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I don't have a lot to say, but I will direct you to me on Moondog. It's supposed to hit 72 today. 72. Get out your Fairport Convention and Boney M albums, it's Spring!


Backseat Eternally: Time

Chubby, Loose, and Kind of Nuts: Lyzyrd Skyzyrd

Right before a rousing, heckle-strewn viewing of Cassavetes's's Shadows, the Colin Farrell Cinema Appreciation Society was treated to the video for "Rapture Riders," Go Home Productions's unsettling mash-up of Blondie's "Rapture" and The Doors's (damn, a lot of s-word plurals today!) "Riders on the Storm."

00:28 Oh no

00:59 Ha ha

01:40 Oh no, ha, that tickles!

02:18 Didn't Lester Bangs write somewhere that a man's appreciation for Debbie Harry comes from a deep, impossible desire to murder her?

04:49 Ha - no, please

Well, since it's obvious that nothing is sacred/anything goes/time and context are meaningless vacuums i.e. I won't waste my energy deconstructing anything; instead, I thought I'd just, you know, reconstruct the studio time Deborah Harry and Jim Morrison would've spent together through the beautiful words they've left behind over the years.

D: “I saw you on the corner…”

J: “Hello, I love you.”

D: “Once I had a love and it was divine.”

J: “Can you find me soft asylum / I can't make it anymore.”

D: “Oh…”

J: “Let me sleep all night in your soul kitchen / Warm my mind near your gentle stove”

D: “Oh, no.”

J: “Please believe me / The river told me / Very softly / Want you to hold me, ooo.”

D: …

J: “Tell you 'bout the world that we'll invent / Wanton world without lament.”

D: “Dreaming is free.”

J: “Let me slide in your tender sunken sea.”

D: “The tide is high.”

J: “Blood in the streets runs a river of sadness / Blood in the streets it's up to my thigh.”

D: “Just go away”

J: “Touch me, babe.”

D: “I’m always touched by your presence, dear.”

J: “Get on out there on your hands and knees, baby / Crawl all over me.”

D: “Too dull, your senses.”

J: “I’m a back door man.”

D: “It's 11:59, and I want to stay alive.”

J: “No one here gets out alive, now / You get yours, baby / I'll get mine.”

D: …

J: …

D: …

J: “Ride the snake.”

D: “Yuck!”

J: “It will be / An easy ride, yeah”

D: “No…”

J: “Ride, c’mon.”

D: …

J: “Riders on the storm.”


Breaking News Smothered in Breaking News

I found my voice! It's in my first Stycast of 2006.


Me sounding kind of legless about Silver Jews live in PopMatters; also, can you find the grievous error I made regarding the history of African music in my second Voice piece? Fun! Embarrassing! Hugely so, actually!


O! Me, Flower Wilting in Crack'd City Street

Guy Debord Takes You to Tits Project

Andy Warhol's Dance Diagram (Foxtrot)

Since returning from the tree-drunk half-time of VA, I've been under spells: Donald Fagen's Morph the Cat, Ghostface's Fishscale, Moondog's The Viking of 6th Avenue, and Seconds's's's Kratitude. All totally different, all fundamentally functioning as dreams of urban experience.

Ghostface is a psychogeographer extraordinaire; Supreme Clientele's lyric "Bung bung bung, your bell went rung rung rung / Staple-Land's where the ambulance don't come" is still an astounding threat because he tosses you in a place outside of jurisdiction - Clammyhands giggle nervously at streets with funny names - and lets trouble find your scent. Of course, at least part of it is Rap Fantasia; Fishscale's "The Champ" cuddles his verbal erections: "This is architect music."

