Pseudonyms I Like Right Now
Kenneth Anger, Iggy Stooge, Adny Shernoff.
Earwax Video Store the Gas Face
Okay, I like the café. Good place to sit and get coffee
or a cup of soup and pick up the Reader. But man, in a neighborhood
that's already notorious for its surly hipster service industry,
Earwax Video is the worst. After I moved here, I called 'em up
and asked them, "How much do your titles rent for?"
That might be a slightly annoying question, I don't know, but
even if you asked the Earwax staff a genius question they'd be
pissy just because you interrupted them while they were standing
at the counter reading a magazine. But I ask him, and what does
he say? "Depends." And that was it! I responded, appropriately,
"On what?" and then he mumbles the info to me.
Can you believe that shit??! A simple response of "$2.50
and $3.50," even at his surliest, would've been much better.
This was a year ago, but they
haven't gotten any better. My friend Bobby Chewb was just up there
with Mitch Elsener because they were looking for Strange Brew
and the Blockbuster just up the street didn't have it. Mitch hates
Earwax, and rather than go anywhere near the simmering hipster
in the foam/mesh baseball cap at the counter, he just acted like
he was looking at the foreign section while he waited. Chewb went
up to the guy and asked, "Do you have Strange Brew
?" and the guy, noting where Mitch was positioned, actually
whined back, "Not in foreign!" Can you believe that
shit? Chewb should've said, "Oh really, is it not a Canadian
film?" but he just said something a little more to the point
like, "Oh jeezuz, fuck you."
it real. Represent what? My nuts." -- Kool Keith
Right now Tom is playing Abbey Road in the vault, and Elaine
is in here with me in shipping, listening to a classic rock radio
station on her headphones. Echoing in from the vault is the long
infinite coda of "I Want You (She’s So Heavy)," while
in here Elaine has got some Led Zeppelin song on her AM/FM walkman,
and I can hear Robert Plant in a ghostly far-off way going “baby
baby baby baby…” over the endless doomy weighty Beatles arpeggios
and it sounds perfect! On another day, Tom in the vault and Elaine
in here both had their radio tuned to the same station. The song
was Nugent's "Stranglehold," and from the other room
I could hear the bassline, and from Elaine's headphones I could
hear the guitar solo! Wow, it was like that one Flaming Lips album!
I firmly believe that anyone who claims Eminem isn't talented
has not sat down and listened to one of his albums. Actually,
I haven't heard his debut or his third album, but his second album,
The Marshall Mathers LP, seems specifically designed as
a response to such detractors, both in the literally incredible
amount of rhyming techniques and skills on display, but also in
the actual subject matter, which specifically taunts, rebuts,
and threatens its detractors, song after song and usually line
after line. Now, I could understand if someone heard this album
and still didn't care for it -- the subject matter is FAR over
the top and as Eminem himself cautions, you need a strong sense
of humor to even begin to let it slide -- but for someone to hear
just two or three of these songs and say that Eminem isn't talented,
that's like someone looking at the Sears Tower and saying that
it isn't very tall. And, enjoy it or not, this is some of the
most hardcore confessional songwriting in the pop arena since
Bob Dylan. (How many others have even really tried? Neil Young?
Anyone else?) For example, In a skit midway through the album
his manager chides him: "Do you know why Dre's record was so successful?
He's rapping about big-screen TVs, blunts, 40s, and bitches. You're
rapping about homosexuals and Vicodin." This bit strikes me as
more accurately deprecating than anything ever said by his detractors.
Top 9 Noise
Albums I've Ever Heard
1. Whitehouse Birth Death Experience
2. Hanatarash 3 (RRR)
3. Bananafish #11 comp (featuring Macronympha, hosted by Emil
4. Any one Cock ESP release, especially their videos
5. Sonic Youth Silver Sessions For Jason Knuth
6. Lou Reed Metal Machine Music
7. Crank Sturgeon/Negro split CS (Giardia)
8. Emil Beaulieau For Masami Akita
9. Merzbow Venereology.
there's tons of 'good ones,' but I don't want any of 'em. Even
after the Sonic Youth it gets pretty random. The split cassette
came with an issue of Muckraker that I bought, which was cool
and really all the noise I needed for another year of record-buying.
