Sunday, August 26, 2007

There have been some news stories circulating lately that have made me, as my friend Guth says, "Launch into cartwheels of rage."

First was an article on a couple of days ago titled US Officials Rethink Hopes for Iraq Deomcray. The gist of the article is that the region isn't stable enough to support a democracy and maybe stability should be our primary concern.

Hmmm... Isn't that why the CIA put Sadam Hussein in power in the first place. I am not going to try to defend Hussein, I think he was as vile a human being as there ever was, but I am not sure that I understand the logic of destabilizing a country just to get a different military dictator in position. I have a ton of opinions about the whole Iraq issue and one of them involves troop withdrawal. And the short of it is that, at the expense of sounding contrary, we have an obligation to be there at this point. Waltzing in, destroying the stability of a country and then saying something to the effect of, "Whoops, my bad, good luck," is about the worst PR move the US government could do; and in all honesty if the world revolted againsts us because of it, I wouldn't blame them.

(And just in case some lonely FBI agent intern has to read this blog post and make notes on whether or not I might be a terrorist. I am not, I am just pissed off enough to consider voting again and you should take a good long look at your life if your job, your bread winning fucking job is to read shitty blog posts like this all day. That said, I hope you had a nice weekend; I did, I went to a water park in New Hampshire--in a Ford Mustang.)

The second article that had me all bollocks up was about everybody's favorite dog killing quarterback, Michael Vick.

Gist of this turd of news is that the NAACP said that Michael Vick shouldn't lose his job for being a conspirator and financial backer of a dog fighting kennel; and on top of that, killing dogs through "collaborative efforts".

Here is why he is wrong.

Michael Vick is an ambassador of the National Football League. He has engaged in an act of atrocity so profane (killing animals for no other reason than joy and pleasure) that the NFL and the Atlanta Falcons (who have stuck with him through two gigantic rehabilitations) have had to endure three months of the worst publicity possible. If either one of them didn't take the action of suspending his contract or firing him can you even imagine the shit storm of bad PR that they would have to put up with. If I was in charge of either organization I would shit-can on principal, let alone legality. He is a dick-head and a chump.

The thing is that Vick should have been smarter.

This really gets me riled up.

(See FBI Person, I am not a bad guy, I drive American cars, and like dogs. Here is another link you should check out. It is a picture of my favorite breed of dog from the AKC:the Bulldog. Since we are having this moment, I don't know when it became my favorite but it is pretty recently. I used to only like Golden Retrievers and Labradors, but for some reason I like Bulldogs lately.)

Monday, August 20, 2007

"Well nothing ever went, Quite exactly as we planned"

Title provided by Modest Mouse from Missed the Boat.

This weekend was spent in nearly equal parts writing, reading and rocking. I have been working on a story that involves... well never mind because talking about it insures that it will never be completed. Ever. But I am up to a little over ten pages of material on a short story that will hopefully be ready for a send off to someplace publishy in a couple of months. Once I get the story finished I am giving myself three weeks for editing and rereading. The Mantra I am repeating to myself is, "Enough is as good as a feast." I don't know where I heard it but it seems relevant lately.

I have been reading Phillip Pullman's Golden Compass and it is absolutely riveting stuff. I wholeheartedly recommend it to anybody who is interested in the speculative fiction or children's literature genres.

And now on the juicy stuff. Here in the great northeast they had a music festival this weekend called the Download Festival. Weak name right? The festival itself was pretty... well it was lame, there was not much to do (outside of listening to the band, give me a second I will get there) and when you are dealing with a ten hour music festival you either need to have options in case a band sucks or something. Also the marketing guy should be taken out and savagely beaten about his head, neck and shoulders.

This Saturday was about the nicest day of the summer here in the Northeast and it was a marquee day for an outdoor music concert festival. And the amphitheater was maybe 2/3rds full. Maybe. On the outside figure. It was sad.

