Saturday, November 29, 2008


I saw this in a oversized black frame in a friends bathroom last night.
Thought about it over soap, bubbles, and thin paper.
Took little long cause I stared, but loved the attitude that leaked off the paper & through the glass.
Unabashed truths whilst gracing a toilet.
Woke up happy to find it wasn't me being sleepy and sassy; I felt the same energy shedding from these words:

"Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourselves. Choose your future. Choose life..."

_Trainspotting, 1996

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday releases

New music yay!!!

The Killers, Day & Age released their 4th studio album today, and it's great. Very reminiscent of their debut Hot Fuss. Have to admit I was a little hesitant to buy because of Flowers' Mormonism and their recent ties to Proposition 8; however, he claimed to be supportive of gay rights, so I hope he wasn't lying. When I listen to this album I wish to be in the southwest, visualizing their desert.

Key Tracks:

# 4 "A Dustland Fairytale"
# 5 "This Is Your Life" (a little U2/The Verve ish)
# 7 "Neon Tiger"
# 10 "Tidal Wave" (iTunes Bonus Track)

Kanye Kanye Kanye is all about the love on 808s & Heartbreak. I guess you're not immune to every emotion. You'll hear a lot of "she (s)" and "love", welcome the new heartbreak kid. Not too bitter, just a little emotional. I love how Mr. West continues to bridge music genre gaps, making everything possible while keeping his listeners tight in his back pocket Marc Jacobs wallet.

Key Tracks:

# 1 "Say You Will"
# 2 "Welcome to Heartbreak (feat. Kid Cudi)"
# 6 "Paranoid (feat. Mr. Hudson)"
# 10 "See You In My Nightmares (feat. Lil Wayne)"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

seven-a theater review

My Favorite Animal
Written by: Tom Sime
Directed by: Phyllis Cicero
The 45th Street Theatre
345 West 45th Street, New York, NY
(212) 352-3101
Review by: Ashley L. Mathus

Categorized as a “romantic comedy”, My Favorite Animal almost climbs that comedic mountain, but descends before we see the view. A cast of six finds themselves betwixt and between genders, trying to find the best possible solution for shaky relationships and whimsical wishes. Randi (Catherine DuBord), “with an I” has had a sex change, not by doctors but an unknown magical force, fulfilling her secret wish. Randi is a gay man who’s attracted to straight men, and is now a female seeking undivided attention from straight men everywhere. DuBord and her new bisexual psychiatrist, Jerry (Matt Lyle), discuss the sex change like a diluted version of “Who’s on first?” The pair opens up a can of worms of gender stereotypes, sexuality preferences, and maturity levels.

The “favorite animal” is man, echoing a primitive nature that every human faces. Though this comedic wish entertains for a while, Randi’s “magical” situation is never explained and half-heartedly resolved. We’re still left to wonder, why? Jerry’s mother, Gail (Sylvia Luedtke), is blunt helicopter parent, barging into Jerry’s office onstage with beer and cheap takeout. All glitz and glam, Luedtke is the best in show, receiving laughs for her motherly-bluntness and pure exasperation.

Eventually the entire cast is clustered in Jerry’s office, pushing the safety walls of a doctor’s lair. Annoying chaos ensues, becoming both humorous and confusing, in their alleged group therapy. Two straight men (a stalker and an overweight hick) unconvincingly try to recover from unrequited love. Fighting over a gun, they’d rather end their own misery than kill each other. My Favorite Animal has an original story line but fails to deliver pure passion for lifestyle choices. The actors’ memorization of dialogue is visible, logic and magic become one, and facial expressions are constantly over-the-top. Gail emerges as a superior psychiatrist, guiding everyone’s emotional guilt in this faux group session. Our laughter is procured from obvious conundrums, and nothing spectacular happens with gender change. We are encouraged to see both the positive and negative sides of altering sexes, but the focus shifts from character to character so fast we don’t have time to digest the amount of individual bedlam.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Historian

Just finished reading Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian.  A huge and epic tale full of vampire lore and history.  Kostova actually uses the historical information on Vlad the Impaler, including his many graves in monasteries, his influence over small plagues in both eastern and western Europe, and his symbol and group Order of the Dragon.  

