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The happy-go-lucky nihilists

Thinking of Buck Owens, but listening to R.L. Burnsideís A A*s Pocket of Whiskey (perhaps these two are co-conspirators in hellís antechamber now).

"I didnít mean to kill nobody," Burnside later said of the murder. "I just meant to shoot the sonofabitch in the head. Him dying was between him and the Lord."

A few weeks ago we were at the rodeo listening to Dwight Yoakum and I was struck then as I am now of the old Picasso line: Bad artists copy. Great artists steal. This was even most likely a ripoff of a quote by another person. No matter. Old Dwight was up there shaking and yet he sounded more than ever like Buck Owens. He freely admits this in interviews. On songs like "Little Ways," he takes it nearly overboard, but you can hear it on almost all his songs. That Bakersfield sound with a hint of the surf-billy and the throttle of the back of the throat. On and on. Lucinda Williams mainlines Marshall Chapman. My Morning Jacket sounds like Neil Young. You get old enough, though, and you sound like yourself. So hereís R.L. Burnside. Lying in the dirt. Screaming into my ears. Laying waste to the blues (youíve never listened to dirty, electric, who-gives-a-shit-about-tradition blues until youíve listened to some of those mid-90s Fat Possum Records recordings). Telling us nothing changes, not this life, not the ways we get to the next.

"The biggest change Iíve seen in my life is more crime," he said in 1999. "A 15-year-old chopped up his grandmother here so he could pawn her TV set. That donít look like progress to me."

Anyway, all this to say Iím back from Chicago.

- 3/28/2006 9:03:01 PM | link

I could also cover getting Tim O'Brien home safe

Anyone want to go in on a bookstore?

I could go in half. But youíd have to live in Houston.

- 3/22/2006 11:12:49 PM | link

I'm sure we don't need more disco

My belated predictions coming out of SXSW:

Goldfrapp will have a number one single with Ooh La La. I defy you not to dance to that song. This also corresponds to my theory that every great dance song that I like has a mean dirty bass line. OK, that’s not a theory. And, no, Iím not gay. I grew up in the 80s. Specifically at a club called Numbers. Nevermind that, though. Goldfrapp. Sing it with me. I need Ooh La La La La.

Marty Stuart will deserve a number one single for his gospel album, but, alas, will most likely be remembered for being that guy married to Roseanne Cash. Also, heíll remove his scarf in concert to reveal dark green scales underneath.

The Arctic Monkeys will last slightly longer than The Vines and not quite as long as The Strokes.

Art Brut will be woefully underappreciated and milk this for even more comic material. They will also make that move from London to L.A. and drink Sherry with Brian Ferry.

Lesbians on Ecstacy will implode after running out of Indigo Girl songs to cover. Burn brightly girls.

I will never attend another SXSW. I know I say this every year, but goddammit I mean it this time, Kyle.

Hurrah Torpedo will get thrown in jail for public indecency in Toledo, Ohio. This will result in all sorts of Onion-like article titles. Mike Dickinson will immediately sign them to his label.

Mutaytor will headline Burning Man.

Tres Hombres will not play a venue as big as the Blue Genie studios during the Vice After-Party ever again in their short, coke-fueled lives.

The New Pornagraphers will go on to make several more mediocre pop albums to much critical acclaim. Who are these freaks and what have they done with Neko Case? Sweet Jesus, she looks like Betty Ford on Haldol when sheís up on stage with you lame-asses.

Kinky Friedman will get less than 2% of the vote. Think about it. Heís running against a woman who looks like a grandmother, but who happens to control the BUDGET FOR THE STATE OF TEXAS. Plus she stood up to Rick "Adios, Mofo" Perry, so sheís shown she can stand up to complete pushovers. Still, I will vote for him. Heís promised to make Willie the Head of Agriculture.