The shows started at 1:00 o'clock on a stage that was built in one of the parking lots.
So here is the lineup: Apollo Sunshine, Bang Camaro, Band of Horses, and Wolf Parade.

At about 5:30 they moved the conert to the covered amphitheater where the big guns were brought out.
Line up included: Neko Case, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Guster, and Modest Mouse.

Now I will openly admit that I was there to see Wolf Parade and Modest Mouse. I love them both equally; although Modest Mouse has a larger repertoire of music and so I find myself falling back on them more than I do Wolf Parade. Anyway there were bands that I had heard of but never really given a fair shake to (Yeah yeah yeahs, Band of Horses and Neko case) and bands that I had never heard of period (Apollo Sunshine, Bang Camaro and Guster; although I think I knew a little something aobut Guster but I will get to that in a second).

The bands I went to see did not disappoint I don't know what else to say about Modest Mouse that I haven't said previously but they still rocked out hard and Lovely Wife had an interesting observation about Isaac Brock. She thinks that he plays guitars and sings to keep himself from punching people he doesn't like. I thought it was a funny observation.

The bands that I had heard of did not disappoint and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs made an instant fan out of me, they rock out harder than any of the other bands there. Absolutely high energy from start to finish. Great job by them.

Neko Case is beautiful and her voice is a positively angellic. I think I might have fallen in love with her--sorry lovely wife--at any rate I am not a huge fan of the alt country scene but I love her work with AC Newman and the rest of the New Pornographers crowd and I was dually impressed by her solo stuff and have to admit I was a little rash in my judgement of the alt country scene.

Band of Horses and Wofl Parade both have new albums coming out soon and I will be eagerly picking them up. Neither band disappointed but the venue was tough... I mean come on they were playing a fucking parking lot.

(Which reminds me of a game that Lovely Wife and I play, and subsequently introduced our friend Amy Guth to. It is called ROCK OUT! and it involves coming up with the lamest places ever and trying to make a rock and roll entrance for them; example, "City of Des Moines Public Library are you ready to blow the roof off? OWWWwwww! Now the trick is that it has to be someplace that a crowd would congregate. So making one for a transfer station wouldn't be good because who hangs out at the transfer station. But American Legion Post 357 is totally fair game. I guess in writing it out it isn't that fun... no fuck that it rocks and I still do four years later.)

Now for the bad news. Bang Camaro is, as near as I can tell, an 80's hair metal revival band whose claim to fame is that they are on a video game called Guitar Hero. They are not my cup of tea. I am not going to say they are good or bad because it isn't my music, but they did give me first exposure to the nine dollar personal Papa Gino's pizza at Great Woods. Apollo Sunshine equals Hippy Jam Band they played three songs in thirty-five minutes. Ugh. Nuff said.

Now for Guster. These guys weren't very good, but they weren't very bad and they fall into that category of music that comes along every couple of years and grips the high school crowd and makes them want to listen to music and care about their lives. For me the band was Gin Blossoms. I can remember listening to Hey Jealousy and wanting to sing it to an ex-girlfriend. I used to drive around the desert in my home town and there was this path that led out into the base of a mountain near a big run off point that we called Alison Road.

Guster are the Gin Blossoms for the graduating class of 2007. They weren't bad, but you know I am passed that point in my life where unrequited love is an issue and I am happy for it. I don't know that I would rush out and buy a Guster album but I don't think I would tell my cousin Cole that he shouldn't. Does that make sense.

Anyway, the highlight of the concert for me was how empty the house was. I am in house management as a career and seeing a performance that was as empty as most of these were was sad. I mean really really really sad. And it affects the intensity of the show.

More tomorrow...


Friday, August 17, 2007

"He moves his words like a prize fighter..."

Cake, Shadow Stabbing. One of the best songs ever.

New post up on Six Sentences. As always thanks to Rob.

I didn't realize how long it had been since my last post; I don't have an excuse, not really, just a general malaise accompanied with a near psychotic obsession on a renewed hobby that nets me about 65 to 70 points on the Official Geek Test.