He masters his cityscape even when messing around, shitting himself with juvenalia on the "Heart Street Directions" skit: "the next block is Clit Boulevard - but you gotta be careful, it's kinda wet down there - you goin' past Guts now, that should take you to Tits Project; my man Balls be around there somewhere. The Heart is around there somewhere." Yeah, it's dumb, but it also reminds you how commanding he is about locales; being able to smell and fear his sense of place is disorienting because you know his boulevards bubbled up in the same cauldron as his erogenous language-as-sound rhetoric and fruit-spiels - the dynamic nonsense that helps set him apart. Still, even if it comes out as part fantasy, Fishscale's premise of city-as-secret is thoroughly alluring; SFJ's Tarantino comparison is well-worn, but reminds you of something important - the double-nuance of pulp: cheap, sensational, but just as much a part of the fruit as the juice.

If Fishscale is city-as-secret, the Moondog compilation The Viking of 6th Avenue is a fantasy by necessity. Moondog was a blind street musician; as I said in another post, the gobsmacking poignancy of his music is that he somehow manages to paint Midtown perfectly through Loony-tuned jazz brut even though he never actually saw it. Of course, it's a "pre-internet" portrait - a tag I've grown fond of as a catchall for the experience of say, open-air saxophone and city drift that seems totally lacking in my ultramodern & disaffected experience of New York. So it, like Ghostface, is its own escape music; a completely different city and somehow on the same blocks; Moondog turned the NYSE into a Native American battleground and skyscraper stories into heads on stacked totem poles in a way both intimate and accurate - it's still uncanny that his senses were abbreviated.

Kratitude is a new album by Seconds, a neo-no wave band that oddly betrays some of no wave's most well-defined characteristics: presence and dynamics. Seconds make super-cyclic and ostensibly minimal punk; in fact, they're sort of like an early Sonic Youth/garage version of Liars, whose Drum's Not Dead smokes with the same hypno-chanting schtick. Which is fine; what compels me about both these albums isn't that they're all that good, but that they're such a specific reaction to the city. In fact, the onesheet for Seconds talks about minimalism - Steve Reich "It's Gonna Rain"-style; the revelation-by-repetition scheme. Both bands use repetition as a way to try to scale back to prehistory, probably because the city is so goddamn fast and confusing - the first track on Kratitude is actually a vocal round consisting of "Slowly moving slowly moving faster moving faster" - loopy, disorienting. The urban escape of fetishizing Early Tymes seems present in Excepter and Animal Collective, too; strangely, this resonates with Moondog's restoration of the city to a distant past, though younger bands seem to be doing this in a much more destructive/deconstructive way. Seconds and Liars fall short of scrambling circuits because they drive the neopromitive experience underground, where the freaky stuff is always a go; AC is the closest to bringing the aesthetic to success, but my cavemen friends tell me that the word around the obelisk is that they're going MOR.

Never as MOR as Fagen, who plays just what you'd expect - the slick, detached, mind's eye approach to the city. What got me about Morph the Cat immediately was the title track: a cloud of smoke in the guise of a kitty renders New York euphoric, like if the "plume" in DeLillo's White Noise was gigglegas with the scent of freshly-baked cookies. What gets presented - and mirrored in Fagen's impossibly exact music - is the paradoxical threat of calm; a mass numbing in the guise of playfulness, the capitulation of all kindsa modern horrors that Fagen would wryly twitch his lip at. So maybe Seconds and Liars had to go underground after all. If his portraits of The Masses are unnerving, think about the protaginist in "Security Joan," standing on the verge of getting it on with the woman waving the metal-detector wand over his trembling pre-flight body. If it's funny, it's also crushingly sad: no lover at home - a home that he spends enough time outside of to make a chance encounter with a sterile uniform worth it (not to mention the ha-ha soft dominant/submissive power dynamic of their encounter); the guy's always between flights, stimulated by the most banal encounters. I actually thought of Scott Walker's "Time Operator," a song about a man talking to a telephone operator that actually represents "Security Joan"'s modern alienation even better: "Time Operator / Take the time to take the time to come over here / We got so much in common / Seems it's hard for us to sleep with all the razzle dazzle in the street." It's straight Walter Benjamin: we're too buried under the rhythm of the city to make connections with people (think about your commute); Fagen and Walker's cynical capitulation is in trying to have phone sex with a city employee or a quickie with an airline attendant.