Kostova addresses her reader before the first chapter suspensefully writing, "In addition to reproducing these sources almost in their entirety."  I'm thinking, what, wait, like this is real?!  Her imagination claims to only have been resorted to "when necessary".  If you ever decide to read this book, you will understand when I say this preface is probably the most suspenseful opening, and therefore suspenseful book I have ever read.  You can gather this book is about vampires, and when someone who graduated from Yale is telling you that this is all real, it's a little surreal.  In the light of day I want to believe, but when it turns dark I'm actually afraid, not to read, but to think farther outside the "imagination" of the spineless novel.  I have been hesitant to engage in further research about her geographical topics because of events in the book (which is a first and something I hope to overcome in a week).  Now, I have never read Bram Stokers, Dracula, but it's on the reading list; and maybe between the few novels I can collect information and do what with it...?  I've read that Kostova imitates key scenes from Stoker's fictional novel, but also uses Vlap Tepes' historical past, enabling her claims to have an odd validity and uncomfortable security blanket.  

The old-fashioned letters, which is the readers main source of information, are more than tempting.  The letters become both our and the main characters guidebook; we are watching the stage from the third tier, and therefore the last to know what happens.  The letters addressed to the "unfortunate successor" or "reader" are romantic and polite, yet full of suspenseful history and accuracy.  These letters make me want to resurrect a pen pal.  The abundance of history in The Historian is, at times, overwhelming; but is worth pursuing.  Kostova makes me question who actually is the historian?  It seems like Vlad tended to chose his victims by knowledgeable profession, i.e. historians, librarians, or anthropologists.  Vlad himself was a historian- so not only do we have this book revolving around Vlad, the historian, but also Elizabeth, her father Paul, Rossi the Oxford adviser and experienced vampire hunter, and her mother Helen.  All of these characters/real people are historians, searching for one thing or person, but using their craft to arrive at successful conclusions.  Not a happy-go-lucky summertime reading book, but definitely a novel worth reading if you've got the time.

Something odd also happened when I grabbed this book from my book shelves (as if Kostova's preface wasn't jarring enough).  I had bought and started reading The Historian in 2005.  I remember the time of year accurately, and had always wanted to return to the book.  As I'm closing in on the last of the preface, I see it is typed and dated January 15, 2008.  Now, this could be an printing error (which I doubt) or Kostova's way of branching out to her "future" readers, which would accurately imply analogies to the books purpose-  how historian's weave their way into the present with their knowledge from the past.  Ramble.  However, what are the chances I pick this book back up in 2008 and finish it in it's entirety?  What are the chances I suddenly am feigning an interest in this sub-culture and decide now would be the best time to learn more?  To further insinuate my freakish point, a book mark fell onto my lap, previously tucked silently away in page twenty-something for over three years.  The book mark was actually a ticket for a ballet in Columbus, OH dated in the faded year 2005.  Wicked.  I don't know, this could be all in my head, but I am going to visit the book store and see if it was a printing or edition typo.  I'd rather it was, to be honest with you.  

I noted some of the locations and scenes that interested me, some of which I marked down for hopeful future travel.  The Historian takes place in four time periods, so I'm sure the names of countries or border lines have probably been changed.  Kostova illustrated a map of Cold War Europe within her hard cover copy, which the reader refers to often.  It is a helpful guide, especially for Americans, who might not be too keen of Transylvania's whereabouts.  

Check out some of favorite destinations in the book :
Above is the Radcliffe Camera, a historical site in Oxford, England.  I hope to visit next time I visit the UK

This is Lake Snagov, you can look it up if you'd like. Romania- an eerie beautiful.

The Danube, Budapest, Hungary. Another place I hope to visit someday.

Each of these locations are some key places for Kostova's story. They continue on, but you should probably read it first.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Physical Thinking

After stumbling upon a new site called Curled Up (With A Good Book), and somewhat falling into a haphazard pattern of locking myself in a specific location for a few hours every day, I have come to realization of a huge change in body patterns within the last two months.  Let me explain.

