Thursday, June 29, 2006

how i spent saturday afternoon ii

Tilt by Steven Siegel -- Kent State University

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

embrace the random viii

Surrealist Compliment Generator

"In your presence even my shadow acquires the sensation of touch."

I will use this line someday.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

when i am king ii

All subway announcements will be delivered through a Vocoder.

Monday, June 26, 2006

eminence frontman

Devastator and I had our eardrums pounded severely by Ministry and the Revolting Cocks last night at Cleveland's House of Blues (there was another band too, but they were boring and so shall remain nameless). RevCo had a few new touring members, including vocalist Josh Bradford. Nattily dressed in a black tuxedo, Bradford twitched and grimaced comically as the perfect foil to ultra-badass Al Jourgensen and supreme-loon Luc Van Acker.

Too many frontmen these days have nothing to offer, nothing to set them apart from one another. They look the same, scream the same, stomp around the same, all attitude and bluster with no vocal ability or character. Lord, save me from cookie-cutter Tattoos-R-Us spudboys with castrated Cookie-Monster vocals.

Bradford, on the other hand, had character to spare. Much like Jarvis Cocker and the young Elvis Costello, he's a bit nerdy yet extremely confident and compelling with a wry sense of humor. His vocals are elastic, by turns aggressive and self-deprecating. Inventive and slyly subversive, he was fun to watch--what more could you ask of a frontman?

I may write more about the show tomorrow when my ears finally stop ringing. If not, suffice to say that Ministry kicked much ass. Don't believe me? Here's some video from the show.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

how i spent saturday afternoon

Behind the Brain -- Kent State University

Saturday, June 24, 2006

neon heat disease

Photo courtesy of

Friday, June 23, 2006

touching the divine

I don't believe in an interventionist God who answers prayers and performs miracles. However, I do believe in a higher power that exists both without and within us, a force that occasionally overlaps with our perceptions. Perhaps this energy can be accessed through meditation or prayer--sometimes we stumble into its presence unwittingly. Most often for me, I find myself in its presence through music.

For the past six months I have been immersing myself in drone music as a way of handling stress. Much of my anger and anxiety comes from being at odds with a deadline-driven, breakneck-speed, need-it-now culture. Drone music represents the opposite of that culture: it unfolds slowly, with no set agendas, no target-dates, no demands of urgency, no selfish goals.

Listening to drone music, I can feel my pulse slow down, my breathing deepen. My neck and shoulders shrug their yoke of tension, and my muscles feel both heavy and light. And then, sometimes, it's there: a warmth in my chest radiating outward, an energy, calm, limitless, timeless. No anger, no anxiety, only peace.

Are musicians able to access the divine more readily than other people? Or is it that music is the most direct means of translating and communicating the divine?

Here is the website that set me off on this morning's tangent. Listen to Stay. Great music, Irene. Thank you.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

when i am king

Whenever three or more people are waiting in a line or at the bus stop,
they must practice tai chi.

Every organ at every sports arena will be replaced with a Mellotron.

This will be the new national anthem.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

embrace the random vii

Random Paragraph Generator

The sticky dog stumbles behind the party initiative. The typesetting adviser gasps over the shot dream. Across a future shines the excellent imbalance. America expands around the screw.

Monday, June 12, 2006

puttin' on the brows

Frank Zappa used a wonderful phrase to distinguish between playing a musical part accurately, and playing the same part accurately but with personality. He called it "putting the eyebrows on it." When you put the eyebrows on something, you perform it with style, leaving your fingerprint on it in some way. Putting the eyebrows on is different from showboating or overplaying, however; being asked to sing an extended note and instead delivering a Mariah-Carey-faux-soulful-wounded-beast-yodel is not a musical eyebrow--it's an audio eyesore.

So how exactly does one put the eyebrows on an action/song/task/whatever? Frank knew it when he heard it. It seems to me that determining the eyebrow is intuitive. It could be the result of much woodshedding or the product of a happy accident. But when you arrive at that "Eureka!" moment, you know it. You recognize a phrasing, a flourish, a style that marks that expression as your own.

Have you put the eyebrows on anything lately?

Thursday, June 08, 2006

embrace the randumb iii

Ohio landmark or outtake from The Division Bell?

Hip couch or part of Bill Bruford's drum kit circa 1984?

Photos courtesy of and the defunct

Monday, June 05, 2006

five maxims to live by iii

Life is too short for conspiracy theories.

Someone always has a crappier job than you.

Performance art is a scam.

A watched boil never pops.

Heaven is a large pillow.