Friday, August 31, 2007

The Gospel of the Rocket

In the days when the white engineers were disputing the attributes of the feeder system that was to be, one of them came to Enzian of Bleicheröde and said, "We cannot agree on the chamber pressure. Our calculations show that a working pressure of 40 atü would be the most desirable. But all the data we know of are grouped around a value of only 10 atü.

"Then clearly," replied the Nguarorerue, "you must listen to the data."

"But that would not be the most perfect or efficient value," protested the German.

"Proud man," said the Nguarorerue. "What are these data, if not direct revelation? Where have they come from, if not from the Rocket which is to be? How do you presume to compare a number you have only derived on paper with a number that is the Rocket's own? Avoid pride, and design to some compromise value."
--Gravity's Rainbow

Larry Craig??? What is this crud???

Jeez! These days you need a fucking spreadsheet to keep track of which Republican Senators are getting some on the side! As a matter of fact, it would probably be easier to list the ones who aren't!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Randomly Selected Digital Audio Tracks For Your Consideration

01. The Miles Martin Folk Group, "Geordie"
Because I am twelve years old, I can never keep from giggling at the line "he never stole ass." Tragically, this version doesn't include that line. Ah well. It's still a perfectly serviceable rendition. I think I like the Trees' version best, though. 6/10

02. The Clash, "Inoculated City"
The more spacey, tripped-out stuff on Combat Rock prefigures the late, lamented Joe Strummer's solo career. And that's a good thing. 8/10

03. Psalteria, "Una Pastora yo Amí"
Czech women playing Medieval music. Hells yes. It all starts to blend together when you can't understand the words (they sing in a wide variety of languages, rarely including English), but individually it's all good stuff. 7/10

04. Tom Waits, "Eyeball Kid"
Musically, this is pretty similar to "Sixteen Shells from a Thirty-Ought Six," but...well, that's okay. It's a driving, bluesy song, and as a bonus, it's about a guy who, yes, is JUST an eyeball. He should team up with the title character in "Tabletop Joe," who is just a pair of hands. 7/10

05. Peter Bellamy, "Back to the Army Again"
Bellamy did awesome musical renditions of Rudyard Kipling poems--such as this one. A somewhat jaded view of army life. 9/10

06. Joy Division, "Transmission"
Bleakest invitation to the dance floor EVAH. Always a favorite. 9/10

07. Steeleye Span, "Well Done Liar!"
The exclamation point is what does it. This is quite a hard-rocking thing with amusing lyrics, but certainly not a classic. 5/10

08. Calexico, "Across the Wire"
Rousing mariachi-type number about...ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION!!!!11oneeleven Somebody notify Tom Tancredo at once! 8/10

09. The Buggles, "Johnny on the Monorail"
I have to tell you, people, this is a seriously awesome song. Ominous, pulsing beat. Mad evocative. Now if only their second album could be had for less than triple digits...10/10

10. Echo and the Bunnymen, "Do it Clean"
God knows why I was so fixated on the Bmen during my wasted youth. This is okay. I guess. 5/10

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

RIP Phil Rizzuto

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I fucking hate my party

Yeah, okay, I can't deny that I'm sorta kinda coming around to the way of thinking of certain readers of this site. I was watching video clips from the recent Dem candidate gay rights debate, and there's no other way to put it: everyone except Gravel and Kucinich makes me want to fucking throw up. And it's this way with EVERY FUCKING ISSUE: no "mainstream" candidate is willing to take the transparently obviously ethical stance on ANYTHING that's seen as remotely controversial--they just triangulate their sorry asses off. Is it because they think they have to do it to win, or do they actually BELIEVE in their half-assed mushiness? I neither know nor care. It's just a sad fucking sight, and all I can feel for ANY of them is overwhelming contempt at their cravenness. Who knows; maybe they're right--maybe this is the shit you gotta do to win (although I personally am having a hard time seeing how "lacks all conviction" is a position that's gonna resonate with them there swing voters). Wouldn't THAT be a sad commentary on the country. But be that as it may, if you can't just get it the fuck TOGETHER for the most important election in, like, EVER, why the HELL should I or ANYONE who cares about things support you? Oh god I feel like a naderite.

