Monthly Archives: April 2009

El Rincon, 4/29/09

I decided to be an American man tonight. I rode my bike to the rock show.

(I’ll tell you one advantage the foolscap has over the blogpost;  foolscap never crashes. You don’t have to worry about saving your work; it automatically saves as you write.)

The first band was playing as I arrived. They may have had the word “Suns” in their name. Pseudonmeena said that Jackson Browne’s son is in the band. This simultaneously relevant and irrelevant fact makes me think of a YouTube video of Billy Bob Thornton spraying petulant dadaist blather at a Canadian rock journalist. This band was fine; they had a good-time glass-bottle open-road crusin-country vibe. Jammin, Californian, lean, jeans, you said it. Young lady playin tambo. Skyways.

Nodzzz played next. I am genetically, maybe I mean dispositionally, or socially inclined to like this band. This blogggg’s name does the thing with extra consonants that that band also does. Has anyone figured out why we do this? Isn’t there more to it than mere typographical playfulness? I remember Steevee being an early adopter. What does it all mean? It’s a better band name than “Nods.” It playfully forces the sleepy connotations of the word Nod.  “catch some zs”. Well any way folks they totally caught some zs tonight, if zs here refers to catchy and wonderful pogo-friendly live//dead milkmen hits! I think the songs on their myspace page are thirty times more articulate than I am. I love em. The two  dudes caress and bounce their guitars in unison, then say “La la la la la” in unison. Hugely fun.

Next up I wanted to tell you about the next band, the Oh Sees. I’ve listened to their 2006 album The Cool Death of Island Raiders a number of times on my computer. The main guy, John Dwyer, has a lot of stage presence. He was working the door, too, when I came in: “$5… if you got it!” I got the sense that he organized the show, but whaddoo I know, I’m no rock journalist, I’m typing my thoughts before bed. If you meant to visit the Atlantic Monthly‘s blog and arrived here by accident, please click here or you’ll be automatically redirected. If you found this web page from the article in the New York Times about “acid blogging,” welcome! Oh Sees also had a female tambo player. She was impressively in synch with Dwyer vocally. I wanted the drummer to do more fills. There was a lot of  half-noisy guitar wandering, but throughout the drummer kept it straight and in the pocket. I kept expecting and/or wanting the drummer in all the bands (except Jackson Browne’s Sunnzzzz, who were not a punk band?) (And also not including Nodzzz; he’s perfect) to get more florid or fill-heavy or kraut-rockin’, but they all kept it firmly in the punk-rock one-two pocket. Oh Sees drummer had some occasionally random / “arty” crashes, but by and large he was “building” (figurative language) straight mid-tempo punk architecture, locked in tight and bouncy with the phenomenal bass player (wait, was that a regular guitar not a bass?) while Dwyer deepthroated the mic and waved his tattered reverby guitar-shreds over that figurative  structure I just mentioned

Last band was called Mayyors, another band with repeating consonants in their name. Except isn’t y a vowel? Not in this case, boys. Not in this case. The “narrative” created by the progression of bands tonight was a descent into chaos, culminating with Mayyors. Metal hair dude on guitar, beanpole scary punk anti-drummer (just kidding, he was pro-drummer, I just thought “scary punk anti-drummer” sounded cool), awesome “main music guy” guitar player who, like Noddzzz, lovingly and nice-awkwardly held and stroked and bounced his guitar, little swing here, little swing there, looking at it hard, pointedly looking away from it, etc. He seemed talented. Whaddoo I know. Then the lead singer doing all the right insane/arbitrary/scary/weird/cool art-punk-metal lead-singer things: putting on giant headphones for no reason & immediately dancing so hard they fly off; rubbing audience members in performancey/inappropriate/great ways; (dancing/moshing/crowd-surfing fan that kept giving them enthusiastic dancey thumbs-DOWN throughout the show; this “mixed message” felt appropriate to the I’m-pushing-you-because-I-love-you stage-dive “ethos”).

They played fast punk songs that, having been melted down to a hot sludge,  retained all of their speed and angularity.

They ruled!!!


I was in a Starbucks today when I was struck by an allergy-induced cough. Three people stared at me with something approaching panic. “Don’t worry, it’s just Marburg,” I said, which caused them to visibly relax. Not that they knew what Marburg was. They were just glad to hear that I didn’t have the dreaded swine flu. (Fun fact about Marburg: Those who manage to recover from Marburg frequently suffer from orchititis. Look it up.)

This is a bad flu, and I’m terribly sorry for the few people who have died from it, but I’m reasonably sure we’re not all going to die (if we do, at least my family won’t die hungry, since I have a bunch of MREs in my basement).

Frank Furedi, an expert on hysteria and paranoia, has this to say about our latest cable-television-induced panic: “The explosion of global fear about the outbreak of a deathly flu virus in Mexico is more a response to the dramatisation of influenza than to the actual threat it poses.” He went on:

There is nothing unusual about the outbreak of flu. Every year, thousands of people die from the flu, and, in normal conditions, society has learned to cope with the flu threat. From time to time, an outbreak of flu turns into a global pandemic, leading to a catastrophic loss of life. However, there is no evidence that the so-called swine flu, which has so far claimed a relatively small number of lives, will turn into a pandemic. Rather, what we are faced with is a health crisis that has been transformed into a moral drama.