Reading.  What body language ensues when we read?  How do you fit the mold, literally, of the book that's attached to your fragile hands and fingers?  Per usual, you are curled up and comfortable, working your limbs into a position where you can read, ponder, reflect, and really get into it.  But everyone's definition of "curled up" is different.  My physical diction highly contrasts what I would have been doing with these precious hours a year ago.  Instead of being "curled up", I would have been stretching, bending, flexing, pushing, pulling, forcing, and of course, releasing.  I obviously knew my rigorous daily routine would take a huge shift; however, I am know realizing, I'm still using my body, but curiously in the extreme opposite way.  I'm not talking about lack of exercise or working out, but the thought behind the movements.  The odd extremities of thought, both which are defined by intelligent teachers- whether they be written or dance oriented. 

I am curled into myself. Like a little rubber ball waiting to explode, I curl on my belly, on my back, propped with pillows, and surround myself with the same layers I would as if I'm warming up for Susan Dromisky.  I switch from the fetal position to Alice's sleepy pose as I lose myself in books full of history, metaphors, allegory's and memories.  I am translating someone else's movement; but in my head, and my body responds not like a machine trained to follow, imitate, and feel within limited technical restraints, but like an after thought- something that comes natural in my own environment.  My physicality is just reflecting what's occurring in my head, not what's in the mirror or whoever is in front of the class.  You have to realize, this "training", lovely as it is/was (?) is something that has been ingrained in me since I was barely five years old.  Something I have always done, which is why this simple revelation is jolting.

The environment, what is it?  Clearly, that constitutes some of the meaning behind being "curled up".  If you curl up somewhere, you must be comfortable. The obvious bed, couch, chair, come to mind.  Think about your environment.  Do you listen to music in the background?  Play with your hair?  Doodle between chapters?  Stare at the page after an intense scene?  How many lights of candles do you have on?  Are there people around you, or are you completely secluded- alone in a beautiful way?  I'll tell you my environment...if you care to read on.  

I love quiet; though not always.  I relish the sounds of the city and music in the car is probably one of the most comforting things ever.  I love the sounds of a family member walking up the stairs, or the clanking of spoons against a pan- signaling that dinner is ready.  I love the clacking horses make when they stomp in their cages, silently refusing their habitation.  I crave the sound of waves, and people's loafers on a boardwalk at 5pm.  The sound of music and why I love it would take ages to explain, so I won't go there now...but in a "curled up" mood, quiet is essential.  Coffee shops work, but the background music usually needs to be on low.  I get distracted by the not-so-interesting conversations or sounds of typing next to me.  My quiet usually equates to an empty house or a lonely library corner or someplace propped up on the sand.  The silence is engulfing.  No TV.  No Radio.  No video games.  None of my ITunes playlists.  Why?  I'll start singing or humming and my attention will automatically cheat devotion to the dedication laying open in my palms.  My phone is a annoying distraction, so I'll often shut it off or hide it in the stove.  Too much coffee is bad, cause ADD will unabashedly ensue.  Too much water will cause annoying bathroom breaks.  Airports though, airports are great. They are lonely because everyone is in a transition period, and therefore somewhat alone, even if their family is nearby.  People are in between homes and families and work and play; it all feeds into needing a comfortable spot to curl up, even if comfort becomes a blue germy plastic chair.

There most certainly is a methodical and practical physical response, lying and waiting within the pages.  Whatever I read next will affect my body language, though no one sees it. My body language is privately affected by my emotions, so I can curl up tighter and snuggle to the hope that the heroin will avenge her enemy, or cross my ankles delicately to express joy or happiness for the protagonist who just found the correct key to the mysteries of Romania...or what have you.

Concluding, these thoughts make it apparent I am happy to have the time to be reading for pleasure again.  Though I loved my English major literature, brilliantly glorifying ageless thoughts- I can study and journal about books I want to read right now.  I don't have to wait for the passing of midterms and 10 question quizzes testing me.  I'll test myself, and refer to maps, retrieve the history and logic of an historian/author/creative mastermind behind the text.  

Get curled up, yo.  Tell me where you do it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Ship Is Sinking, again!