In the end, what's funny about all these approaches - Ghost's secret city, Moondog's serene metro-toons, Seconds/Liars neoprimitive resistance and Fagen's suffocating calm - is that they all envision places that don't exist but seem equally and thrillingly real. If Fagen is closest to truth, he's also the most fucking daffy of in the bunch; Ghost has said crazy stuff before, but he never needed a large, formless cat made of smoke to argue his point.


Croak or Hoot Under the Influence of Pan

It's somewhat crushing, prophetic, helpful, painful that I start reading Frank Kogan's Real Punks Don't Wear Black on the fourth night after seeing Silver Jews three shows in a row. On the back flap, Chuck Eddy has some quote about how Kogan's triumph is proposing the challenge to not think about one's own life when listening to music knowing that the challenge is impossible; Kogan's essay on the Kingston Trio makes his attempts at non-identificatory listening abundantly clear. Almost.

Silver Jews were the easiest band in the world to fall in love with because we shared all kinds of qualities, either real or desired (at 17, maybe 21, can't remember): quietly self-effacing, observant, relaxed, bittersweet. Unrealistic. Mopey. Take solace in small moments; small as big. Kogan says that he only took acid twice because it turned him into an aesthete, and god forbid; it's a fate I've been trying to escape for as long as I could crane to navelgaze.

Why, I'm not exactly sure. I think I'm having a voice crisis; how do you balance presenting a conversation about music and still be critical? Do I like things I don't like as I kneel down to open-mindedness? Where do I splinter? In a sense, the more I challenge the way I think, the better I know myself; what I know is a mass of questions and neurotic second-guessings.

Not at Silver Jews, which again, is a good and a bad thing. It's not a matter of policing one's self, really, but rather being honest with your powers to reason. Which lately, has gotten me far away from just about everything; funny that David Berman finally got the nerve to play "Pretty Eyes": "Everybody wants perspective from a hill / But everybody's wants can't make it past the window sill." Which is why I can manage to write this now and not sound like a Charles Ives song, two marching bands passing each other on a New England street.

When I try to hear my voice, I never know what I'll find; when I read the words on the page they never seem like mine. And for some theoretical once-you-surrender-to-the-written-word-you-are-another-animal excuse, but a real banshee-on-the-lecturn issue. All the sudden I'm in the audience. Call out in a cave and see if it's really an echo; you might figure out what's confusing me. You might just think I'm crazy, too; I guess it's possible?

EDIT: PBW attains record speeds chasing its own tail.


Notes on the State of Virginia

1. Vacation; sorry.

2. Did you realize that the Violent Femmes recorded the first Pixies song in 1985? It's called "Never Tell" and it's on Hallowed Ground.

3. In Charlottesville, Virginia, people don't *listen to music* like I do, per se. I mean, you go to a show if it's happening, because it's happening. And it doesn't even matter if it's particularly great or not. And when there isn't a show on, it's pretty easy to be content with the sound of birds and wind chimes.

4. 4 days worth of hours, 10 days worth of meals and 14 days worth of alcohol.

5. Circle was a band from Finland who had The Rock trapped in a large, tiled bathroom and were helpless to do anything but search for it in pitch darkness, occasionally squeezing something harmless and irrelevant they mistook for The Rock. Cul de Sac; godspeed your half-formed ruminations.

6. I have fallen under Small Town Charm again; needlessly romantic about spending a week in a place that I know has all kinds of bad molasses moments, a group of people sometimes seemingly weighed down by Straight Loungin', getting drunk and riding bicycles around. I shower less and sweat more, go figure.

6a. I know that a lot of this hinges on going to see Silver Jews on Thursday (and again on Friday and Saturday in New York); seeing one of my favorite bands - or at least the men responsible for 1998's American Water, my favorite record - is weird because so much seems riding on it - they've played about 10 shows in as many years and my personal life has been a little wily lately.