Do you think I am going to be expelled from school for plagiarizing this blogpost from Jeffrey Goldberg??? Seriously, I’m just messing around, sorry for wasting your time; see you tomorrow

live on QVC

  • give me a copy of this for my birthday
  • memo to myself check out the bruno schulz (the VV has schultz? is that wrong?) of mod. china
  • I miss sonic youth. for my birthday will you buy me a year of private drum lessons from Steve Shelley? Seriously, I’m just kidding around
  • , For immediate release THE OAK RIDGE BOYS TO PERFORM LIVE ON QVC® Legendary Group to Debut Their First Album Featuring All New Material in Three Years Nashville, TN (April 22, 2009) – The Oak Ridge Boys are scheduled to make their QVC debut Wednesday, April 29 at 7:30 PM (ET) during a special QVC Presents The Oak Ridge Boys Qsessions Live show. During the broadcast, the group will perform a selection of songs from their from their much-anticipated release ‘The Boys Are Back’ (Spring Hill Music Group/EMI), including a cover of The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army,” the first cover song performed by a country artist, and the poignant “Mama’s Table.” Shoppers will also have the opportunity to purchase the album, which has been specially-packed with a five-track bonus CD, more than two weeks before street date. ‘The Boys Are Back’ features 12 new tracks, including songs penned by ACM Award Winner Jamey Johnson, Shooter Jennings and Jack White of The White Stripes. “We are excited to debut this critically-acclaimed release on QVC,” said Paul Sizelove, Vice President of the Spring Hill Music Group. “As a household name, The Oak Ridge Boys have enjoyed consistent television successes over the years and we feel they are a natural fit for the QVC audience.” Produced by acclaimed pop producer Dave Cobb (Waylon Jennings, Jamey Johnson, Brooke White), ‘The Boys Are Back’ revisits familiar Oaks harmonies while injecting a new energy into their sound. The Dallas Morning News music critic Mario Tarradell has even stated that the new album “features a more stripped-down sound a la what Rick Rubin did with the late Johnny Cash.” The Oak Ridge Boys join an impressive list of successful QVC album launches, including James Taylor, Randy Travis, LeAnn Rimes, Ray Charles and more. ‘The Boys Are Back’, packaged with special five-track bonus disc, will be available through QVC starting April 29 at 800.345.1515 or
  • fudgin it up

    (via Brian Turner)

    • I appeared on “The Passerby” on Pirate Cat radio at 8:00 a.m. a few weeks ago; I am perenially sleepy and triple-dafted (gets going around the 30:00 mark, I prepared something stupid slash did not prepare at all; I should never be allowed to say the word “buddhism,” ever; sorry/sorry/sorry/sorry)
    • there are still some tickets left for this, please consider coming; it’s for several causes, at least three of them “good”:


    boring blog post no. 554


    • “ya basta”
    • Valentino Achak Deng is back from his hometown, Marial Bai, Sudan, with astonishing photos of the school he’s built there. Come see him and Dave Eggers tonight, Monday, April 27, at 8:15 p.m. at 849 Valencia Street. They’ll show slides and talk about Valentino’s foundation and the future of southern Sudan. This is your last chance to see Valentino for a while. Don’t miss it!

    Tom Bissell on This Is Water

    Any mention of self-annihilation in Wallace’s work (and there are many: the patriarch of “Infinite Jest” is a suicide; Wallace’s story “Good Old Neon” is narrated by a suicide) now has a blast radius that obscures everything around it. These are craters that cannot be filled. The glory of the work and the tragedy of the life are relations but not friends, informants but not intimates. Exult in one; weep for the other.

    The terrible master eventually defeated David Foster Wallace, which makes it easy to forget that none of the cloudlessly sane and true things he had to say about life in 2005 are any less sane or true today, however tragic the truth now seems. “This Is Water” does nothing to lessen the pain of Wallace’s defeat. What it does is remind us of his strength and goodness and decency — the parts of him the terrible master could never defeat, and never will.

    (NYT 4/24/09)

    Choice drollery

    I thought this tautology was funny:

    Admirers of Olds’s poems will find more of them in this, her ninth collection.

    (Joel Brouwer in the NYT. Brouwer has a pleasantly deranged poem in the forthcoming McSweeney’s 31.)

    It reminds me of a famous tautology that goes something like “This is the sort of thing you’ll like, if you like this sort of thing.” Can’t remember at the moment the exact wording or provenance. Max Beerbohm?? Li’l help here?



    I was totally blown away by Ariana Reines’s reading last night. I should have bought Coeur de Leon; I will eventually. Her essay “Sucking” talks about The Cow. I enjoyed the section on “Typographical Errors”:

    There are errors in THE COW.  Some spelling errors, punctuation problems, and wrong line breaks.  The actual bookmaking part of THE COW happened very fast.  The layout was done by Rebecca Wolff, who is a great person and who kept my text in Arial, which I wanted.  When a book is laid out there are errors that need to be fixed because it is transferred from one size page onto another size page, from one software into other software.  I never got a bound galley and I never got to see the final blueline. Everything happened very hastily, with late nights and early mornings, at the last minute.  I should have insisted on certain things.  Rebecca is a great person so I did not feel oppressed and I did not insist.  I am sorry.  A partial list of typographical errors in THE COW can be found at

    Have you ever read Semiotext(e) books?  They are full of typos.  I love some of the Semiotext(e) books.  The typos make them feel really urgent and hastily made, like samizdat.  And I really like that feeling.


    Ronnie Bronstein:

    People should be as hard on the films as the films are hard on the audience. I wanna live inside of a culture where that is not just acceptable. That is par for the course.

    See FROWNLAND this weekend in L.A.:

    April 23rd: 9:45pm April 24th: 7:30pm, Midnight April 25th: 5pm, 9:30pm April 26th: 5pm, 9:30pm Double feature with THE PLEASURE OF BEING ROBBED by Josh Safdie At Cinefamily:  Brand new interview with director Ronnie Bronstein:

    It wasn’t like I made it to get the money back, the same way you don’t go on vacation thinking you’re going to get the money back.

    (via Mike)