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Hawaii Two


Whatever we do, we usually have some choice in the matter, if not in terms of what we do, then in terms of how or where or when or with whom or whatever. I previously believed that choice lent a sense of gravity to what a given person chose to do. Importance, pressure to succeed. If you do it, you better be good at it and take it seriously.

Now, I've taken on a more flexible understanding of choice. Instead of searching for something to take seriously and slavishly devote my life to, I am instead seeking one thing from my diverse choices:


What better goal than joy? What greater heights soar to or greater tales to tell than those filled with joy. Jesu, joy of man's desiring. Or something less religious. Or not.

It isn't a single type of feeling, and it isn't ever certain to last. But it is not instant gratification either. The masks of joy are nearly infinite. Joy exists everywhere in some form, why would I not embrace it?

It ain't always possible, or possibly even advisable, or even advisedly possible, but joy is that rare thing whose pursuit can be identical to its capture. The golden goal.


Find it. Seek it out. Breathe it in and love it.


(hawaii one)
(hawaii three)

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who what where when why how

in terms of who we are as people, perhaps these basic questions can inform us more than we originally realize.

Specifically, which question do you ask more often? Which question do you NEED to know the answer to? Which one is your nemesis?

For example, I'm a why person. I like to know why people do all of the things they do. Not the big things like god and spirituality and science and all of that (although those are all very interesting in their own right) but why someone would chose to look the way they do or act the way the do or take with them what they do. Or even if they don't have a reason, I'd like to know that. I like to know why certain things are required of me and others not. If I can't work out the why, I likely won't do the what with who where when or how I'm supposed to. Like showing up on time for work. I can't figure out why I would want to do that.

The question that constantly trips me up is "when." I don't really like to be places when other people like me to be there. I'm too contrary for that. I like to show up when I'm done with what I wanted to do beforehand. Or I like to show up really early and take 'er easy. Or try to show up really early and actually show up right on time. (As an aside, I feel like I should start a lyrics site of my own, featuring lyrics to shit that I like and like to reference. I could get rid of advertisements and ensure accuracy. I hate searching for lyrics.) I don't know... when never seemed vital to me. Maybe that'll change some day, maybe it won't.

Who never seems to trip me up, even when it, by all rights, should. I don't tend to get caught up trying to figure out how to do things or have any difficulty when "what" is communicated to me. O get lost sometimes, but that's more a function of not caring if I'm on time than it is actually not knowing where I am. (With the first pike meeting of 2008 as a glaring exception to this. Last time I trust that driver to know how to get somewhere.)

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how many 7-footers do the lakers have now?

Three? Plus 2 6-10 guys who can shoot? And Energy Guy Turiaf? Plus Kobe Fisher Vujacic and Walton? This team has serious potential. And the Heat look like they're having fun now too. They can go full-tilt and score points because all 5 of the guys on the floor at any time would just as soon get the bucket as take a jumper from a set offense. Jason Williams still wants to play up-tempo and get a few highlight passes together. This could be a fun team to watch, even if they're not built to do so well over the course of a long season. If they play with confidence and have fun, they'll win their share of games and be a fun team to watch. Marion makes them that different.

But back to the Lakers, they seem to really ahve a "stockpile height" mantra. Imagine putting out a tall lineup of Bynum, Gasol, Odom and Radmanovic with Kobe running point forward? Just to give a completely impossible to match-up with look. If they can learn to work that into their offense for a couple of series per game, and then when they re-insert Fisher (he'd definitely be the starter) you get a true point guard offense, and you can run the triangle through any combination of 2 of kobe, gasol and odom on the floor. Or just Kobe if we want him to go solo for a while with the 2nd teamers before his longer break. THeir options with a full roster are just kind of embarrassing. If Phil really starts letting his vision get to the edge and letting his talent play in odd combinations through the triangle offense, this could be a scary scary team. Everyone seems to accept that Kobe is "the Man" and he doesn't feel the need to prove it as much as he can just be it. If they keep working on that level of coherence, they'll continue to rise. none of these guys will want to leave the team if they pull this off.

Good game to watch today after this with Cleveland vs Denver too!

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The Mars Volta The Bedlam in Goliath

Warped industrial megafunk. Intricate rhythms of doom and love or love and doom or something wicked this way coming. The rhythms are undeniably, unrelentingly complex and heavy. Ethereal guitars or feedback or manipulations of one sort or another occasionally flirt with the top of the soundscape and are then drawn back into the driving complexities. A Saxamaphone? What sick bastard put THAT THERE? I see. We're exploring sound textures. Drop out the bottom, go thicker funk...