6b. Right now, I'm a two minute walk from the train tracks that I first listened to Bright Flight on, and about 12 more to the dorm that I used to play American Water in what seemed like every day; another 7 or 8 minute walk would get me to Twin Sycamores, where we used to play The Natural Bridge all the time because we felt too tough to cry without it. Another 60 or so miles and you're at the Natural Bridge itself, where I once got drunk and played mini golf at before witnessing a reading of part of the Book of Genesis set against a light show on the rock.

7. When I'm here, I tend to surrender to a part of me I don't see often enough - the one that doesn't feel in a rush, the one that doesn't feel particularly afraid of life's floor model, the one without a certain kind of cosmic noise that New York fills me with. I try not to second guess it too much, because I know it won't stay quiet for long enough.

8. A dude dressed as a werewolf shredding psychobilly tunes at a narrow burrito establishment: welcome back.


"Holdin' On Like a Hubcap in the Fast Lane": A Dictionary For Curing Hella Seasonal Depression (N thru Zed)

Letting the Good Times Roll (Away From You Like a Ball from an Infant): Lou Reed Meta-rocking a vintage Jangles the Junkie Tee

(If you missed the first half yesterday, scroll down; much like a real dictionary, this does *not* have to be read in order. Day 2: Things get better! Worse!)

N is for "Not Tonight" by Mannie Pendergroff, aka Mannie Fresh:

"Hey everybody, I wanna explain and express myself / Sometime in a young man's life, you know, you wanna find a woman and make her your wife / You don't just wanna be fuckin' up in the club, sometimes you're lookin' for love, y'know? See what I'm sayin? And after the break, I'm gonna explain myself, but Oooooh, not tonight - I just wanna fuck you right." Because the world needs greazy comedy ballads to remind us what a humorless cesspool Romance is.

O is for "One Hit" by the Knife, a 6/8 electro shuffle about domestic violence with a clumsy reference to The Godfather, female vocals pitchshifted to imitate Scott Walker trying rather desperately to climb out of a pool of mud and a grotesque sing-song vocal howling from Disney's enchanted forest, which incidentally, is an impenetrable thicket of insects. Currently battling Sway's "Pretty Ugly Husband" for Most Upsetting Spousal Abuse Song of 2006.

P is for Pornolizer.com, for turning part of my Gaucho post into “I've been spanking to Gaucho a lot more lately and I'll be damned if it isn't one of the most interesting, funny, and complicated enters I think I've ever heard. In this scheme, I will, of course, not be felched.” From now on, this will be my auto-edit tool for anybody else’s writing.

Q is for "Quito" by The Mountain Goats, because J0hn Darn1elle probably never wrote a more concise, hopeful and bittersweetly redemptive song, which is like saying it's a hot day in hell or this is the nicest private beach I've been to all financial quarter.

R is for R.I.P., unfortunately. Ali Farka Toure, Ray Barretto, and Ivor Cutler – all in the last couple weeks. I’m most familiar with Ali Farka’s stuff, but I distinctly remember when I first heard Cutler’s “Jam” – which is well worth seeking out, or you can get an idea of his humor here – and I’m fairly new to Barretto, but I’ve been listening to his solo stuff and the Soul Jazz Nu Yorica compilations a LOT lately, and am absolutely certain that the world would benefit from listening to more 60s salsa.

S is for Searching for Steely Dan, a novel about a disillusioned writer who gets dumped by his wife and begins a hopeless search for Steely Dan. How the hell could I possibly accentuate both the implicit and explicit comedy of that premise?

T is for “Together” by Ray Barretto, one of the few idealistic civil rights/people-come-together songs whose message and motor is so irresistible that it makes me wish I had a conga to beat until I bruised my palms and bled rainbows out of my eyes. I silently frown at my dad for spending 1970 playing 22-minute covers of “Cinnamon Girl” in a dorm room.

