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culture, music

Comments Off on Streetcore Named Desire

Streetcore Named Desire

Joe Strummer - Streetcore I was never a big fan of The Clash as a teenager, although Rock the Casbah filled me with as much semi-politico rock rebellion as any ten-year-old could muster during the early eighties. The video (known during that period of MTV as the one with the mohawked guys in the desert playing punk guitar to an armadillo) was more of a fascination of the times then a true love affair for me. The Clash had their heyday a few years before my interest in music really took off and, anyway, I was just on the brink of discovering Bowie.

That probably explains why I’m so awestruck at Joe Strummer’s posthumous album,
Streetcore, finished and released by his band mates, the Mescaleros. As someone listening with fresh ears, it kinda knocked me down a bit. This guy, this veteran, this wonderfully soulful rock icon is a beautifully rendered, freshly-bled, black-lined tattoo that’s modern and diggable at first glance. His melodically cool grunting voice is tempered with lyrical musings halfway between Johnny Cash and Bob Marley (indeed, he even does a cover of Marley’s Redemption Song). There’s an undeniable rock’n’roll spirituality going on here and I just haven’t been able to let it go since I downloaded the album from the iTunes Music Store.

I’m somewhat humbled to admit that Joe Strummer’s passing is only now revealing to me its tremendous significance. The guy clearly knew what he was doing and probably saw enough purpose as an artist to succeed in music for many years to come. Sadly, that won’t be happening, but I’ll be going back and checking out some of that earlier stuff with a keener, much deeper interest.

Of Process and Paper

I was already thinking about the fascinating special I saw on Nova the other week concerning the lost manuscript of the Greek mathematician Archimedes when I started reading this article on Quentin Terantino in which he describes his process of writing the screenplay for Kill Bill.

I know it’s all bullshit, but it’s the way I started doing it, so that becomes the way. My rituals are that I don’t use a typewriter or a computer. I write by hand, and what I’ll do — it’s a ceremony, actually — I go to a stationery store and I buy a notebook. Then, I’ll buy a bunch of red and black felt pens. And I’m like, ‘These are the pens that I’m going to write Kill Bill with!’ When that happens, then it’s just me taking that fuckin’ notebook everywhere.

Despite our techno-digital age, I believe the manifestation of creative brilliance and simple, lo-tech paper (in the form of manuscripts, notebooks, sketchbooks, etc.) have maintained a consistent relationship for thousands of years.

Paper, it seems, is still where it’s at.


Comments Off on New iPod Ads Sport Flava

New iPod Ads Sport Flava

The new Apple iPod commercial is just the kind of shot in the arm that the company (and the elegant little MP3 player) needs. The first-person white background approach has been played over, imitated, and parodied to a near death.

On that same point, I’d also like to point out that the use of the trend-setting background color switch shares some similarities with this site, but I’m sure that’s just my ego working overtime again.


Comments Off on Stale Air

Stale Air

Listening to NPR’s Fresh Air interview with Bill O’Reilly in its entirety, it’s clear that his cult of personality is just as obsessed with “defamation of character” as Rush Limbaugh is with the so-called liberal media. Apparently, it’s a hot button that’s all-too-easy to push and works like clockwork after the tenth mentioning of the name Al Franken.

“This is basically an unfair interview designed to try to trap me into saying something that Harper’s can use. … And that is the end of this interview.”

I don’t know exactly what that means, although I can gather the implication, but it sure makes for a theatrical exit.


Comments Off on My PC Hates Me

My PC Hates Me

I’m not exactly sure what I did. I probably just had a look of longing in my eyes—a longing for my Mac more than likely.

While my fully loaded wiz-bang XP-running PC at work hasn’t totally given up on me, it has given me clear and intent signs of not submitting to my will. The other day, I discovered that audio CD’s (not data CD’s or MP3 CD’s, mind you, but run-of-the-mill audio CD’s) mysteriously cause my PC to reboot. I’ve messed around with my audio apps and their file type handlers, and even uninstalled WinAmp, but to no luck. Then it began rebooting mysteriously at startup for… well, just because.

Then, yesterday, the king daddy of them all happened. My Linux-loving co-workers had to be howling with laughter for a good twenty minutes after I told them. It seems that Internet Explorer’s back button was causing my CD tray to pop open. Let me repeat: the BACK BUTTON on INTERNET EXPLORER was causing my CD TRAY to open!!

Either I’m the test case for some bizarre new “features” or my PC is trying to tell me something.

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