Posts Tagged ‘personal’

Underworld – Stagger

January 20, 2011

As far as blog posts go this one feels a bit like cheating.

Here’s the background for this one, then: for the first time in quite some time, I have a DJ gig coming up tomorrow! It’s actually going to be a first for me – I’ve never played a gig strictly with music in digital formats. In fact, this time I won’t even be bringing along my trusty Technics. Therefore this gig (actually a private event for the Boulder College of Massage Therapy) is opening up new possibilities for me, and I was digging through the music in my library when I came across this one — Underworld – Stagger (link directs you to a youtube upload of the track.) It’s a great track from Underworld’s Second Toughest in the Infants, an absolutely massive album and one of my all-time favorites. (Go buy the album if you don’t already own it. You have to have it, trust me.)

I really just wanted to post the lyrics to Stagger – really my sole motivation for this post. (I don’t know how they came up with the lyrics on this album, but I’ve heard they sometimes juxtaposed random text or snippets of recordings or conversations they captured; not too sure on this one.) And here it is:

Album cover for Underworld's Second Toughest in the Infants

orange in the mouth again. straighten.
wearing stonewashed denim again. straighten.
carrying something wrapped in plastic. straighten.
curled on the blue velveteen again. straighten.
straighten.

siteless yellow highrise. bethnal green. straighten.
corner tubeless dark and wet. straighten.
ten tons slowly then again. straighten.
with its glass eyes a blue formica halo.
stainless steel between the fingers. straighten.
pissed and leaning ponytail. licking
colonel sanders fingers.
the naming of killer boy.

everything’s going west nothings going east. straighten.
there’s no need to be so uptight. straighten.
make up for all their messes.
I could listen to you all day. what a laugh.
cut me I bleed like you. ha ha.
the naming of killer boy.

cover your teeth. I love you.
don’t bite me yet. I believe in you.
I found you shopping in Europa on
wardour street. not phoning packwidth.
guilty as sin. straighten.
scratches on paper. pissed in a tube hole. straighten.
smelling of deep-fried beans and whispering your name.
tube hole wind in my face. thunder in gentle distance.
reactor. reactor. do you mind. straighten.
this is a random feature. random feature.
this is a random feature.
naming of killer boy. wired up.

That is all.

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what I’m doing next week.

August 14, 2009

This is another one of those “write something on the blog so I give it some thought” posts.

I’m taking a week off from work – the week before school starts (well actually I quit my job, too, but that’s another story) – for pretty much the first time in the past year (not counting family events).I’m not really going anywhere, but here are some of the possible ways I might spend my time (besides staying home and doing nothing, which is the most important one):

go to Denver, check out my friend Scott‘s new place, catch up with some friends that have just recently returned from Spain, and maybe pay a visit to one of my favorite pubs

finish reading Discipline & Punish (I’m getting there), order books for school, organize / move the hell out of the way the many I already own (this includes setting aside a lot more to get rid of), and pay a visit to the Ginsburg library – maybe check out Derrida’s Acts of Religion

spend some time hanging out with my turntables (I cleaned them pretty thoroughly this week, outside and in – but I haven’t mixed much in ages). hopefully Sennheiser will ship my headphones back to me before then (I sent my HD280s to them for repairs and they very promptly shipped me the wrong ones; not talking shit because they make good stuff, but I will be happy when the proper model arrives)

practice karate more outside of class. I was on a roll for a few weeks, but then the heat and my laziness made their presence known.

figure out how to ask out girls I don’t know (I suck at this. yet it’s always the ones I don’t know that I’m most interested in). then go out and do it. (yes I have a particular person in mind)

do something to organize my room and make it look better.

get my hair cut.

try to hang out with friends at least twice, and if possible catch a DJ or some live music (in Denver needless to say)

drink cold beer on a hot afternoon.

do a lot of nothing.

YES. my vacation is going to be awesome. I just realized this list is at least 85% about me. Narcissism has its place and I welcome it.

music to check out…(a free association)

August 13, 2009

For someone that loves music and listens to all kinds of it, I am decidedly unadventurous about it. I don’t really buy music – that is, I pretty much only buy vinyl, and when I do it’s usually somewhat DJ oriented, and in any case I only really by stuff I come across in a shop or online.

So here I’m compiling a short list of music I’m interested in checking out (or maybe listening to a little bit more). I’m going to let it build for a little while; I think the results might be surprising.

I guess I’ve been listening to so much electronic stuff for a while that I need to diversify a bit. I’m going to try to represent some of the breadth of the musical styles that interest me in this list, and then hopefully I’ll develop some ideas of stuff to track down.