This sounds like the Chili peppers with a new lead singer now. That is thick-ass funk. Slap yo momma funk. Shit. The Thumpasauras has returned in a Mexican hyphenated duo from somewhere that my brother warned me about. And what crazed maniac is laying down these bass drums? Unknown, but I shall look it up later. Where's he get off signing high like that? That's some crazy shit.

Now we seem headed for some bitches brew style funk, which is always a bit out there. Nope... Rage Against the Machine without the political message. Something about "never heard a man speak like this man before." I believe it. Blues Riffs? Over that? Back to thrashing!! This is the part of the Volta that I don't like. When they ram it home. But they gotta do what they gotta do i guess. I just turn the volume down. I know its against the spirit of the thing, but whatever. The rest of it is so good. I know the quiet bit comes up next, but I'm a cranky old man.

This spacey jam-out on keeping you as a favor is dope. Smooth it out but be strange. Futureghosts/Lovesounds? The Saxamaphone!!! Again! I heard you here before! Was there just a sax player hanging out round the way?

Speed it back up by paring it back down. Reestablish the brain-popping rhythm. Keep up the pace. Slowed down crazy high rhythms with a thundering backbeat. Man. I don't know how he gets this stuff into or out of his head, but it is wild. Just let yourself go over to the following the rhythms and the high-pitched seemingly-arrhythmic patterns (that almost always feel like they're traveling the wrong direction in time) and you'll feel the improbably mathematical genius of the Mars Volta. And now the lyrics seem so strange all of the time. Talk of sickness and obvious love under the surface. Wormholes. Time. Losing Control.Mystical. Fantastic. Unbelievable and awesome. In both senses.

And the unending technical precision!! The guitarwork is flat-out incredible. I couldn't tell you shit about shit other than what it looks like and what it sounds like when people play ridiculously intricate shit and when they don't. This album = When they do. "be your epidemic." SAXAMAPHONE RETURNS!!!! You can't slip that shit by me again!!

I can't even remember what happened at the beginning of the album. I feel like it has been three full albums already and I'm only just near th end of the 7th song. I don't know if my brain can handle th rest of this. We'll have to make a go of it. Damn.

Now a heavy bassline. Softer. That's good for the moment. If this were a concert, I'd be heading for the toilet. I'd simply have to. But I've got an ipod. So... Not that I'm literally shitting on this part, but I'm in the can because I'm treating this like a concert. If that's gross, fuck off. This music's perfect for it. We've got it getting a little funkier but grooved and blissed instead of hammering and pounding. Still ominously dark and foreboding, but with a slower feel. Now the evil's back in. That's the deal. That's either the Mars or the Volta, but that's what they do. Like Maryland does crab cakes and football.

Those lyrics are so slow over such a fast line. The comparison plays with the notion of time so very effectively. That's either the Volta or the Mars. Gotta be it. Different speeds for the same thing. Somehow fitting together. And then they ram it home. That's the The. I suppose. Makes them definite instead of indefinite. Silly articles.

Oh shit, a hook in your neck? Damn! What have you done for my appetite? Well, I think I might get some food in a bit. But I'm listening to some dope shit at the moment.

Really beautiful organ-like work. And then top-notch lead-solo guitar lines. Back to the beautiful organ-like and then back to hittin the rhythm hard, then strip it down, make it sparse and relayer. With a new pattern. a New voice effect that seems to make it sound like something is rattling on my damn desk. Creepy. Yeah. I rewound it and found it. Creepy! Kinda cool though.

The String Section? You, I did not anticipate. Perhaps I should have. Now a sort of spooky vamp int he background with a crazy-dizzy guitar in front. Now the strings are back. Wild. This track is fitting together well now. Good groove again. Now the evil peeks through. Take what's yours. We become bequeathed. Amp up the snare. Nice. Say the sooth, sir, say the sooth. I took a brief look at wikipedia earlier about this album.. all of the track names have crazy names like Ouroboros the self-eating serpent and the like. I noticed a couple, but I'll admit without the single reference point of "Wikipedia" as a place to start? I would not have known that all of them were. I would have assumed some were made up. Now, I didn't actually read all of them yet, but that was because I wanted to listen to the music first. I will then go back and read. She's calling me. Strings are mourning more. A brief respite. singing. A chorus? One more track to go.

Nice opening. Spookfunk. Crawling guitar Good pace to keep working at now. Crazyfast guitar now. Altered voices up high. Drop it out and back up to speed. Crazy Ending. Noise. SAXAMAPHONE!!!! YOU FUCK!

Seems to end in mid-run... aha! repeat. ouroboros.

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below the heavens

blu & exile.

If you're not listening, you're missing.

The key to listening? Blues in Exile. Because that's what this album is. It is the blues screened through today's landscape. The beats drip soul, the lyrics are about pain and struggle and overcoming. The lyrics work on level after level and are applicable to your life, even though you're not a struggling young black dude from no where. Unless you are.