Leo and Kate reunite on the big screen in the upcoming film, Revolutionary Road.
In my opinion, these two are two of the best actors of their generation.  I cannot wait to watch their marriage crumble in Sam Mendes' flick.
In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Kate said:
"I mentioned the script to Leo because we'd always have conversations about interesting things that either one of us has read, and we've just consistently done that over the years.  ...he read it, loved it, and said 'Yes.' 
Leo and I were always aware that if we were to do something together again that there would be a sense of expectation.  It was going to have to be the right thing.  We could see ourselves playing that married couple.  There's an emotional shorthand Leo and I have and a physical ease because we've known each other for so long...Leo and I, you know, are sort of kindred spirits- we're cut from the same cloth"
Oscar win is abuzz for the five time nominated actress.  

A Lesson [3]

The Travelers and the Plane Tree

"On a hot summer's day, some travelers, worn out by the heat of the sun, noticed a plane tree and rushed toward it.  Once they arrived, they threw themselves down on the ground and rested in the shade of its wide spreading branches.  As they were lying there, one of the travelers said to the other, 'What a useless tree the plane is.  It bears no fruit, and there's no other way man can put it to use.'
But the plane tree answered them, 'Ungrateful creatures!  At the very moment you're benefiting from my existence, you deride me as if I were good for nothing!' 

Ingratitude is as blind as it is base. "

Aesop's Fables, p 125.

to note...

Does anyone else notice how much Stephenie Meyer uses the word "Chagrin" in her books?  
I tried to ignore it at first, but after reading all the books, Edward's unfinished version, "Midnight Sun", and outtakes on her website, my claim can be verified.  

from Merriam Webster
Chagrin: n
Etymology: French, from chagrin sad
disquietude or distress of mind caused by humiliation, disappointment, or failure.

There's a lot of "disquietude", that being a HUGE and semi-funny controversy of a human and vampire being lovers without the "distress".  Meyer uses the word as a from of speech, action, adjective, and it just keeps popping up!  No hard feelings, just something I picked up on.  It would be her "signature move" if she was a danca.


[recommended tunage before/during reading: Radiohead-any but I like "Videotape" ]

he was a twelve year old boy stuck in a body of a fifty year old man.  
man, call it what you will, this peter pan lived in a neverland away from responsibility, 
away from the never[s]- minus the lost boys.  
a viking without his ship.  
a nomad without a bear.  
translucent lava. 
he had no friends.
his friend was the bottle, the aluminum, the crinkle of a finished can being discarded on the carpet like some piece of lint.  

don't get me wrong, he had friends throughout his life.  actually he was one of the most charismatic people I've ever met.  people would swoon over his smile and giddy earnestness.  he left people comfortable, trusting, and laughing. people liked him. i compare my humor response to his humor. no one comes close. his jokes could always clear the clouds, pushing aside anger in coveted love and tenderness.  a baby for grins and smirks and he liked spongebob! i didn't think he even knew who spongebob was, but he did. he had like five thousand faces, each one practiced dutifully in the mirror. a patient actor. his dark brown locks wrapped around his triangular jaw and his smile always smelled like Marlboro reds and coffee with a mix of pine.  7/11 was the dominant aroma blend.  black, no additives for the sober Pan.  the pine complimented the often worn flannel jackets and fleeces.  always Patagonia.  his truck smelled like a carpenter on the run.  professional wooden brushes and white buckets clanked against paint cans and tools i had no idea how to use, but i knew they were important.  

there was never a question about high quality.  whether he could afford it or not, most often not, he would buy the most expensive rugs, the most gaudy-Brooklyn lamps, kayaks, and green tents.  his painting was surreal in a holistic way.  colors never ended as if he was painting his imagination, and it was always perfect.  the random pairing of gold and blue was decadent and made me think of cupcakes.  metallic walls and sponges created a home within a home. each room has their own design, vibe, and memory.

there was this time, in both our lives, where we had a blue foldable couch.
this couch came in handy in a lot of ways, mostly my play toy.
i used it to be a waitress, a secretary, a musician, a sleeper, a daughter, a candy-addict.