Although basically I think there are more or less two categories: newer releases or stuff I’ve missed in genres I’m pretty familiar with, and more obscure / indie / avant-garde stuff I’ve never really come across. Or actually that isn’t right at all. It’s that there’s some stuff I’m familiar with, but would like to become more so – like Sonic Youth or Fugazi (I know, weird examples) – and then other stuff that I haven’t really heard but know I would like to – like Kayo Dot, or Merzbow, or more J Dilla stuff since I’m always a couple years behind everyone else (these really are some strange examples).

Perhaps strangely, topping of the list (and the only artist that really comes to mind at the moment) is Angels of Light – which for those who don’t know is more or less the solo project of Michael Gira (Swans).

OK, this list isn’t going to make sense to anyone else anyway. So, yeah:

Angels of Light (I love the Swans. Gira is a genius. Gotta pick up at least one album)

Fugazi (I know – I’m way behind. I’ve only really listened to Repeater all the way through)

New Order (not as familiar as I should be. I have one of their much, much later albums)

Merzbow (I’ve only heard about one song they did with Discordance Axis. I’d be interested in hearing some of their stuff)

Swans (I already know and love ’em. But I need to summon up courage and listen to their back-catalog – like pre ’89. As well as just listen more to the rest of their stuff)

Sonic Youth (I really am not familiar with their stuff much)

Bikini Kill (never heard their stuff. I probably should)

The Replacements (never listened to them, feel like I should at least check them out)

(the direction this list is taking is really unexpected, but then I guess it’s a success)

Husker Du (I’ve listened to some of Bob Mould’s solo stuff, maybe I should add these guys in at this point – it seems apropos)

Desert Sessions (I wish I could put Kyuss on the list but I’ve listened to everything they’ve put out, really – except Desert Sessions)

Kayo Dot (I have all three Maudlin of the Well albums and love them, seen Kayo Dot play, loved them… now I just have to pick up their albums)

Discordance Axis (specifically The Inalienable Dreamless. I’ve listened to a lot of their other stuff. This is one of the only grindcore bands I listen to)

hm. I just actually contemplated adding Napalm Death to the list. I think I’m getting way off track here. Going to post this now. Look forward to future edits – and oh. Suggestions please (especially if you can recommend some good industrial. Skinny Puppy and Nine Inch Nails are about the extent of my familiarity).

P.S. I can’t believe how much rock music is on this list. To my readers that don’t know me (and maybe even those that do) this list could be really misleading about my current listening habits. I basically listen to rock music once every two weeks (that should explain why there’s hardly anything contemporary about my list). But for my appalling ignorance there would be way more house music represented here. I need some help here. Or maybe just need to get out more.

I do want to get the new Martyn album (Great Lengths), and anything that D-Bridge releases (either by himself or on his label – there, click on the link and listen to the songs in the beatport player. that’s more the kind of stuff I’ve been listening to. oh, and even more so stuff like this, this, or this. you really should click on one or two of those.) And yeah it goes without saying: when it comes to Chain Reaction, Basic Channel, Rhythm & Sound – more. . . I just can’t get enough of it. (Discovering these labels…maybe it’s something like…I don’t know, the appropriate religious metaphor fails me.)

OK, it’s late. Enough. I’m off to sleep. Love to you all.

twilight

July 29, 2009

What haunts the sky at dawn? Is it the imminent experience of an approaching day which threatens to obscure dreams, already distant, of an almost forgotten night?

Imagine the sky at twilight. Time slows to a crawl, if not standing still; not yet night but the day is receding. See its color, a transient color – the twilight sky. Does it triumph over the fading day?

Watch as its color eludes you, escaping perception, defying memory, as the sky turns to a bright white…

why boulder sucks. (part 1)

June 7, 2009

“People seeing the beauty of this valley will want to stay, and their staying will be the undoing of the beauty.” – Chief Niwot

quick disclaimer before I get started: this list doesn’t purport to be exhaustive.

I mentally stumbled upon the best way to sum up my issue with Boulder quite recently. A few weeks back, I flew to NYC and spent a week there. On the way back toward my parents’ apartment from the grocery store I caught sight of a newsstand as I was passing by it (from a Boulder perspective, the very idea of a newsstand seems so anachronistic). There were probably newspapers in languages I couldn’t even recognize; we’re talking at least 25-30 different foreign-language newspapers. I mean, I can think of the names of at least two daily NYC newspapers in Spanish just off the top of my head, and I haven’t lived there much in the last six years (and those are just the ones I’ve noticed people reading on the subway). It finally dawned on me while I was in the city a couple weeks ago that 95%+ of the population of Boulder comes from one of two countries, both of which are in North America (and I’m not making that up. That’s actually fairly accurate)!

Some people, no doubt (though probably not those in my blog’s primary audience – thank you, good friends, for reading), would probably respond to this with incredulity: is the lack of diversity really the biggest thing wrong with Boulder?

