Thursday, August 31, 2006

It's Deep and I Don't Think It's Playable

Olbermann crushes Rumsfeld at length...awesome, from last night via Crooks and Liars

Girl Talk Talks

I'm still addicted to the Girl Talk album Night Ripper, if you haven't heard it yet you need to. Nice graphics on the site too! Anyway, good interview with the Girl Talk-er himself on Pitchfork today.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

At the Rekkid Store

hit a couple records stores after work yesterday, currently working my way through some new purchases & enjoying it all so far:

Tortoise - A Lazarus Taxon (3 cds & a DVD for $18? awesome)
Bob Dylan - Modern Times - more love & theft, not a bad thing!
Ray Lamontagne - Till the Sun Turns Black
Pajo - 1968
Scott Walker - The Drift

i just noticed, that's a lot of dudes.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

What Happened, Hitch?

christopher hitchens used to be compelling or at the very least acidly hilarious in almost all settings. now he's kind of a depressing broken record about something he can't bring himself to admit the truth about: the debacle in Iraq.

he put in a particularly ugly performance on Bill Maher's show, which apparently no one told him was supposed to be funny. not that HE needed to be funny, but he didn't seem to understand when anyone else tried to be funny either.

it's nice to have someone as smart as he clearly is in the reality-based community, as he once was, but he's now reduced to scrambling to apologize for clowns like bush and cheney and rumsfeld...

here's a link to it via Sadly No

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Thursday Afternoon Listening

Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
Aphex Twin - Chosen Lords
Lambchop - Damaged
Tom Waits - Small Change
The Church - Heyday

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A Year Without Moog

a moment to think about electronic music pioneer Bob Moog, who died a year ago (Aug 21 '05 to be exact). what a mind, it's hard to really fathom how much of the music you kids today love was affected by stuff he invented. my trusty Moog Rogue has probably been on every Portastatic record (and most Superchunk records too) since i got it back around '92 or '93. same goes for the organ-tastic Opus 3... thanks, Bob!

still going strong, right here in NC: Moog Music

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Don't Let the Terrists Win

this was my beach reading last week (it was either this or Devil Wears Prada but that seemed too heavy), it's an incredibly detailed inside look a the reaction to 9/11 (and some of the lead-up) by the US gov and intelligence services, specifically the hijacking of foreign policy by Cheney and those in his camp. the One Percent Document is Cheney's theory that in a world populated by "terrists" if there's a 1% chance that a foreign country has an intent or capability to attack the US then we have to act as though it's a certainty. scary. all this stuff is obviously going to be reverberating for years and listening to that jackass clown of a president we have fumble and blowhard and flat-out lie his way through a press conf. like yesterday would be comical if it weren't depressing...

Suskind's site is here .

Monday, August 21, 2006

Pitchfork reviews a track from Be Still Please called "I'm In Love (With Arthur Dove)" - maybe the most straightforward & goofy track on the record...i'm glad the writer enjoyed it & doesn't mention my spastic drumming once. This painting is by Arthur Dove of course. here's a great quote from Dove:
"I would like to make something that is real in itself, that does not remind anyone of any other thing, and that does not have to be explained like the letter A, for instance."

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Beach Blogging

at the beach here in NC for the week, it's the best. wide beach, warm water, great waves, awesome.

here's some of the beach playlist so far:

Studio One Scorchers (Various)
Bill Evans - Alone, Portraits In Jazz
Sun Ra - Jazz in Silhouette
Belle & Sebastian - Tiger Milk
The Cure - Head on the Door reissue (couldn't resist the bonus disc)
Brenton Woods - 18 Greats
and of course couldn't get through the week without a little
Beach Boys - Sunflower / Surf's Up

speaking of surfing, i'm terrible.
wielding a mean boogie board, however...

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Morning Listening Thurs. Edition

Feist - Let It Die i don't listen to this record as much as i think about how great Feist was live earlier this year, but it's a nice one. sometimes so nice that it kinda disappears, but i'm looking fwd to whatever's next from Leslie Feist.
Ms. John Soda - Notes and the Like for awhile there i'd buy anything on Morr based on the fabulous (and fabulously titled) "Putting the Morr Back In Morrisey" comp. Eventually got burned by some lame electro mush but tons of great stuff on that label still and i enjoy the Soda.
Richard Hawley - Coles Corner this guy was in Pulp and The Longpigs, a band with a name so terrible you could have told me that Nick Drake came back to write some songs with Sandy Denny and i still might not have bought their records, but also in Pulp, whom i love, and Camera Obscura turne me on to his solo records. This one and Lowedges are both great. old school songs & production, warm and familiar and sad but not TOO sad.
The Pogues - Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash speaking of sad, Pair of Brown Eyes = one of the greatest songs ever. my friend Jason went to Ireland and came back and said that he had learned that he really hated Irish music. i know what he means, with the penny whistle and the whole Thistle & Shamrock vibe, but i love the Pogues.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Queen Laura Approximately

wow, just heard Bob Dylan speaking about my old friend Laura Cantrell on his XM radio show. mindblowing! here's the link courtesy WFMU and Laura's label Matador Records, you might have heard of them.
Laura sings on the song "Black Buttons" on the new Portastatic album, she's amazing.