The universality of the sentiments is the key to the blues. There is pain and there is hate in the blues. But not the hate that cannot be overcome, unless you're John Lee Hooker, of course... but he's bad like Jesse James. But the struggle and the power to lift yourself up is something incredible that Blu shares. It resonates with the viewer, and the backdrops painted by Exile match perfectly.

The most amazing trick is without question the fact that though this music is the blues, it makes you feel like the sun is shining down on you. It is truly music born of the never-ending sunshine of the city of angels (though the stranger "didn't find it to be that, exactly.") that admits that the sun alone doesn't make everything is perfect.

Anyway, the music is fantastic. The lyrics are powerful, direct, relevant and elegant. This album is already a classic. Buy it.

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George Plimpton said that was the shortest poem in the English Language.

It was uttered by Muhammad Ali at some graduation somewhere (Harvard maybe) but more importantly, something similar was uttered by McCain:

"I think we must get used to the idea that we are the Republican Party front-runner"

Well, shit, "we." Is he using the royal we? Does it matter?

More importantly, what does it tell us? We don't elect individuals as much as we elect groups chosen by individuals. Just remember that.

Or is he just making "we" all feel like "we"'re with him as the front runner? Some cunning linguistic trick?

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don't hate the player

hate the game.

and i do. a thousand times over. superfatuesday or whatever we're calling it this year is yet another nail in the coffin. please narrow my choices to only the front runners so that when i vote, i can vote for someone i disagree with less. please. i've always wanted choices to be made for my in my life so that i don't do something stupid like choose something that no one else will choose. i want to vote for winners, not losers.

talk about "grabbing the front runner media advantage." talk about "the economy being a major issue now that we're headed for a recession." all of it is just fluff for the cameras. putting a spin on what is going on. explaining the inexplicable. sampling, polling, spinning.

who are my candidates? what do they actually want? what are they actually like? why are the actually here?

the answers to these questions are not talked about. instead, their thoughts are filtered and homogenized through so many machinations and advisers to be the same for every candidate. instead of voting on knowing the candidates, i must vote on shadowy representations of candidates. (You SHUT THE HELL UP about your damn cave, Plato. We've all heard enough.) representations designed specifically to fool us and lure us as voters, not as citizens and humans and residents. as VOTERS.

they want nothing but your vote. everything is predicated upon that. the VOTE. VOTEVOTE. VOTERS. not people. they're appealing to us as voters. what's the difference? well, voters vote. they don't feel, they don't think compassionately, they cast a vote. (etc) well, how do you get more people to cast votes for you than someone else? differentiate yourself ever-so-slightly on just the right issues and you'll get the vote. ever-so-slightly. if you change in a big way, you'll get discarded like that midgetcinich.

sure, maybe they've got noble intentions. maybe they don't. but it doesn't even matter. you're buying a bill of goods. political and social pasts constructed specifically to win this race. to get your vote. what you see is not what you get.

but i can't be mad at the candidates because if they don't play the game, they don't have a chance. if they do play the game, they give themselves away.

another return to douglas adams: "anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job."

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david byrne's voice in my head

Damn the man.

And his constantly shifting multi-layered poly-rhythms.

Art for art's sake (who's/whose art?) is what the heads talked about, and that's something I can appreciate. Investigating the frame and what it contains as well as what it doesn't just to make some crazy psychokilling post-modern punkadelic electricdiscodance music for paranoid androids. (Yes, virginia... "Radio Head" begat Radiohead)

Simply put, the music and the message are the same. None of it is left to chance, and all of it seems to have sprung wildly and uncontrollably from Byrne's head. I don't know how it got in there, but I'm happy it got out. And judging by the sound and fury of it, so is he. If i had that kind of stuff trapped in my brain I'd be happy to get it out too.

The strange thing is the grand idea of making paranoid nutty dance music always brings me back to Steely Dan when I consider it all. They made crazy paranoid slightly funkdafied west-coast guitar soloed studio smooth elevator music. About the craziest things you can imagine. Just like how fools recognize Steely Dan and know a couple of words and think to themselves "This is some nice background music" there is some feeling that the Heads are just some kinda dancey crap with a full-on strange as hell high-opinion of himself frontman. Both are just so incredibly wrong that it is laughable, man - ha ha!

In some sense, there are two camps of music. Unfiltered, unadulterated (see Ramones and the like) and supremely processed (like what I'm talking about here). And I love bits of both, but there is something about the conscious creation of levels within the music and considering the way it is perceived versus the expectations of the listener and all that really seems to get into my head these days.

So... that's that.

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"He's just this guy, you know?"