Well, actually, yes. At least, it’s the most fundamental thing wrong with it, underlying most of the other issues. Boulder is actually sort of a gigantic self-contradiction in many ways. I think it probably has one of the strongest recycling programs in the country, and indeed, the culture here is at times almost neurotically oriented toward issues of environmental sustainability (not that that’s necessarily so bad in and of itself); and yet the same people fiercely advocating for every disposable cup, fork and knife to be made out of compostable corn product seems to love driving those oh-so-sustainable Jeeps and Range Rovers all over town.

It isn’t just that there’s so much wealth on display in Boulder (though the degree to which that is true is fairly shocking). It’s also striking that the Boulder “culture,” such as it is – and I will admit, Boulder does have some culture – seems to be geared toward encouraging maximally self-indulgent wallowing in all that money. Worse, the unrepentantly hedonistic consumer culture is inextricably intertwined with concerns that seem much more benevolent, as in the recycling example mentioned earlier. So for example, the city of Boulder (or maybe it’s the county), protects natural areas outlying the city and other suburban growth areas by allocating them as Open Space and Mountain Parks and restricting development on those areas. Yet it is precisely the abundance of natural vistas that attracts the hordes of wealthy white Californians looking for a nice place to build their McMansions and raise their kids (to turn a phrase I might, at the risk of offending some, term this phenomenon “white blight”). Sadly, most of these folks are probably so busy trying to make the capitalism work that they have little if any time to actually enjoy the natural beauty that probably attracted them to Boulder in the first place (because almost none of them came from here).

These are the people who spend their time fretting over their overpriced lattes while talking into a Bluetooth headset, checking stock quotes or sending e-mail on their mobile devices, and likely nearly inflicting death or serious injury while doing it because all the while they are driving, disregarding that whole “stay in the lane” idea or worse, cluelessly trying to navigate their Audi through a rotary (either the simplicity of how to drive through a rotary is lost on many members of the Boulder upper class, or else they simply think the traffic laws don’t apply if the car cost more than $40K).

Some of you might think I’m being harsh: “Come on, Akiva – you can’t blame people for having enough money for being able to afford nice cars or nice houses. It’s not exactly their fault. If you had a trust-fund, would you want to be judged for it?”

I probably am being a bit harsh, and I’m certainly being judgmental. But look, things don’t happen in a vacuum. I’m not necessarily faulting Boulder’s trust-fund class for being in the top tax-bracket, but I am alleging that the effects of its demographic make-up have a terrible impact on the quality of life in this city / town / whatever-it-is (for the rest of us, that is). Firstly, the racial divide that accompanies the economic disparity is too painfully obvious to be ignored. I would like to compare the homeownership rate of the white vs. Mexican populations of the city of Boulder. I’ll do some research, and get back to you i part 2.

When it comes to culture, Boulder is really hurting. This town has no gay bar (as telling a marker of the quality of urban life as I can think of). It has no night life to speak of (no offense to those that are actually trying). It has one movie theater (I mean theaters that play movies every day), and it’s a pre-fab Cinemark joint. There are good bookstores, but not one independently owned record shop. It’s got an excellent state university (although, according to a recent column I read by Stanley Fish of the Times, only a tiny portion of CU’s funding is actually from public sources – I think around 5%, and at any rate, certainly less than 10%. Look it up if you don’t believe me) and a (in my experience, at least) very good small, private Buddhist-inspired university in Naropa. It’s also got a lot of bicycles.

All of this brings me in the direction of perhaps one of Boulder’s most prominent characteristics which I’ve hardly even touched on. But I have to cut this short, because I’m getting tired, so until part 2, feel free to weigh in with your own point of view. Probably one of the first topics that comes to mind for many people as soon as Boulder is mentioned will be the starting topic of part 2: NEW AGE SPIRITUALITY. boy oh boy…

New Machine

June 3, 2009

So, I haven’t written anything here in awhile – in fact, I’ve scarcely written anything on this blog at all. The reason for that is my first extended entry, a lengthy overview and commentary of all the Lynch and Fellini films I’ve seen, which took at least an hour to produce – completely disappeared from WordPress.com. Totally gone. Oh, that whole “revisions” feature, where you get to revert to previous drafts? No help at all. So I already feel somewhat disenchanted with this website. That, and it’s alienating: the whole “Dashboard” feature actually evokes a real dashboard – such as, perhaps, that of a highly complex aircraft, one which I am not qualified to handle. Yet all that, and I can’t change the background image without taking a crash course in Cascading Style Sheets. I mean, you gotta me kidding me – I don’t even communicate in HTML. Why can’t I just upload a JPG file? (Maybe I’m just not competent enough to handle the Dashboard.)

