it was a Plague of Egypt with a top-dressing of the Black Death. Quite clearly incurable. I touched the bell.
'Jock,' I said hollowly, 'pray bring me a pot of tea -- the Lapsang Souchong Tips I think -- and a loaded revolver. Mine is not an ill for mending: I propose to take it to the grave but I wish to blow the top of my head off first. I have no intention of spending eternity with the top of my head in its present condition.'
He started to steal away.
'Oh, and Jock,' I added, 'when you bring the tea-tray I implore you not to let the spoon or other cutlery rattle against the revolver.'

Yes, more brilliance from The Mortdecai Trilogy. I've spent this evening cackling my head off on the couch with a bottle of wine, thankful that it is not Pastis (which is just absinthe without the wormwood, you know).

A rather interesting, tasteless and downright lovely passage from the Mortdecai Trilogy

The old lady continued to stare fixedly at the tasteful sepia view of Tewkesbury Abbey, above my head, perhaps willing it to fall on me. I must say I rather liked the cut of her jib, while her clear distaste for the Mortdecais of this world did her credit. I have often thought of acquiring an old lady to keep as a pet. They'd be of little use for a shooting man, of course -- no nose, d'you see, and useless over marshy ground -- but for the town-dweller they are incomparable. I cannot understand why people pay fortunes for nasty cats and dogs who leave puddles and puppies and kittens all over the place when, for nothing but the cost of her keep, one can have an old lady, clean as a new pin and warranted past child-bearing. Old ladies can help one, too, in countless little ways such as marking shirts and arranging flowers: tricks which few dogs and no cats can be taught. True, they can be noisy, but I imagine that a few cuts of the whip would break them of this -- or I dare say they could be surgically muted for a trifling sum. True, too, they are a wasting asset and, if you had the bad luck to pick a poor doer, she might become bed-ridden and linger on for years; a misery to herself and a burden to others. I suppose the thing to do would be to leave, pointedly, a bottle of brandy and a loaded revolver on her commode, as one used to do with a Guards Officer who'd been caught with his fingers in the tambourine.
People shouldn't keep people if they're not prepared to look after them, don't you agree?

Friday, 14 March 2008

Smog - Natural Decline

Reproduced without permission, as always.

The mind is always working

The mind is always turning
The mind is always working
The mind is always turning
Things over and over and over
And over and over

The upside the downside
The inside the outside
The sightside the blindside
The wifeside the fightside
There is no rest for your brother

Pulleys are clinking
Ropes are fraying
Down to thread
Maybe was made wrong
Rubbing on the wrong thing
Or is it just the natural decline
Of a body sister

The mind is always working
Out ways to see
The things I shouldn't see
And have the things I shouldn't have
I see the night sky as a jewelry store window
And my mind is half a brick



Thursday, 13 March 2008

Faces - Cat Power (I'm not made of successful things)

Looking out across the next few days
I can see, nothing
Looking out across the next few years
I can see, they're gonna go by fast
Looking out across the next few days
Smoke's gonna clear slowly
Looking out across the next few days
I can see, they're gonna go by fast
They're gonna go by
Lying for, me
So I won't hear a thing
To bat me back
So I'll notice some grave thing
I'm not made of successful things
I'm not made of successful things
I'm not made of success
I've got what it takes
I've got what it takes
To rest
To rest
To rest
But I'm still around
Looking across the faces I've known
I can see
Nothing
Looking out across my family members
I know they miss me
I know they must miss me
Never had a lot of fun
Better things to do around the house
Than have a lot of fun
Better things to do without
Lying for, me
So I won't hear a thing
To bat me back
So I'll notice some grave thing
I'm not made of successful things

Don't believe them.

Seriously, just don't.

If somebody tells you they've made up their mind to do something? Don't believe them.
If they say it's okay to plan towards something? Don't believe them.

Don't start planning, no matter what they say, because you'll waste energy, money and emotions.
Don't let them in, don't ever lose sight of The Guiding Principle.

And whatever you do .. don't ever have hopes or dreams. Just don't.

Oh. And when your friends say "I told you so"? Just say nothing, because you know they are right, and you know you should have listened.

I feel just like - some great big disease [cat power - ice water]