U is for “Unicorn” by Panash; come for the Pepe Bradock connection, stay for a clumsy toy-house beat, a bassline that lopes like the speaker is gargling a broken hum, and huge middle section where wisps of melodic noise keep getting cut out and distorted abruptly, like two second strobes of MBV’s Loveless jazz blasting through the void. The “psych-house” tag was a really suspicious promise, but this track’s hooks are in my brain for serious.

V is for V/VM's Sick Love, because nothing says Valentine's Day like getting drunk on a roughshod dinghy and throwing your dramamine overboard to the sound of Throbbing Gristle screwed + chopped.

W is for “Wait” by Lou Reed. I found Lou most entertaining as Jangles the Junkie in Enfeebled Reflections on ‘American Graffiti’, where “Wait” is one of the highlights. A few years ago – college daze – I went to a party, got dangerously drunk, and proceeded to use the host house’s bathroom as my own private meditation chamber. I was wearing sunglasses and a long t-shirt with the words “I am insightful thinker” – a compliment I had been paid that morning by my sterile Literature TA – scrawled awkwardly in Sharpie across my stomach. Whenever anyone banged on the door, I shouted “get the fuck away, I’m Lou Reed.” In the morning, I awoke and walked out into the living room to find a chubby guy with dreadlocks watching television. He looked up and said “Hey look it’s Lou Reed.” I always figured the disgusting, half-assed Caddy fin 50s rock of “Wait” was basically what polluted me into being proud of that moment.

X is for I am resourceful but not that resourceful and I don't really like either X or Xibit and don't feel like XTC; I guess X is Xian forgiveness for my mortal shortcomings. Or the Xi'an province, home of the Big Goose Pagoda. Either way.

Y is for "You'll Never Get to Heaven (If You Break My Heart)" by the Stylistics, because girl, you are going to burn in hell for breaking up with me and there's nobody better to tell you than a bunch of well-dressed castrati from Philadelphia.

Z is for the theme from Zombi by Fabio Frizzi, because no matter how much I want to feel t0t411y 4we50m3 about life, dread pwns happiness on the existential richness scale, no count no question.


And because I'm forcing a new phase of universal acceptance, a very hearty hello to the two people that have come from the MSN search results for girls getting fucked by dogs, where this blog humbly and bewilderingly appears.


"Holdin' On Like a Hubcap in the Fast Lane": A Dictionary For Curing Hella Seasonal Depression (A thru M)

It's a Metaphor: Minotaurs

A is for "American Music" by the Violent Femmes, wherein lead Femme Gordon Gano figured out how to trick a fumbling tryst between Tom Petty and Phil Spector that ends in a rave-up, sound like woe actually is him and still more cheery-charming than Jonathan Richman or unapologetically fucked up than Spiritualized. Like a huge party in a chapel where all the mistakes you’ve ever made get wasted and tousle your hair but don't exactly forgive you.

B is for “Blue Nile” by Alice Coltrane for when you can’t afford mushrooms and don’t feel like putting on your sarong but wouldn’t mind the full Hippie Jazz Entropical Vacation package where Pharoah Sanders paddles you through a dark, verdant corridor to a whoosh-waterfall of a harp solo with just enough augmented chords to rip the pants off Debussy and rub him down with scented oil while he’s nodded out cross-legged on a hooked rug yeah.

C is for Candi Staton’s “I’d Rather Be an Old Man’s Sweetheart”, a gutting piece of soul music that makes having sex with geriatrics sound deeply comfortable and disconcertingly alluring.

D is for Destroyer’s “Thief”, a set of lyrics I’d tattoo on my back if someone put up the money for it or at least let me bite down on their forearm when I feel the words “You take back the curse but the girl just gets every rip-off artist to paint a picture / Of a world at war / When the world was not at war,” be it a need borne of pain or because I didn’t want the body artist to see me crying softly into my chest hair.

