Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Shameless promotion of personal matters.

Just as a warning: yes, yes, I work for Parasol and they released this album. Shush. I really am recommending this because I’ve been listening to songs from it almost every day for the last week.

So, talking about the Replacements earlier reminded me of the Vertebrats, a band I’d like to recommend to all my Mats loving friends. They were a Champaign-Urbana band in the very very early 80s, and they created some really fabulous, straight-ahead garage rock. Actually, they were so good at it that the Replacements took to playing one of their best songs, Left in the Dark, in concert. (I believe it’s on Shit Hits the Fans, miscredited as Left Here in the Dark.) It’s a great heartbreak song in the fine tradition of Train in Vain, and Uncle Tupelo also covered it--see the bonus tracks from the new reissue of No Depression if you’re interested. What’s more, apparently Courtney Love is slapping it on her solo album, so you all better run out and get the original before she makes everyone hate it.

Anyhoo, if you’re interested, and you should be, A Thousand Day Dream, a compilation of 22 of their songs, has been released by Reaction, one of the Parasol labels. There’s plenty more than just Left in Dark—my faves include Johnny Avante, which mocks art students (and really, they need to be mocked), Jackie’s Gone, which I could almost see Bruce Springsteen singing, Oklahoma (for obvious reasons), and This Before, which is fun and sexy in a really wary and nervous way. You should all, all, all run over to Parasol and buy copies for yourself and your loved ones. And buy other stuff too—the prices are so low! You get bonus points if you wish Angie a happy belated birthday or tell Roy you’re sure his new pullover looks fine in the special instructions section of the order form.

Prolix, prolix, nothing a pair of scissors won't fix...

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

I really thought my intense fear of map water was weird enough, that I had filled up my odd phobia quota. Unfortunately, I've recently developed a slight fear of large block letters (we're talking 2 feet tall or so), particularly in a red and white color scheme. I think this was caused by the opening credits from the first two series of Red Dwarf. Oh well.

Also, I've seen the beauty of tenure. I was hanging out in HEP's office on Sunday, flipping through his copy of The Metaphysical Club while he checked his email, and his professor dropped by. Said professor, most certainly tenured, was walking about barefoot, with completely unbrushed hair. The only matching thing about his shirt and shorts was how wrinkled they were; there was also a rather vast stain on the shorts (I can only hope that it was a recent coffee stain, but it didn't look that wet). He looked a little surprised to see a non-physics person around, talked physics with HEP for about 10 minutes, then just said "Anyhow..." and wandered off, barefoot, into the physics jungle. I want tenure in something!

Prolix, prolix, nothing a pair of scissors won't fix...

Monday, August 25, 2003

Items from the last 6 weeks

-A check is in the mail. For real now. Should be in the next week or two (or maybe three). I’m obviously excited, but it’s hard as hell to practice fiscal responsibility when I know I will be getting a fair bit of money pretty damned soon. On that note, if you can think of any CDs I should most certainly own (especially classic or indie pop, a la Big Star, Raspberries, Velvet Crush), do comment me about it. CD buying bender soon, baby!

-I am not living in a bus station! I got a nice place in Urbana, close to some of my favorite things (the best local coffeeshop, my indie rock label/store, the hippie grocery store and deli). I’m living in the basement, so it’s a little musty, but it’s got a nice front yard, a lovely porch in the back, and… a PUPPY! Well, the puppy belongs to one of my four roommates, but I do enjoy having a dog around, especially since I’m not the person primarily responsible for it… all of the fun, none of the cleaning up messes. Score! Also, toothpaste is more fun when it’s German.

-I spent another fine weekend in the HP. I went to my first MLB game on Friday (Sox-Rangers, 7-1 Sox baby! Go Valentin!), which was quite fun… especially since it was Elvis night. Why Elvis night? Why not! All I know is that there were Parachuting Elvises, and I enjoyed them even though they didn’t get caught on the foul poles. In news that probably doesn’t surprise anybody who knew me in high school, I got into a situation where someone threatened to toss my bra off the upper balcony of the stadium. The crisis was averted.

Saturday was pretty low-key, though I did introduce HEP to a few of the joys of Evanston, namely Dave’s Italian Kitchen (and its apparently killer wine list) and running around on beaches that are probably private property. Just a note—my Evanstonian friends really need to come out and eat cheap and get drizzunk with us at DIK sometime. (Jan, Flax, I’m looking at you, kids.)

On Sunday, I saw Come Feel Me Tremble, a documentary about Paul Westerberg. I hate to say anything bad about him, but I must admit, he is perhaps, maybe, just the slightest bit self-indulgent these days. He talked about how he tried touring with a band, but that the songs just sounded better with him on guitar. Thing is, they really don’t. Really. I also was amused by the complete lack of Replacements songs for the first hour or so of the documentary, followed by an ending comprised of four or so Mats songs in a row. Also, if Paul Westerberg is sober these days, I am really, actually Princess Leia, lightsaber and all. Ain’t no way. I mean, I always knew he was a self-indulgent, drunken prick, but now all of his songs are about him having ADD and smoking cigars. I had to go back and listen to Tim and Let It Be and Pleased to Meet Me to reassure myself that he was, at one point, really, truly amazing.

Prolix, prolix, nothing a pair of scissors won't fix...