Thursday, July 27, 2006

Something I Typed After Hooking Up My New Turntable, Not Even Sure If It Makes Sense (Thank You Misters Leinenkugel and Smirnoff)

This week I started reading Steve Erickson's Our Ecstatic Days but didn't get too far into it before returning it to the library. I'm sure it's my fault and not Erickson's - he did after all write two of my all-time favorite books: Amnesiascope and American Nomad. I should tackle a book like Our Ecstatic Days in the non-summer months when my reading (and writing and listening and observing and ... etc.) abilities are in better form. Oh, and hey - Twin Cities wussies who are convinced that our winters are "harsh": I'll take the coldest day in winter over this heat wave bullshit we're dealing with this month. I guess that makes me a summer wussy, but I'll take the mild winters in Minneapolis over the oppressive summers hands down. Summer sucks, winter is great!

Anyway, I hope to look into the latest Erickson novel again in the non-summer. Summer is best reserved for so-called guilty pleasures. Though like the Cosmic Slop guys, I don't buy into the Guilty Pleasure Concept. Either you like something or you don't - why feel guilty about it? (Can't remember if that's the reasoning that Chuck and Joel used, but I'm going with it.) So this summer for me book-wise it's for the most part been 'Salem's Lot by Stephen King and crime novels by James Ellroy and George V. Higgins. (Higgins, RIP, could write circles around just about any writer you can care to name. Check him out, especially if you dig great dialogue writing.)

Oh, and back to the Erickson novel and why I originally sat down to type this post ... the book starts off with an amazing quote by Rilke:

... for beauty is nothing
but the beginning of terror
           we can just barely endure

I haven't read any Rilke, but if anybody has any recommendations please comment or email me.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

"Mission Accomplished"

They're moving more American troops into Baghdad to try to quell the escalating violence there. Maybe we can look forward to another staged "tear down a Saddam statue" photo-op event.

Monday, July 24, 2006

How do you say: "Damn, it's two a.m. and that dog across the lake is still barking" or "You don't like Canadian Bacon? Hit the road, Jack!" or "I only had several" or "Nail it!" in Arabic?

Concordia Language Villages now has a summer camp that teaches Arabic language and culture. It's on Leek Lake - near Vergas, Minnesota. Vergas is home of the world's largest loon. As for Leek Lake, it's the home of none other than ... Ma and Pa Tuomala.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

New Podcast Up

The latest edition of Exiled Radio is now available.

I have had some inquiries (okay, an inquiry) about subscribing to the podcast via iTunes. I submitted the podcast a year ago, but have been too lazy to figure out the iTunes technical specs so I don't have a link for direct subscription. However, you can subscribe in iTunes if you click the "Advanced" menu, then "Subscribe to Podcast", and then type in this URL:

I talked way too much in the latest show and promise will try to tighten it up (or at least keep the show around an hour or so in length) in the future. Thanks for listening!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

In the Headlines

The State Department was going to charge American citizens in Lebandon for the costs of their evacuations.

If you're an American in Lebandon, tell the State Dept. that you are an Iraqi exile with important intelligence information. Then they will pay YOU.

The House of Representatives rejected a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Speaker Dennis Hastert said: "Be assured that this issue is not over."

Yes, we will hear about it all over again in two years when election time rolls around. Today, Hastert is out protecting the pledge of allegiance. It's a lock that Hastert will be silent on both of these issues in January 2007.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Paul Nelson, RIP

Paul Nelson recently passed away. Some quick bio stuff:

1) A fellow northern boy - from Warren, Minnesota.

2) Friends with Dylan at University of Minnesota, later defended him in print in a NYC folk magazine to the dorks of the folk movement who protested Dylan's going electric.

3) A founding father of rock criticism.

4) Mercury Records A&R dude - turned Rod Stewart onto those obscure and then-unreleased Dylan tunes on Stewart's great early albums. Signed the New York Dolls.

5) Co-author, along with Lester Bangs, of a hilarious Rod Stewart biography. Nelson was suffering from writer's block, so Bangs wrote almost all of the book. But there is an early chapter where the two writers discuss Stewart. It's great stuff.

Links to tributes to Nelson are at Rockcritics Daily.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

"Shadow" Goes Postmodern

I finished watching season two of an all-time-top-five favorite series, "The White Shadow," this weekend. One of the final episodes, "Coolidge Goes to Hollywood," is amazingly as great and as funny as the golfing episode from the same season. And over two decades before "The OC" made fun of itself by having a show-within-the-show, "The White Shadow" did it; thereby forecasting all the great inside jokes that popped up in "St. Elsewhere," another Bruce Paltrow, MTM, et al. show. The scene goes as follows:

Hayward, Salami, Coolidge, Thorpe, Vitaglia, and Reese are walking down the halls of Carver High when the subject of the TV series "Downtown High" comes up.

Reese: "Downtown High?" What's it about?

Thorpe: It's this ridiculous new TV show on TV man, about this white principal in a black ghetto high school who always gets involved in the kids' personal problems.

Hayward: Sounds like a lotta bull to me, man.

Coach Reeves walks by, going in the opposite direction.

Coach: Hi guys.

The last in the group, Reese, stops. He looks quizzically back in the direction of the coach.


p.s. The scene eariler contained this classic bit of dialogue:

Salami: You joined the Drama Club?

Coolidge: Now I'm officially a thespian.

Salami: Yeah, you and my cousin Mary.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

English as national language. Gay marriage ammendment. Flag desecration amendment ...

I remember one time driving in Lowertown St. Paul and being behind a vehicle that bore a bumper sticker that said: "Republicans make great leaders. You're following one now." It was an ugly Chrysler minivan driven by some fatass.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Whatever Happened to My Rock 'n' Roll?

Thursday while at an accounting client who almost always listens to KEXP out of Seattle on the Net, I heard two of the crappiest indie bands I've been unfortunately exposed to: Neutral Milk Hotel and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Kids beware - these bands bite the big one. Indie/slouch uninspired drivel with truly shitty vocalists. Mind you, I heard these bands after the nails-on-blackboard warblings of the Violent Femmes, but I was almost left pining for the shitty vocals of that Femmes moron!

Fortunately (and before KEXP could totally send me over the edge by queuing up the Mountain Goats), my main man Justin, a Sirius subscriber, switched the sound over to Little Steven's Underground Garage where we got to hear Kid Leo play real rock 'n' roll: Shadows of Knight, Yardbirds, Aerosmith, Ronettes, etc.