E is for E-40’s “The Slap”; I saw E-40 host MTV2's Sucka Free Countdown the other day, and in one segment, Ghostface showed up on a video screen and asked E-40 how he comes up with all his great slang; E-40 responded with 20 seconds of flashy, affirmative nonsense.

So, well, sort of like

THE NORTH STAR: How do you shine so nice?

A SMALL, DISTANT STAR: So okay there are like these things called Giant Molecular Clouds and


COW: How do you get your milk so sweet?

GOAT: Baaaaa

F is for Frank Kogan, because I never really cared for reading “music criticism” up until a year or so ago and now I feel like I’ve got some catching up to do, because I’m totally intrigued by the well-studied alien approach. I’m really excited for Real Punks Don’t Wear Black to arrive.

G is for Gilberto Gil and Os Mutantes performing "Domingo No Parque" on TV. It’s not just because the coda makes me deliriously happy and thoroughly inspired, but because it’s interesting to be reminded that Tropicalia wasn’t a) off the radar or b) universally accepted – the audience noise is pretty constant, and the tone of the response is pretty mixed. Not sure where this is from, but then again, that’s the rootless joy of YouTube for you, isn’t it. Also, Os Mutantes: really silly-looking.

H is for Harry Nilsson’s “The Most Beautiful World in the World”, a song that implicitly mocks The Jungle Book using the same colonial islander-folk vibe of “Coconut” or later “Kokomo,” but then breaks into an extended world :: woman metaphor over a schlocky orchestral passage, spotlight and all. Moral is, breasts – touch them, if you can, because we’re just on a long shimmy to the grave.

I is for “I Want to See The Bright Lights Tonight” by Richard and Linda Thompson. PBW wanders into Cheers on Friday afternoon and finally sees the appeal – good-old-tymes, straight backslappin’ and yukkin’ it up in sepia; also, briefly surrender to what people see in the sagging anachro-folk-rock of The Band.

J is for “Jealous Guy” as performed by Donny Hathaway, because I like Bryan Ferry better than John Lennon, but I’m wringing out the sad sacks in favor of the self-possessed for right now. Hathaway’s meaty staccato maximizes every saloon syncopation “Benny and the Jets”-style; the unambiguous confidence in his voice spanks every idealization of the Trembling Patriarchal Sissy and sends them back to their rooms.

K is for Kano’s “Mic Check (Remix)” not because I was all that thrilled with his Beats and Bars mixtape or even this song, but because his justification/evidence for being crazy and fucked up is that he’s a minotaur.

L is for Lil’ Wayne’s “Tha Mobb”. I still basically consider myself a casual rap listener, and I really don’t know if the way I hear this stuff is at all similar to the way other people do, but what I really find amazing about Tha Carter II’s opening – save the fact that at 5:20 and no chorus, it’s obviously an expository flex – is Wayne’s scorched-earth tableau of jungle survivalism. If I cringe when he says “And the beat keep cryin’ and I’m’a keep beatin’ her,” I get serious goosebumps when he moans “I’m hungry like I didn’t eat/I want it like I didn’t see a meal before 17” and I usually go bliss-blank when he hits blockbuster shamanism: “I’m in the sky when the thunder’s cryin”; he steals from bears, compares himself to a shark, gorilla, and a tiger, loses the beat and gains the power of invincibility: “Start ‘em ignite ‘em I walk through fire / Watch the flames start multiplyin.’” I know that buying into CGI anim/animalism morph jobs is its own trap, but it’s a lot more interesting than jewelry or his basketball metaphors.

M is for “Misen Gymnastics” by Oorutaichi, which ostensibly imagines the Talking Heads’ “I Zimbra” as the soundtrack to an anime orgy of jungle mutants. I got a copy of Yori Yoyo, language barrier and all, and it’s got some wonderful moments. Not sure how space disco it is, and it doesn’t really help alleviate the “wacky Japan” stereotype, but it definitely fits in with the neo-tribal naïf/cartoon aesthetic I fall for pretty easily.

