blog: February 2007
Posted February 23, 2007 at 4:25am
How are things in England these days? I hear it's warm there in the wintertime, which is totally not how I picture England - that's so weird! Oh, me? I'm good. I had a good show the other night, but hey - something came up and I wanted to talk to you about it. (And I thought my blog was the most appropriate channel.)
So, we're both pianists, and do a lot of solo gigs where we kind of have to come up with unique arrangements for songs that typically benefit from having drums or even a more percussive guitar strum in them. I'm not saying all solo pianists have the same style, but there's only so much distinction one can make between various solo piano covers of the same song. I opened with Portishead's "Glory Box", and after the show someone informed me that you cover the song too. Which is fine -- it's a fantastic song, I'm sure you're doing a great job with it.
No, I was actually just wondering if you could leave some songs left to cover on solo piano. I don't want to step on any toes, or frogs that may be loitering near or on said toes, but you've done an awful lot of covers now. I downloaded a bunch of the bootlegs back when I was in college, and it's been more than a few years since then... I just don't know how many of them are circulating out there now. I mean, the "Famous Blue Raincoat" cover is obviously all yours, not to mention "Losing My Religion," "Smells Like Teen Spirit," "Killing Me Softly," and the whole cover album. And several of your singles.
Could we maybe work out a bidding system where you can call dibs on the next 10 covers you're going to record and/or play publicly, and then the rest of us can sort out who's going to do what? I just want to avoid embarrassing redundancies, like when Iron & Wine covered "Such Great Heights" a couple years ago and you couldn't go to an indie music concert without hearing someone do the exact same cover. Yeah, that was pretty funny! But let's work out a system where I can find a popular-yet-original signature cover that no one else has thought of yet. Thanks!
Posted February 13, 2007 at 3:30am
Tuesday, February 20th / Skybar
Songs for Singles: The Anti-Valentine's Day Show
featuring a more timely, less musical shout-out to President's Day
518 Somerville Ave., Somerville, MA 02143 (T to Porter or drive - lots of parking!)
Doors @ 7:30pm / Music @ 8pm / $7 cover / cheap beer
Also featuring new original material plus covers of Portishead, Final Fantasy, and The Frames, the best damn band in Ireland, because if you can't get into a drink-your-lonely-cares-away mood with a bunch of Irish rockers, what's wrong with you? And please keep bringing your friends - it was great to meet some new folks at the last show.
See you next week!
Posted February 9, 2007 at 2:51pm
any element of magical realism treated with detachment or nonchalance
homosexuality in a context outside of post-1970s New York or pre-1990s San Francisco
characters with significant sounding names that turn out being not so significant
loathing someone else (masquerading as self-loathing)
strange and/or menial jobs as a consultant, freelancer, or seasonally employed person that teach some lesson and make a good story, thereby letting the author rise above strangeness, meniality, and seasonal employment
sassy analysis of popular culture, esp. TV, 80s movies, 90s alternative rock, and references to classic literature thrown in for good measure
Posted February 1, 2007 at 3:11am
I left work early today after my building's fire alarm sounded, just as the buzz was going around the office that 10 "suspicious devices" had been found scattered around Boston -- including every bridge into and out of the city limits. I left the Prudential Center to spot a police helicopter flying somewhere off to the East. My usually packed commute home was nearly empty.
As a progressive postmodernist, I understand that fear and terrorism are both concepts that are malleable and relative, but give me a fucking break - I was freaked out when there were fake bombs attached to every bridge I could conceivably use to get home tonight. I mean, who does that?!? I mean, besides global news and media cartels like Turner Broadcasting.
Well, according to Boston.com, eccentric artists do! Now, while most of our mayor's and governor's ire (and legal actions) are being directed, appropriately, towards Turner Broadcasting for today's Mooninite stunt, Boston.com has decided that as long as we have somebody under arrest for doing Turner's "dirty" work, it's their journalistic duty to profile the seedy underbelly of guerilla marketing, the master criminal mind that cleverly, um... was a poorly paid lackey in a multi-city advertising campaign.
Tonight, shortly after Martha Coakley arrested an Arlington artist who planted the Mooninite devices, Boston.com posted all of the juicy details, like where this guy went to art school, and that he graduated "with distinction." Obviously, the Globe is pretty desperate to provide some resolution to today's narrative. I can't even tell if this is a vilification of the artist as a stand-in for Turner's underwhelming apology. It's not even that vilifying. Had this man's employer actually sought approval from local authorities, he would have been rewarded for participating in a creative marketing campaign.
Even as it stands now, it is doubtful that anyone feels satisfied that he's in custody. But that's exactly what his role in the story is--to attempt to bring closure to the narrative, and in a satisfying way, because the actual events of today leave us with a postmodern sense of ambiguity.
Boston revs up the first responders like it's September 12th, later thinking it is likely a hoax, but at the day's end, there's no lone, industrious schizophrenic claiming responsibility. There's not even a performance artist proving a political point. We have the parent company of fucking CNN, the fucking news channel, admitting that they were advertising an obscure, niche market cartoon show, and admitting that they had been doing it for weeks. In several cities. And that all of us Bostonians had just gotten around to flipping out about it today. Oh, and by the way, "Sorry our news channel was unable to report that we were connected to the hoax -- you see, there's this horse that just died, and we were all so sad."
I don't know which take-home message is more dissatisfying: Big Media just pranked Boston for the sake of Commerce, or Big Media just terrorized Boston for the sake of Commerce. Either way, remember America: when you watch Aqua Teen Hunger Force, you let the terrorists win.