I ain't sayin' what I'll do come election time. Maybe I'll just pull the lever for a straight D ticket, and then walk around for a while with a vague, post-one-night-stand-ish sense of self-disgust. Or maybe not. Certainly, if isn't a close race, I'll vote for whatever socialist or libertarian happens to be on the ticket. I realize that that "if it isn't a close race" qualifier sort of nullifies any deep personal conviction that might have been inherent in that last sentence, but goddamn, man, I'm still seriously torn, and I can't fucking stand it. I think I might hate America.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Time to find a new line of work

They proceed outside to a eucalyptus grove, where Jean-Claude Gongue, notorious white slaver of Marseilles, is busy white-slaving. "Hey you," hollering into the trees, "you wanna be a white slave, huh?" "Shit no," answers some invisible girl, "I wanna be a green slave!" "Magenta!" yells somebody from up in an olive tree. "Vermillion!" "Think I'll take up dealing dope," sez Jean-Claude.
--Gravity's Rainbow

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Five-Star Steeleye Span Songs

By which I mean, songs I somewhat idiosyncratically gave five stars to in itunes. I try not to give out stars lightly.

Rosebud in June
Sheep-Crook and Black Dog
King Henry
Little Sir Hugh
Long Lankin
Demon Lover
The Blackleg Miner
Copshawholme Fair
Lowlands of Holland
Lord Randall
False Knight on the Road (live)
Drink Down the Moon
Two Magicians
Alison Gross
The Wee Wee Man
Cam Ye O'er Frae France
Boys of Bedlam
False Knight on the Road
Fighting for Strangers
Gower Wassail
When I Was on Horseback
The Prickly Bush
Go from My Window
The Elf-Knight
Tam Lin
Down in Yon Forest

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Slang term redacted For Your Protection.

This interview makes me giggle like a twelve-year-old:

Rogen: If they made it 10 years ago, it would just be a lot of (penis) jokes.

Apatow: Now it's a lot of (penis) jokes with heart. You get (penis) and heart.

It would be funny enough ANYWAY, but what makes it TRULY awesome is the fact that the writer was not clear on the difference between brackets and parentheses, making it look like he's VERY, VERY, anxious to clarify exactly what kind of jokes we're talking about here. And maybe he is!

THIS ought to clear up any confusion.

"I'll tell you what we'll do" wins, 5-3, end of story. Obviously I don't have EVERY version ever recorded, but do YOU have eight of 'em? I think not. Unless you do, in which case, go to hell.

p.s. I realize it would be better if it were "The Trees They Do Grow" Pie Chart, but I dunna ken how ta make a pie chart. Sorry.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Random Number

BUT WHAT NUMBER?!?!? Read on to find out. Oh the suspense.

01. The Homosexuals, "Collapsible You"
Ragged, falling-apart-at-the-seams, but still pretty dern good, if not their best. 7/10

02. Stone Angel, "False Knight on the Road"
I do have to say, Steeleye Span easily wins the False Knight Sweepstakes. This is still pretty good, though. It's more or less the same arrangement as on the Maddy Prior/Tim Hart version. 7/10

03. Marie Celeste, "Ruby Tuesday"
A folky version of the Stones song. Which is already kind of folky. It ought to be pretty good, but the sad truth is, they fuck up the chorus. How the hell do you manage THAT? It's an unforgivable sin for a song with that ought to have such an indelible hook. 3/10

04. Jay Munly, "The Fabulous History of the Churchill Falls Barrel Races"
This is SUCH a great song. You might sort of compare it to The Mosquito Coast, the movie not the book because I'm illiterate. Creepy and riveting. 10/10

05. Steeleye Span, "Skewball"
It's just a horse race, for gods' sake--how can it possibly be so, oh, I don't know--hypnotic? Mesmerizing? And yet, it is. Great stuff. 9/10

06. Gwydion Pendderwen, "The Sun God"
Hey, I'm sorry that he died in an untimely fashion, but ol' Gwydion is still among the most mockable artists in the world. This actually isn't terrible--his other album is much, much, worse--but it ain't superfantastic either. I somehow hoped for more when I downloaded this schizznit. Guess I got about what I paid for. 5/10

07. Aesop Rock, "Shovel"
Aesop Rock is kind of overwhelming, but he certainly has skill. This is one of his more accessible efforts. Of course, that's very relative. He doesn't budge; he studies the ramifications of his shovel. Apparently. 7/10

08. The Watersons, "The Morning Looks Charming"
AH BUT IS IT REALLY?!?!? Hell, I'll give it benefit of doubt. Rousing, a cappella goodness..

09. The Teardrop Explodes, "Books"
I believe this was cowritten by Ian McCulloch and Julian Cope, but I gotta say, Julian wins this round--I like this much better than the Bunnymen version. 8/10

10. The Peelers, "Rebel Road"
Fuck, I already used the word "rousing." This song is probably more deserving of it though. Boisterous celtic punkishness that'll rouse the shit out of you.

11. Wall of Voodoo, "Tse Tse Fly"
A chilling tale where he's walking through the jungle, when suddenly he's bitten by a tse tse fly!!!11 I have to admit, I sorta kinda prefer Ridgway's WoV stuff to most of his solo efforts. 8/10