- 3/22/2006 8:30:25 PM | link

Heaven (& hell)


Ollabelle (++)
Marty Stuart (++)
The Applicators
The Stills
Tres Hombres

- 3/19/2006 4:18:41 PM | link


Tapes n’ Tapes (++)
Darker My Love
Roky Erickson (+)
Bravo Silva
River City Tanlines
Death Vessel
Animal Collective (+)

- 3/18/2006 9:47:18 AM | link

Nothing I can say...


Serenna Maneesh (+)
The Black Angels
Art Brut (++)
Black Heart Procession (bluh)
The Go Team (+)
Kid Somethinganother (bluh)
Mutaytor (yeah, yuk)
Hurrah Torpedo (++)
Goldfrapp (+)
Peaches (scary)

- 3/17/2006 8:26:29 AM | link

What I really saw


What Made Milwaukee Famous
Bright Channel (+)
Octopus Project
Shearwater (+)
The New Pornagraphers
Bluebottle Kiss
Lesbians on Ecstasy (++)
The Ponys

- 3/16/2006 8:19:33 AM | link


Woops, hair it is. Try to keep up.

SXSW Wednesday, 15 March 2006
[X] 12:45PM The Strays (Emoís Outside)
[X] 03:30PM Octopus Project (Red Eyed Fly Ė free beer)
[X] 03:45PM Ponys (Emoís Outside)
[X] 04:30PM Shearwater (Emoís Outside)
[X] 05:00PM Wolf Mother (Waterloo Records)
[X] 07:25PM The Gourds (Mother Eganís)
[X] 08:00PM Kiss Me Deadly (Emoís Main Room)
[X] 08:30PM Aberdeen City (Dirty Dog Bar)
[X] 09:00PM The Young Knives (Dirty Dog Bar)
[X] 10:00PM American Princes (Nunoís Upstairs)
[X] 10:00PM The Mís (Emoís Jr.)
[X] 10:00PM The New Pornographers (Stubbís)
[X] 10:30PM Annie (Eternal)
[X] 11:00PM Bluebottle Kiss (The Drink)
[X] 11:00PM Serena Maneesh (Emoís Main Room) *
[X] 11:00PM Lesbians On Ecstasy (Elysium)
[X] 11:00PM Beth Orton (Antoneís) *
[X] 12:00AM Irving (The Velvet Spade Patio)
[X] 12:00AM Of Montreal (Emoís Main Room)
[X] 12:00AM The Ponys (The Parish) *
[X] 12:00AM The Octopus Project (Emoís Jr.) *
[X] 12:30AM Wolfmother (Eternal) *
[X] 12:45AM The Secret Machines (La Zona Rosa)
[X] 12:45AM Goblin Cock (Habana Calle 6 Patio)
[X] 01:00AM The Black Angels (Emoís Annex) *
[X] 01:00AM You Say Party! We Say Die! (Blender Balcony)
[X] 01:00AM Mogwai (Stubbís)
[X] 01:00AM Art Brut (The Parish)
[X] 02:00AM Awesome, Inc. after-party w/Valhalla, Grand National, etc. (Design Center of Austin)