Change Is Good

Lamont wins primary! Leiberman sore loser! first part shocking (i honestly was prepared for another 3 AM drunken heartbreak situation), second one not so much. Leiberman was still complaining falsely that his site was hacked in his non-concession speech. According to George Stephanopolous at ABC News Joe's already received a call from Rove offering the help of the White House in his Independent bid...i'm sure a mercenary like Joe will have no trouble accepting.
Go Ned.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Let's Go Ned

if you're in CT today and a registered Dem i hope you're exercising your right to vote that fake centrist "the war is going great" republican lapdog Joe Lieberman out of office, and Ned Lamont IN. after the depression factory that was '04 i have no hopes up, but this can be done. Let's go Ned!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Arthur Lee 1945-2006

I know this is old news but the Clientele played here friday night and Alasdair did a solo version of "Signed D.C." and i've been thinking about it. Arthur Lee died on Friday of Leukemia. I'm sorry not to have seen the Love shows of the last few years, i heard they were really good, but i also kinda felt like i wanted to leave that music in my head the way i'd already known it for so many years from the records. What a unique guy, he managed to come off as a total badass but made music that was so pretty, soulful, & even wounded sounding. I know Forever Changes is the masterwork but i love the first album just as much.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Portastatic Plays Live

here's an updated list of the tour dates we got coming up this fall -- a few before the new album Be Still Please comes out Oct 10, and then a string of dates after the release date, and those dates will feature a rock band:

Portastatic duo opening for M. Ward

Mon 09.18.06 Charlottesville, VA Satellite Ballroom
Tue 09.19.06 Carrboro, NC Cat's Cradle w/ Lambchop
Wed 09.20.06 Nashville, TN The Belacourt Theatre
Fri 09.22.06 Denton, TX Hailey's w/ M. Ward
Sat 09.23.06 Austin, TX The Parish w/ M. Ward

Portastatic w/ Jennifer O'Connor

Wed 10.11.06 Philadelphia, PA North Star Bar
Thu 10.12.06 Allston, MA Great Scott
Fri 10.13.06 New York, NY Mercury Lounge
Sat 10.14.06 Hoboken, NJ Maxwell's
Sun 10.15.06 New Haven, CT Bar Nightclub
Wed 10.18.06 Washington, DC Black Cat - Backstage
Thu 10.19.06 Durham, NC Duke Coffeehouse
Fri 10.20.06 Mt Pleasant, SC Village Tavern
Sat 10.21.06 Atlanta, GA The Earl

that's right, new Matador recording artist Jennifer O'Connor will be opening those dates, she's great so check her out over here ....

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Make It Rain!

drove to asheville and saw Tom Waits last night, a concert i'd been so excited about that i kept thinking something was going to happen to prevent the whole thing from going off (you know, tickets not at will call, a flat tire on I-40, TW sees too many hippies from the tour bus window and splits town).
the concert did in fact take place and we were in the building, and it was fucking awesome. great setlist from all over the map, era-wise and album-wise, including three songs on piano in the middle that just killed -- Tango Til They're Sore / Invitation to the Blues / You Can Never Hold Back Spring (which i had to listen to first thing in the car today on the way home just to try to get it out of my head, what a beautiful song).
Waits tore it up and was funny and charming. liked the audience and wanted to take us with him, which he said would involve taking measurements & making a separate hardshell case for each audience member, "kinda risky but i'm willing to take the chance if you are" and i think we all would have.
except it might have gotten uncomfortable on the tour bus when i told him he needed fire his guitar player. ok, not fire, maybe just coach -- the guy (Duke Robillard -- i checked his website before the show and knew we were in trouble of the blues-y kind) may be a great blues guitar player, but it's just too fucking straight up for Waits' music, esp considering his predecessors in that chair. second show of the tour, so the band seemed kinda like it was playing not to fuck up, instead of truly 'fucking it up' but still, minor complaints when you're getting to hear songs like Blue Valentine, Make it Rain, and Clap Hands live... will be thinking about this one for awhile.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Where Do You Even Look These Days?

it looks like Israel is widening the ground war in Lebanon, the wheels continue to come off in a horrible way in Iraq, and who knows how many people will perish in this heat wave. not a lot of good news anywhere... but Ned Lamont's campaign in CT is a good source of hope that people are ready for a change, and of course the Colbert has refined his Report to a science of's Ned holding up nicely under Colbert's withering conservative attack.