Belvedere Jehosophat - Friday, 29 November 2002
Yesterday, a glorious day was had. It started at the College Of Fine Arts where I was viewing a series of different artworks by a series of different people and consuming a series of $1 beers.
Well, in reality, my day had started earlier when I bought some CDs but we'll be discussing that later. Pay attention because there will be a quiz.
The College Of Fine Arts is where the "are you going to be partying on?" commenced.
My friend Tarek had his artwork (an animated animation) on display as well. Tarek had earlier told me to dress nicely, as there would be a bountiful bevy of beautiful booty. Of course, it really made no difference cause booty don't want no scrubs like me.
No, no, I'm not bitter.
Some of the artworks were really good. I think that the best of the more traditional artworks was a series of paintings of flowers. I know that if my friend Livania is reading this, she's gonna be laughing her ass off.
See: We recently went to the art gallery and I was trying to describe the type of art that I like. I couldn't really articulate myself too well and I may have mentioned flowers. Needless to say she teased me mercilessly the rest of the day.
Well, there you go, self-fulfilling prophecy. I liked the flowers.
The displays were set up in a really bizarre way.
For example, all of the paintings and photographs and all that type art were out in the main hall and it was all nicely spaced out.
Any art that used a computer or a television as its medium, however, was stuck into a small room. Upon walking into this room you would be bombarded with a whole bunch of noise from a whole bunch of different speakers.
It was very claustrophobic and I didn't stay there long enough to see my friend's animation (I had seen it at his house a few weeks prior).
The worst piece of art on display was a series of prints that either were or are going to be an ad for a jeans company. I can't remember what the company itself was called, but apparently they're one of those shops that sell pre-ripped jeans for $200. What the fuck? Why would anyone pay that much money to look poor?
Understand: I don't care if people are rich or if people are poor. However, when you start to co-opt a culture, no, not even a culture, a socioeconomic condition because "the slums got so much soul," then that's not, like, cool.
What really annoyed me about this particular artwork (which in and of itself was pretty cool) was the explanation that the artist gave for his/her inspiration. He/she said that the company that made the jeans was, by pre-ripping them, in essence, deconstructing them.
They were deconstructing jeans? What crazy goat fucking world are we living in?
In a bizarre turn of events, I ended up eating dinner with Tarek's family but without Tarek. We had the almost obligatory Thai.
It seems that anytime any goes anywhere people eat Thai food. I'm not complaining because Thai food is rather tasty (I prefer Indian) and Tarek's mother treated us to the meal.
We all ordered our meals and then shared them. I ordered a vegetarian curry.
After a few minutes, out waiter came back and asked me what colour curry I wanted. I had a choice of red, yellow and green. I jokingly said that "well, since I'm communist I guess I'll have the red curry." The waiter actually acknowledged it and gave the impression that he seriously WAS a simpático.
However, after we finished our meals, I noted that there was a certain intensity, an animosity even, in the air. The waiter wanted to get paid and he wanted a quicker turn around in his restaurant.
He wanted to make with the getti-getting and I can't blame him because it's all about getting that cash-money. Said it's all about getting that cash money. You know it's all about getting that cash-money.
Well, that and the fact that we'd eaten his food and had yet to pay for it.
We stopped at a bar called the Goodbar that wasn't very good. Bar any unforeseen circumstances we probably would have left earlier but we had to wait for Tarek to get back from wherever he ate dinner.
I was with Tarek's brother, a mysterious man in black who goes by the name of "Champagne." He had recently used my phone and felt that in order to repay me he would buy me a beer.
Let me tell you something about the Goodbar: The beers are $7.50 each.
Dear sweet Siemens Nixdorf. I told him that I would buy him a beer at the Hopetoun (where we would go later) cause I felt bad that he had parted with his left eyeball to buy some beers in exchange for a phonecall.
Tarek showed up, we laughed, we cried and soon we were once again moving through streets.
I followed "Champagne" to the Hopetoun where we caught the last of the Jamie Hutchingson gig.
I bought a beer for "Champagne" to help him out with the mortgage that he put on his house to buy some beers at the Goodbar. $7.50! I can get blown for $7.50.
Apparently Jamie Hutchingson plays in a band called Blue Bottle Kiss. It's sort a mix between Juliana Hatfield, Bob Mould and Devo. Yeah, it's pretty shit. I'll not waste any time reviewing it.
At the gig, I made a point of telling everyone who would listen about the three CDs that I had bought earlier. Bluto's cousin (who happened to be there with a friend) chided me for "still going on about that."
I don't care though, I told them and now I'm telling you:
Meta - (Pertaining To Or Occupying Positions (1, 3) In The Benzene Ring Separated By One Carbon Atom)
Circle Jerks - Group Sex
The Circle Jerks album is an amazing punk rock album whose aforementioned amazingness is inversely proportional to its length. The CD goes for about 15 minutes and 42 seconds.
No, I lie. The album is actually 31'24". This is because, for some reason, the band (or indeed whoever makes these decisions) put the album on the CD twice.
That's right, as soon as the album finishes, it plays the whole way through again. I don't know if it was a mistake or if it's a pisstake or even if it's post-ironic irony.