(Please check back later today or tomorrow for the thrilling "N thru Zed" portion, which will include specious obituaries, me cautiously proclaiming my love for 60s NY salsa, and a humorous anecdote about a time I slept in someone's bathroom, totally uninvited.)


A Half-Baked Cake: Year Zero (a)

The old future fear is at my ankles again. At Simon's postpunk panel the other night, Orange Juice's Steve Daly asserted that their passion for Chic was partially because they sounded like they were from a distant era and James Chance quipped that today's socioeconomic climate basically prohibits the kind of "rock & dole" (to use Vivien Goldman's phrase) insurance that cushioned the radicalism of 80s musicians. Sum: a reiteration of the Year Zero myth, either the chicken or the egg for aforementioned ripping up, starting again.

I often joke with my girlfriend that I'd be much more entertained (but fare much worse) in the world if we had a societal apocalypse; funny that Slick Contrarian Chance bitterly suggested that it would be the only thing to prime us for anything new. The humor was there and it was black, but there was something nostalgic in his words; nostalgia is part retreat, but it's also part tenderness, and weirdly enough, it was one of the most bittersweet things I'd heard anyone say in a while.

So what does the present think of the future now? A while back I was fixated on the John Coltrane/Sun Ra/Funkadelic --> Detroit techno idea of futurism and final frontiers; Space is the Place because it's half as shitty as things are here. But do we have that anymore? Do we want it? Funny that the most salient expression of a desire for newness is actually forced regression; combine the scorched-earth imagery of Chance's assertion with the idiot rumble of say Mars or DNA and mix in a bit of the communo-idealism of those space jazz fantasies, and you've got some sort of building blocks for the nu-primitivism trend. Freak-folk, not so much; I only half-buy what they're saying anyhow, and I'm more inclined to lump Animal Collective in with later Boredoms/Voordoms -- big-hearted cavemen in hoodies with digial processing racks, fetishizing the barely lingual/cavepainting shennanigans of B.C. as cautiously as the idealistic quartz & circutry signs of the future.

Weirdly enough, the gaping hole in AC/Boredoms and in older Year Zero iterations (or at least the attempts at time-erasure), is the present. I had actually thought about this before in terms of ELO (who seem funny in this context), but it's really the same kind of deal: present sucks; past seems pretty good and the unknown future is at least promising, so conflate the latter two and you have a new, seemingly unfeasible present. Even the phrase "rip it up and start again" and the whole notion of "starting over" at least half-suggests to me that you're doomed to go pick up some of the old signifiers on the way (Devo saying that they wanted to make "outerspace caveman" music is pretty blatant, if you ask me).

What I can say for sure is that NASA beat Sun Ra to space and all we've got now is earth; the iconography of nature - from Black Dice's Beaches and Canyons to endless Wolf ____ or "Animal" _____ bands (and even a zombie fetish, really) seems to all point to a surrender of the fact that the future actually already happened sometime around 1980, when Chance/Devo/PiL/etc. shamed space dreams by making something twice as potent as laserbeams, and now we can't even get the peace and quiet to make clanging rocks sound like a beginning of anything.

Not sure just where to go with this because the present inspires me in really ambiguous ways (is panamorous resignation a sign of inspiration? har) - at least half-evidenced by the fact that Chance's depiction of early 80s NYC put the yearn in me more than anything else.

Who am I kidding; I'm listening to Merle Haggard reissues and drinking coffee, I am not the 2020 man.

(Addendum: I'd be totally irresponsible to *not acknowledge* the fact that AC are white and from rural Maryland, while Sun Ra did his most famous work in Chicago and Philadelphia; Funkadelic were from Detroit -- i.e. AC's escapism is a bit flimsier when you think about the fact that they're not exactly pulling free from the jaws of racism or poverty or urban blight or anything. I don't see many parallels on the disenfranchised front.)