SXSW Thursday, 16 March 2006
[X] 10:30AM Gomez (Capitol Place Hotel)
[X] 12:00PM Blackalicious (Capitol Place Hotel)
[X] 12:10PM Meat Purveyors (Headhunters)
[X] 12:30PM Serena Maneesh (Victory Grill Outside Ė Vice Party)
[X] 02:00PM Art Brut (Victory Grill Outside Ė Vice Party)
[X] 02:00PM James Hand, Jimmy LaFave (Opal Divineís)
[X] 04:20PM Black Heart Procession (Emoís Outside)
[X] 05:10PM Serana Maneesh (Emoís Inside)
[X] 06:30PM Blackalicious (Town Lake Stage at Auditorium Shores)
[X] 07:00PM Spoon (Town Lake Stage at Auditorium Shores)
[X] 07:30PM Lady Sovereign (Victory Grill Inside Ė Vice Party)
[X] 1PM - ? Janeís Addiction? (Mean-Eyed Cat)
[X] 08:00PM Golden Arm Trio (Habana Calle 6)
[X] 08:00PM Echo & The Bunnymen (Town Lake Stage)
[X] 09:00PM Film School (Club de Ville)
[X] 09:00PM Earlimart (Buffalo Billiards)
[X] 09:30PM Morrissey (Austin Music Hall)
[X] 10:00PM Grand National (Spiroís Patio)
[X] 10:00PM The Fiery Furnaces (Stubbís)
[X] 10:00PM Hurrah Torpedo (Fox & Hound)
[X] 11:00PM Calla (Club de Ville) *
[X] 11:00PM Special Guest (Eternal)
[X] 11:15PM Special Guest (Austin Music Hall)
[X] 12:00AM Moving Units (Blender Bar at the Ritz)
[X] 12:00AM Jesca Hoop (The 18th Floor at Capitol Place)
[X] 12:00AM Dirty Pretty Things (Eternal)
[X] 12:15AM Goldfrapp (Austin Music Hall)
[X] 12:30AM Brazilian Girls (Fox and Hound)
[X] 12:40AM Aqueduct (The Parish II)
[X] 12:45AM Gogol Bordello (Emoís Main Room)
[X] 01:00AM The Minus 5 (Continental Club)
[X] 01:00AM Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (Eternal)
[X] 01:00AM Minus the Bear (Emoís Jr.)
[X] 01:00AM Hank Williams III (Antoneís)
[X] 01:00AM Drive By Truckers (La Zona Rosa)
[X] 01:15AM Whitehouse (Room 710)

SXSW Friday, 17 March 2006
[X] 01:30PM Ladytron DJ set (Emoís Annex)
[X] 02:15PM Tapes Ďní Tapes (Moonshine patio)
[X] 02:30PM Micah P. Hinson (Victory Grill Inside Ė Vice Party)
[X] 03:00PM KT TUnstall (Waterloo Records)
[X] 04:00PM Britt Daniel (Pok-E-Joís)
[X] 04:30PM Gomez (Fader/LEVIíS)
[X] 05:00PM Beth Orton (Cactus Cafe)
[X] 06:00PM Billy Jo Shaver (Joís Coffee)
[X] 06:00PM Lady Sovereign (Waterloo Records)
[X] 07:30PM You Say Party! We Say Die! (Victory Grill Ė Vice Party)
[X] 07:30PM Vaux (Longbranch Ė Vice Party)
[X] 1PM - ? Janeís Addiction? (Me

- 3/14/2006 8:25:12 PM | link

Subverting the Empire

In the face of the empire
in the face of presumptuous claims to sovereignty
in the face of the imperial and idolatrous forces in our lives
Christ is before all things

he is sovereign in life
not the pimped dreams of the global market
not the idolatrous forces of nationalism
not the insatiable desires of a consumerist culture
In the face of a disconnected world
where home is
a domain in cyberspace
where neighbourhood is
a chat room
where public space is
a shopping mall
where information technology promises
a tuned in, reconnected world
all things hold together in Christ
the creation is a deeply personal cosmos
all cohering and interconnected in Jesus

From a reinterpretation of Colossians (an obscure book on an obscure book) that I stumbled across on a friendís blog some time ago. Perhaps a little silly (esp. to those unaccustomed or annoyed by the word íChristí surely does piss off more people than Buddha), but it does still give me pause. More or less, as Flannery OíConnor once noted...can we do much more than deepen the mystery? As such, going into a week of pure debauchery, a few more silly questions to myself:

How can you not be appalled? I donít mean appalled in that liberal bumper-sticker manner. I donít mean appalled by America attempting to, in its own bull-headed, practical-but-screwball way, trying to bring democracy to the Middle East (and yes, yes, of course secure oil and blah-dee-blah, blah, blah and take over the world) or by the idiot-sounding Bush who, perhaps like a broken clock, is right at least twice a day (and who isnít much different than Clinton to me). I donít mean appalled at a political level (which feels false and made up for TV anyway). I mean appalled by the way everything has conspired to overwhelm your sovereignty. The experts, television, Oprah, the reading lists, the news, Internet, polls, scientists, rationalists, atheists, preachers, demi-gods. Our lives are foretold and predicted and polled and scrutinized to death and yet, still, I am no closer to understanding myself. Nor you, I would wager. Youíll make something up right now to feel a little better. Or maybe you can convince yourself that your life is dictated by a sort of rational logic that can account for the sex you just had (or didnít), the kids you might have (or wonít) and the getting up and going and stopping and leaving and moments of despair (or not knowing its despair...not knowing what it is and wanting a handle...a label). Maybe this is all accounted for. If so, good for you. Iíve obviously fallen through whatever cracks there are and missed the boat. How can you not be appalled?

Is most of your life not simply playing a game and then laughing off this playing of the game as a game, as well? In other words, are you not going through motions nearly 99% of the time in order to achieve something that your non-motion self once determined as worthwhile, but, which now is completely lost to you? I mean, of course, right now, school and job, but perhaps it is everything. There is the 1% time where Iím with my wife and kids and weíre connecting (i.e. not bickering or simply surviving or disciplining or trying to get by) and the hope missiles are firing into outer space and Iím thinking íThanks God or Supreme Being or Jehovah or Name that Canít be Named. Thanks at least for this b/c I donít know what else.í And is this simply a trick Iím playing or a way of saying that at least Iíve got it better than the other shmoes who donít have this or a roof or food or clothing? Wake up, you might say. Wake up. Youíve got it way better than most. True, true. Why does that make me even more depressed?

Are the words that we utter to each other, to ourselves, meaningful only insomuch as they break free of the constraints of other

- 3/11/2006 9:07:06 AM | link

Eat oily fish

Iím a sucker for this sort of thing. Except they misspelled ’memorize.’


Brush your teeth with your íwrongí hand and take a shower with your eyes closed.

Do the crossword or Sudoku puzzle in your Sunday paper and take a brisk walk.

Have oily fish for dinner, and either cycle, walk or take the bus into work.

Select unfamiliar words from the dictionary and work them into conversations.

Go to yoga, Pilates or a meditation class, and talk to someone you donít know.

Take a different route to work; watch Countdown or Brainteaser.

Avoid caffeine or alcohol; memorise your shopping list.

Via Bread and Circuses

- 3/8/2006 8:46:54 PM | link

I call it "The Delicious"

My sister/brother MFA blog got to this first, but it came in my Wholphin DVD:

The funniest thing Iíve seen in awhile.

- 3/3/2006 8:03:52 PM | link

Legionnaires Disease

Sports Guy interviews Gladwell.

OK, he’s not a motard. In fact, he sounds like he could sub for Bill Simmons. I still refuse to read Tipping Point or But this is funny:

Simmons: Second question: Can you explain in one paragraph why you’re against Vegas?

Gladwell: Where to start? You get there. You can’t get a cab. Last time I waited 30 minutes in line at the airport. You get to your hotel, you wait another 45 minutes to check in. It’s 120 degrees outside, and inside it’s 45 degrees and all you can think about is there’s about to be a epidemic of Legionnaires Disease. The food is terrible. Everyone loses money -- everyone. The amount of plastic surgery is terrifying. There are large packs of enormous, glassy-eyed people in stretch pants, pulling the levers on slot machines. (By the way, greatest and most under-appreciated gambling story ever: William Bennett, he of one best seller after another lecturing Americans on moral values and virtue and the bankruptcy of our culture, turns out not only to be a degenerate gambler, but a gambler who only played the slots. The slots! Had he been a great poker player -- even a decent poker player -- I’m in his corner. But the slots?) I digress. Back to Vegas: Why would I want to see Celine Dion, ever (and I’m Canadian)? Or white mutant tigers? Or the Village People? Or Tony Orlando and Dawn? I have more fun walking to the laundromat from my apartment in New York than I do in Vegas.

- 3/3/2006 7:52:28 PM | link


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