All of which, in one long breath, explains why I might migrate over to WordPress.com’s chief competitor blogspot.com if I’m serious about continuing to blog. Complaining aside, though, I’m fairly pleased right now because for the first time ever, I bought a new computer. Not only that, but this is the first Mac I’ve owned since before it was fairly routine for personal computers to be hooked up to the Internet.

My last machine was a generous gift from my family, one of those solidly built Dell desktops (the Dimension series) that is very rectangular and black. (If you have any association with Naropa University, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about because it’s pretty much what the school’s able to afford). Anyway, I’m typing this on my brand new 24-inch iMac desktop. I’ve never used the word sexy to describe a machine before, yet suddenly that’s the word I feel compelled to use.

Actually, my intention for this entry wasn’t to bubble over with loving praise and adoration for machines – even one as admittedly awesome as my new iMac. I must be getting carried away, because what I was trying to say was actually more along the lines of “Yes, this is a wonderful machine, and technology is clearly awesome, BUT–

Along with my wonderful iMac, which makes me want to use the word awesome for yet a third time, I also bought an iPod Touch, which because I am a student, will be in essence a completely free purchase. That’s right – Apple is going to send me a check for $229 or whatever for the iPod Touch because I bought it at the same time as the iMac (which was $100 cheaper for me – after all, I’m a starving student). I know, I should shut up and stop complaining now, right?

Well, I’m not complaining. Just observing that technology is a funny thing. It’s kind of like Pringles or cocaine – never enough to keep you happy. I would have been pretty happy with just the iMac, but now I’m kind of attached to my new iPod as well. I can read news during my lunch break at work, or respond to an email. I even have the entire Qu’ran on it, in both Arabic and English translation, and I can even listen to the recitation of any surah I want if I’m willing to wait a few minutes until it downloads…

So, my point is? I almost forgot it, I’m having so much fun just typing and gazing at my brand new iMac. But you know, I’ve been reading Judith Butler’s book Gender Trouble (which is in my reading list – go take a look and offer me suggestions) and since I bought this machine, I’ve scarcely read two paragraphs of it. I just can’t tear myself away from the machine…

…which doesn’t really bother me too much. I have plenty of time to read, and I plan to do lots of reading this summer. I know I’m still kind of in the honeymoon phase here (my old machine was really on its last legs, the poor thing can finally retire) but I guess I’m just a bit disconcerted, because there’s a tiny voice inside of me that insists that technology, as amazing and wonderful as it is, is like capitalism only thousands of times more potent… the final development of human civilization that incontrovertibly spells doom for us all.

It doesn’t help that there’s something voyeuristic about this huge screen I’m sitting in front of. I mean, you know what the iMac looks like, right? The whole freaking thing is a screen. It’s not like there’s the monitor, and it’s connected to the actual box, the “brain-case” so to speak, that houses the processor and all that. No. The screen is the brain. And the more I stare at it and interact with it via the keyboard and mouse (admittedly quite a pleasurable experience), the more I wonder whether it is staring back at me… oh, I also engaged in video-chat today for the first time ever, with my friend Roo. That’s weird too. You can see yourself, and the other person. But then you realize that the other person can see you even if you’re not looking at them, like if you’re checking your e-mail or browsing through the music in your library. That’s not like real life, really. Instead, you are completely subsumed within the intensity of your own gaze. You forget, or somehow repress, the idea that you might very well be the object of the gaze of someone else… perhaps of the machine itself. There’s something Lacanian about all this. Too bad I don’t speak, or comprehend, Lacanian well enough to articulate it.

Know what I think? Barack Obama may well be the last human U.S. President ever. Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to Skynet…

reading list

April 16, 2009

A note of caution: steer clear of this list if “academic” reading makes you uncomfortable. And here it is – a work in progress:

Anything and everything by Pynchon (I’ve only read The Crying of Lot 49), but I’ll probably start (and continue for quite some time, heh) with Gravity’s Rainbow. (Only problem is, it would have to be over the summer, but if I read it then I might not read much else…)

Kafka’s Amerika (because it’s the only one of his novels I haven’t read). Maybe some of his letters too…

Judith Butler – Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity.

Freud – Civilization and its Discontents.

Bataille – Inner Experience (it’s been sitting on my shelf for a while..) I definitely will try to read more of his fictional (I almost said “creative,” heh) prose as well, though.

Khaled Hosseini – The Kite Runner (I started reading it but had to put it aside because of the volume of reading for school)

Fredric Jameson – The Political Unconscious

I’d like to read something by Levinas.

I’m also kind of interested in reading some stuff by Avital Ronell (sp?).

I think I warned you that this would be a pretty nerdy list. It’s by no means exhaustive, though. Besides, given the less than three weeks remaining in the semester, academics are on my mind at the moment.

Any suggestions?