The Emil Beaulieau at #8 is really only in there by default, because
it was slightly better than the one Merzbow CD I got around to
buying. At one point, before I'd really heard any noise music
besides Cage and Stockhausen, I had to see what Merzbow was all
about; he was the one who got the most press. It was before I
had a computer and knew that you could find a lot of records on
the internet, so I tried to special order Merzbow through the
decently stocked but unabashedly cheesy record store I worked
for. The only one I could get was Venereology. I popped
it in, and was dutifully impressed but only listened to it all
the way through once before giving it to Jeff Mason. He worked
at Cosmic Comics, a store in the same mall as my record store,
and he had just given me an incredible classic punk/hardcore mixtape.
(Best song beside the Germs: "Bombers" by Tubeway Army.)
His initial report on the Merzbow CD was that it was "Awesome!"
I agreed but was in no hurry to get it back. In fact, it didn't
come up again for a good 6 months, and by that time Jeff had no
idea where it was anymore. Which was fine with me. Apparently
neither of us really needed much more after that initial rush.
That's why Merzbow makes so many different albums, and in fact
why noise artists in general make so many albums; because noise
is like crack cocaine. Each noise release is like a rock of crack
cocaine; it excites but quickly burns itself out and must be replenished
if the listeners and/or performers are addicts. What did Merzbow
call his original self-owned label? "Lowest Arts & Music."
Exactly! Still the best definition of noise music anyone's ever
written. The All Music Guide (truly great website, by the way)
says this about Merzbow: "There is no need to argue: Merzbow
stands as the most important artist in noise music." Most
important? Probably, but, as my list above indicates, I certainly
wouldn't call him the best.
The Sonic Youth album may be a 'surprise' choice, but it's just
that good. Not because the sounds are anything special -- it's
just guitar feedback -- but because the Youth does their best
to not let the rush run out, by taking care during post-production.
Each track is 4-5 minutes long. I'm sure the originals went on
much longer, to the point of redundance and tedium, but the band
was generous enough to heavily edit tracks and shuffle them around.
The actual mixdown creates tons of nuance, slowly bringing various
tracks of feedback in and out of focus/
equalization. Or, as Thurston Moore's liner notes say: '...we
recorded the whole thing and a few months later we mixed it down
into sections, ultra-processing it to a wholly other "piece"
-- in a way, it's my favorite record of ours --' Well
yeah, that's what I'm sayin'......
of Random Statistics
what some call East St. Louis, Illinois, referring to its high percentage
of African American residents. This
website has some actual statistics, from which I've compiled
the Top 30 Blackest Cities in America. East St. Louis, however,
isn't in there, because it only has 41,000 people and said website
only had population statistics for cities of 200,000 or more. If
you find stats for cities/towns under 200,000 on that site, let
Detroit, MI (75.7% black)
2. Atlanta, GA (67.1%)
3. Washington, DC (65.8%)
4. Birmingham, AL (63.3%)
5. New Orleans, LA (61.9%)
6. Baltimore, MD (59.2%)
7. Newark, NJ (58.5%)
8. Richmond, VA (55.2%)
9. Memphis, TN (54.8%)
10. St. Louis, MO (47.5%)
11. Cleveland, OH (46.6%)
12. Oakland, CA (43.9%)
12. Baton Rouge, LA (43.9%)
14. Philadelphia, PA (39.9%)
15. Chicago, IL (39.1%)
15. Norfolk, VA (39.1%)
17. Mobile, AL (38.9%)
18. Cincinnati, OH (37.9%)
19. Charlotte, NC (31.8%)
20. Rochester, NY (31.5%)
21. Buffalo, NY (30.7%)
22. Milwaukee, WI (30.5%)
23. Jersey City, NJ (29.7%)
23. Louisville, KY (29.7%)
25. Kansas City, MO (29.6%)
26. Dallas, TX (29.5%)
27. New York, NY (28.7%)
28. Houston, TX (28.1%)
29. Raleigh, NC (27.6%)
30. Miami, FL (27.4%)
after putting this together, I read that Gary, Indiana was actually
the blackest city in America, but it's population is also under