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Monthly Archives: May 2008

another overdue post.

i was raised by the television, i even had cable in my bedroom. almost every night i watched nick at night. donna reed, mr ed, dobie gillis and get smart were part of my ritual. but the show i loved the most was rowan and martin’s laugh-in. laugh-in made a huge impression on me. i was saddened by the news of dick martin’s death earlier this week.

thank you dick martin (he’s the one on the right). thank you too dan rowan who passed away in the late eighties.

the best part of laugh in were the cocktail parties, someday i will have one like this. i just need enough friends who are good with one liners.

this is the last of the orson scott card books that morgan’s aunt bridget lent me, i have been overwhelmed with science fiction. this book follows a similar plot as treason. they both tell the story of the outcast ruler trying to make things right on a far away planet populated with people expelled from earth. while treason was an interesting look into gender and race relations in politics, wyrms is more of a statement on religion. i didn’t really like this book at first because i thought it was going to far into the realm of religous allegory. but then as the story got more developed with introduction of the other species, the geblings, the dwelfs and the gaunts, and how their history and non religion fit into the course of human development mr. card took the book into another direction. choosing to focus on the how all species are connected and not on how they are different, thus turning wyrms into a revolutionary, almost blasphemous, tale. besides the heavy religious overtones of the beginning of the book, my only other complaint is that the main conflict is resolved a bit quickly and simply. i would like the last three chapters to have been fleshed out a bit more. orson scott card is a really great writer, while his books are firmly set in science fiction, he takes them to so many different levels.

this should have been up earlier in the week, morgan and i went to the m.i.a. show over a week ago. it has been delayed because (1) i went to seattle for the weekend, (2) i was really lazy on memorial day, and (3) i cut my finger and thumb on a broken glass at work on tuesday. the cuts would open up every time i started typing, they are much better now.

last friday we walked down to the roseland for the m.i.a. show. we wanted to get there a little early so we could get some good seats in the balcony. we were suprised that the place was already full when we got there a little after nine. the balcony of the roseland is also the 21and over section, and was already filled so we had to wait in a line while they let one person up for every one that came down. it’s a good thing that the bathrooms were downstairs or we never would of gotten up. morgan got up first and went to scope out the seats, i met up with him soon and we found the perfect seats in the front row on the right side. even thought the balcony was “full” the was really no one in the seats.

the opening dj, whose name i forget or never knew, did a great job of getting the crowd warmed up. the crowd was dancing, screaming and generally having a great time. then glass candy came on for their set. i have been a fan of glass candy since they still had the shattered theater with them. over the years they have evolved into a duo that focuses more on disco than garage rock. this was my first time seeing them, and i have to say i wasn’t that impressed. i enjoyed the songs, although it would of been nice to hear some of the older material. unfortunately their stage presence leaves something to be desired, which might be the answer to my question of why they aren’t bigger. they tried to keep the energy going but they just kind of fell a bit flat. being a local band they seemed to have a huge amount of fans in the crowd, so that helped them a bit, mainly though the crowd kind of stood there. i still am a fan of them, but i doubt i will go out of my way to see them again.

they made a huge mistake after glass candy ended, they left the crowd standing for almost an hour, listening to some sort of prerecorded mix or hidden dj. the mix of music lacked the punch of the opening dj’s set, even if it did contain several of my favorite diplo mixes. the crowd quickly got reckless. they should of saved the dj for that time.

all was forgiven when the lights dimmed and m.i.a.’s mao-esque revolutionary intro started. once that ended the (unfortunately close) strobe light started up and m.i.a. took the stage with “bamboo banga”, which i have to say is just the best first song ever written. it is also the first song on kala, it really sets a tone and the slow build up gets you ready for anything. joined on stage by the opening dj, one hype gal, and a male dancer, m.i.a. spent an hour and a half ripping through her set never stopping for a moment. my only regret of her performance was the jimmy was shortened and mixed into another song. other than that i would tell everyone that they need to see m.i.a., do not let a chance pass you by. she connects with a crowd like few artists can, and she can get you all sorts of riled up.

due to the almost constant strobe, this was the best picture i could get. m.i.a. is the sparkly blur.

on sunday morgan and made our way to the doug fir to see clinic. we were pleasantly surprised by how much we both enjoyed the opening act, shearwater. they have been around for a few years now and i have never payed attention to them, i kind of regret that now. they kind of have a scott walker/leonard cohen/nick cave sound. and they did the (almost) impossible and got me not to hate a song with a banjo. also their drummer can do some interesting things with a bow and a xylophone. i’m gonna have to pick up their new album when it comes out next month.

one of the reasons i like the doug fir as a venue is their punctuality, clinic came promptly at 10:30. they told us they were going to do two sets, the first with songs from the new album do it, the second with songs from the first five albums. i am well aware that clinic is one of those bands that really only have one song, sometimes played faster than other times, but i am a big fan of that one song. on the new album they added a bit of reggae and free jazz influence to their krautrockish protopunk. the songs off the new album really shined live. the second set contained a couple of songs off each of the older albums, including their “hit” “walking with thee”. clinic is a great live band, bringing a lot of energy to the show. i miss the scrubs though, i’m not quite feeling the hawiiaan shirts.

matmos are probably the most famous spokesband for musique concrete, albeit a more poppy version. they tend to remove a lot of the seriousness involved with musique concrete while matiaining the intellectualism. their albums are alway’s recorded using a set concept or guidelines. in the past they have constructed an album using only plastic surgery sound samples, and made an album that was full of tributes to well known gays and lesbians. for supreme balloons they composed it entirely on vintage synths and organs, and features some collaborations with j lesser, hrvatski, terry riley, and marshall allen.

the vintage instruments used on this album give it a sound that fits right in with the classic albums of raymond scott, jean jacques perrey, gershon kingsley, hans elder and erkki kurenniemi. while the sound might be rooted in the past the production and composition of the tracks are all matmos. they have a fondness for chunky beats that, i hate to say it, can sometimes be a bit funky. normally that would be at turn off for me, but matmos can do no wrong. only some of their songs would even come close to being dancey, for the beats for the most part broken and more than a bit disjointed. also they tend to have that ability to make you a bit tense, which is something i seem to look for in music. on supreme balloons they seem to embracing some prog-rock influences. most notably in the twenty six minute title track, a sprawling organ filled epic that yes and early genesis fans would be proud of.

this is another great album for matmos. they are easily one of the most interesting and suprising groups around today. i can’t wait for the show in july. last time i saw them they sampled live spankings and did some amazing things with sound of pounding roses.

plus mc schmidt and drew daniel make a hot couple.