I paid $27.95 for the album and I think that it, relatively speaking, might very well be the most amount of money that I've paid per minute for a CD. I'm not even gonna count the second half of the CD as bonus tracks.
Having said that, I'm not upset because the album is so good and so short that it warrants, nay, begs for a repeat listen. The shortest song is like 27 seconds. It's great.
I'd like to write more because it is such an amazing CD but the reality is that the album is just a short burst of punk rock energy and there's no real way to describe it other than that. I'd try deconstructing it but I think that a jeans company now has exclusive rights to that.
The Digable Planets - Blowout Comb
The Digable Planets are a really laid back jazzy hip hop band. The beats on the album are absolutely exquisite.
You know how some rapping on hip hop albums is so laid back that you can only assume that the rapper has been smoking the puff-puff? Well judging by this album, it has become clear to me that the Digable Planets are, in fact, catatonic.
It's all really intelligent and it's all about peace and love and grass roots activism and stuff. The music is a mixture of samples and live instrumentation and it features some great soloing by the live artists.
Apparently the last time that the Digable Planets went on tour, they took a whole bunch of jazz musicians (sax players and stuff) with them. Man, seeing that woulda been something.
Hip hop has had a long association with jazz but the soloing on this album (which is rare in hip hop) is the cherry on the icing of the cake of good intentions. It sometimes feels more like a jazz album as opposed to a hip hop album.
Incidentally, Mos Def later sampled the same record that the Digable Planets sampled for their song Borough Check. Mos Def, however, used the sample on a song called Brooklyn. It makes sense on account that both songs are about Brooklyn and the song that was sampled is called We Live In Brooklyn, Baby.
Prolapse - The Italian Flag
And then there's the Prolapse. I've only listened to about half of this album and so far it sounds spankastic.
I'm kinda putting off listening to this album right now because I know it's gonna mess with my brain and make my liver bleed.
Where to start with Prolapse... Prolapse might very well be one of my favourite rock bands. The music is hard to describe. I've been told that they sound like early The Fall but I can neither confirm nor deny that as I've heard very little of The Fall.
Prolapse are a very noisy almost atonal band with lots of feedback and bad craziness going on. There are two vocalists, which is always good. I like bands that have more than one set of vocals.
Anyhoo, the singers are Linda Steelyard and Scottish Mick Derrick. They frequently sing at the same time and often drown each other out. Linda sings with a weird sing songy tone that seems to be completely and totally devoid of all emotion. Scottish Mick rants and raves in a strong Scottish (incidentally enough) brogue. It all comes together in a beautifully chaotic way.
The lyrics are really bizarre and stream of consciousness. This makes sense I guess because I've read reviews of Prolapse gigs where the singers are singing from scraps of paper that contain freshly scrawled lyrics.
In an interview with Scottish Mick he stated how for the most part he writes the lyrics just before singing them or if he hasn't done so, he'll make them up as he's recording. Apparently the songs in which the narratives make no sense are the ones that he made up on the spot.
In that same interview he stated that while he would be recording his vocals over the weekend he had yet to hear which songs he would be singing on. It's almost Dadaist in nature.
On top of all of that, I've heard that whatever animosity (whether real or feigned) that exists between Linda Steelyard and Scottish Mick has a tendency to build to fever pitch at gigs and that fights between them have broken out on stage.
My favourite Prolapse gig/fight involves Scottish Mick and Linda throwing microwaves and televisions at each other during the show before falling to the ground wrestling over the microphone.
Actually those two incidents might actually be from different gigs, I can't remember where I read about them but it certainly makes for a more interesting story if it happened at the same gig.
(A Refutation Of Space And Time) - /Meta
Anyhow after this I met up with the delightful lads from the Abbreviated group (pseudonyms and all) at a bar. Here I shot the shit with these people for a while. If I remember correctly, I think I told these lads about the CDs I bought as well. I suspect that they cared about as little as everyone else.
I then bought a pint (a pint mind you) of Kilkenny. Kilkenny is an Irish beer and quite frankly, on tap, it's orgasmic. My brother goes on and on about it and how, on tap, its spectacular. Well, he's right. It was glorious. On tap.
We left this bar and went to find a place that had some pool tables. I put two bucks into the jukebox and pushed the buttons and queued up two Bob Marley songs.
Unfortunately, we left before I got to hear them and as such my Bob Marley fix was left un-fixed. Fortunately, we also left before we had to hear a Paula Abdul song that one of our friends had queued up.
To top off this great night, I didn't get stabbed on the way home. This is always a good thing. I mention this only because the streets of "Bucktown", where I live, seem to be getting iller.
When I was making my way out of the house to get to the College Of Fine Arts I noticed that the cops had arrested about 8 guys and had them all lined up against a wall.
Being that my genetic makeup lies halfway in between the yellowest custard and a chicken I cannot imagine what I would ever do if someone decided to broke me the fuck off, especially when, over here, the peoples is prone to outburst.
Much love and much respect to the man they call "Champagne" for getting me into the Jamie Hutchingson gig for free.
All apologies to my peeps: Sorry that I couldn't make it to Harry Potter. On tap.
Hola, Fermata, Albuquerque, Meretata