Monday, January 26, 2009

"This is the hardest thing I've ever done..."

Wow. Too much going on in the world.

Joe Torre trashes A-Rod, Cash, and who knows who else. C'mon... you seriously think the guys called him "A-Fraud" behind his back around the clubhouse?! Nobody really talks that way. "Douchebag" maybe-- but "A-Fraud"???

Stephon "Theseus" Marbury has a new plan every week-- Knicks are buying him out after all, he's gonna play in Greece, etc. Now he's saying the Celtics are on the verge of picking him up, which is completely unfounded by any and all reports out of Boston. What does this guy do all day?

The coach of the Covenant School's girls basketball team was fired for unapologetically trouncing the Dallas Academy by a score of 100-0. Apparently his actions weren't "Christlike" enough for the brothers at the Cov. What hasn't made the papers is the longstanding feud between the schools, which boiled over last spring when the Dallas Academy allegedly cheated in a "pray-off" competition (several girls were caught with snippets of the 23rd Psalm scrawled in pen under their skirts).

So, what else to do tonight but check out Superstars of Dance on NBC?!! I was one of the few that caught the premiere a couple of months ago, which was one of the strangest hours of TV since the (2-hour!) Glutton Bowl of 2002. Sadly, nobody ate testicles from a giant vat this time.

The show is too ridiculous to even begin to explain. Riverdance's Michael Flatley (looking about as lithe as Pat Flatley) hosts with a hilarious lilt of an accent, and feels the need to repeatedly explain the two or three rules of the competition. Dancers from eight countries compete and are judged by experts from the same eight countries. However (this is supposed to be a cool twist), no judge can judge his or her own country's routine-- instead they are compelled to laud their kinsmen in grotesquely broken English. The enduring question of S.o.D. is whether the horrible dancers are offending their own cultures, or just the rest of the human race in general.

But... the rose goes to The Bachelor tonight. Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it, and those who haven't seen The Bachelor are doomed to watch the repeats. It's the skeeviest show of all time, with a fiendishly brilliant premise: a tragically flawed man drinks and fucks his way through a harem of emotionally challenged women, leaving a trail of despair, psychosis and empty champagne flutes in his wake. Yikes.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Donovan's Brain

Inspired by SpaceJace's recent video work, I decided to make one of my own.

This starts at Philly's first possession of the second half, or what seemed at the time to be a major turning point of the game. I did my best to capture the excitement of the moment...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Remaster Disasters II

I recently compiled a mix of Brian Eno's "vocal" albums for a musically challenged friend of mine. Of the four (yeah, there's others that could qualify but let's just go with Warm Jets, Tiger Mtn, Green World and B&AS) records, I own the Astralwerks remasters of the latter two. Haven't listened to 'em even close as much as my original copies, but they sound pretty decent on initial listens (don't even get me started on the crappy digi-pak packaging-- they come in these fucked up plastic sheaths that are absolutely impossible to open... I almost sliced my hand open with a boxcutter in a rabid dash to hear "Spider and I" one stoney night).

Yesterday I discovered a horrific glitch on the Another Green World remaster. I was half asleep on the 2 train and checking out the Eno mix I gave my buddy when I suddenly shot to attention in my seat. I had missed my stop and was at Lenox and 135th! Kidding... I jumped up because of what I heard on my headphones.

When you've heard a song nine million times and, without warning, you hear something different, it's a jarring experience. I remember hearing "For What It's Worth" by BS as a kid in my dad's car with only the left channel working, and totally freaking out. I've also thrown several fits in mastering labs when... whatever.

So "Everything Merges With the Night" comes on, and damned if the first line of the song isn't completely gone! Now, botched or altered fades on remastered CDs are fairly commonplace, but this ain't no botched or altered fade. This is an entire line (a great one, and an opening one!) missing. How the fuck? Who the fuck? What the fuck?

I'm writing a letter to Astralwerks. I wrote a letter to Atlantic Records when I was in high school about their generally shoddy work, but that didn't get me far. I might have an in this time, as I have a song on an old Astralwerks comp that I never even got a copy of. The jerks owe me big time.

So if Another Green World gets re-re-released sometime soon, thank yours truly. Oh, and listen real carefully for "Rosalie... I've been waiting all evening."

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Chuck Muncie #46

Thanks for all the well wishes on my birthday a few days ago. I worked until 11:30pm, couldn't get to sleep, and read a little bit of Denis Johnson's new novel until almost one in the morning.

Ahhhhh, 46 years. Pettitte's leaving a bad taste in my mouth (eewww) as of late, so I'll go with my true fave 46'er.

This guy provided lots of thrills back in the day. He also provided more than his share of thrills for himself, which got him locked up. Now he's out and pushing positivity to all listeners.
Not a bad role model, all things considered.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Schlitz, baby!!!

Me & the Mz. kicked major ass on this thing.

1 hour 50 minutes.

Remaster This!!!

Yes, CD remasters/reissues are a complete money-milking & fan-bilking scam, along the lines of "spring training" jerseys and school textbooks. Yes, they usually sound better. Yes, I buy 'em up like size 4 diapers.

We've been treated to re-releases with brain-melting improvements in fidelity & clarity (Van Halen, Police, AC/DC), as well as packages with fascinating liner notes & goodies (Byrds, Stones, Bowie) in the last fifteen years or so. Sometimes we're lucky enough to get great sound and great re-packaging (The Who!), or even untold riches of outtakes and alternate versions (Fleetwood Mac, Stooges) as well. And I haven't even gotten to the box sets...

But what's left?! Surely there exist releases out there in dire need of phonic and phashion makeovers...

1. Double Nickels on the Dime - The Minutemen
Not that it sounds that bad at all, but wouldn't it be worth it for just a c.h.'s worth of improvement?! This one deserves a lot more than it got from SST- not that hard to picture this one done up right.

2. Husker Du catalog
While we're at it, throw all of these bitches on the barbie!! I've already had my eardrums slit open from Zen Arcade, but let's go for complete annihilation, no?!

3. Any classic rap albums
This one's a total no-brainer. Use the Paid in Full double CD as a template if you don't get it. I mean, with all the 12" tracks and remixes out there... we could whip together 2-CD and 3-CD sets faster that you can say bozack.

4. Breaking Atoms - Main Source
This one's separate from (3) because it needs a lot more than bonus tracks and a new booklet. Sorta like saying John Merrick could've used a nose job. One of the great records ever, but the CD sounds like the mastering engineer dropped the DAT in a glass of orange juice. And we know it doesn't really sound like that. There's a Japanese import out there, but f*ck that.

5. Daylight Again - Crosby, Stills & Nash
I was ready to unleash the genius of my "Southern Cross" sample on the listening public when I made the mistake of trying to "tweak" my loops with some better source material. The remaster gives one the feeling that one's listening to a great-sounding CD being played in the next-door apartment. Atlantic's pulled some nasty tricks before (the Genesis re-up booklets), but this one came straight outta D. Crosby's bong (or possibly ass). Also one of the worst album covers of all time.