there was this one time the blue couch formed an obtuse dance hall. i was eating sprinkles out of the plastic Tupperware and he was blasting the opening song from Saved By The Bell. sometimes i poured maple syrup in a porcelain glass cup my grandma had and licked it off the equally tiny delicate silver spoon.  i couldn't keep up with his energy. we totally rocked. as my sugar rush increased, so did his state of mind. colors of candy, drunk rainbow skies. we swirled and dabbled and got yelled at, but we didn't care, we were both kids having fun after school. neither of us had jobs and while he wore green thermals i chose to opt for underwear, in a very innocent way- in the way an eight year old can be innocent and not realize what's happening in reality. my reality was sparkled with red and blue and alliterations with the letter B. B for bud, bitch, bro, beer. not really actually. i'm being a bit harsh. my reality was fantastic, but there was always a looming shadow. we were always trying to prepare to get rained on. there were no forecasters warning us to bring an umbrella. each time was a stab to the heart. each time was equally hard and frustrating and sad. however each recovery was even better. a victory we could relish in. we did relish in. we had to. each reunion smelled ten times better than hospitals and homes for the sick. each time there was a token of some sort, a little prize for waiting. i have them.

he painted stone faces like pirates and old literature masters.  the great hang adjacent to the piano and perpendicular to the dining room table.  he accentuated the brown in the cigar or the forest green of Blackbeard's cap.  he did Mick Jagger impressions to off-set his prior gloominess.  crouching in doorways and again playing escalator games with the blue bendable couch.  

he must've sang jailhouse rock over five hundred times in his life and could not stand for the TV to be lower than what you would hear in a concert arena.  

he sucked sauce like it was going out of style.  not just like the bottomless pit people associate with an empty coke can and a straw, but a loud slurping noise- the most obnoxious yet noticeable sign on the planet.  it tasted good.  we all knew it.  but we rolled our eyes anyway. my dinner table consisted of the game 'eye spy', a great memory. there was always something to be found, discovered, revealed, touched, announced. we were all winners and we all like steak. it made the kitchen a wonderland of hidden treasures. my fairy tale princess attic came to life with smells of pepper, garlic, and tuna. sauces of love. 

we threw the blue couch out. before it all happened. it became old, raggedy, used, dirty, and just unacceptable for living room standards. i don't miss it. rather, i think of it like a pearly gate into an old dimension before life rained a monsoon which will flood at any given moment.

feed me more

"In Radiohead's new video for 'House of Cards', no cameras or lights were used. Instead, 3D plotting technologies collected information about the shapes and relative distances of objects. The video was created entirely with visualizations of that data. "

Sunday, November 9, 2008

NZ- The Jump

When I go to New Zealand, because I will within the next two years, this is what I will do.

You don't have to watch the whole video, but just look at that beautiful location!  So picturesque.  Ah!  Amazing.

Friday, November 7, 2008


"I pull my shirt on, walk out the door.  
Drag my feet along the floor.  
Then I see you, you walking cross the campus. 
Cruel professor studying romances."
_Vampire Weekend

A Little Give and Take

This is what being an impulsive person gets you...

I was so excited to buy my midnight movie ticket to the first showing of Twilight, and didn't look at my planner first to double check dates.  What else would I be doing on a Thursday night at 12:01 am now that college is over?  Well, every other Thursday, the answer would be nothing.  But that Thursday, of course, I will be arriving at my alma mater, The Ohio State University.  Probably reliving nights at Oldfields on 4th, maybe accidentally knocking over a few glasses the Stube singing The Who, or warming myself in Anton's bed.  But, being me, I purchased the ticket without looking.  So now I have to forfeit my ticket because I will be two states over in Buckeye territory.  Not that big of a deal, I know.  But to avoid spoilers and radio talk for five days will be a hassle because most likely everyone will be reviewing the movie.  Bullocks.  

I guess Twilight will have to wait till Tuesday for me to critique the squareness of Rob Pattinson's jaw line and his stellar mop of golden-brown hair.  

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I have finished the Twilight series.  Yesterday actually.  Hello Mr. President and world, I've returned a transformed human, pun intended.  Now (predictably if you know me) this has set off a chain reaction, and I will get my hands on all notable vampire books to date.  Up next, The Historian, which I've had but never completed- time to restart that baby.  Afterwards I'm assuming a little Anne Rice, why the hell not?  Even though, oddly enough, she's become a jesus lover and consequently writer.  If I was an oracle twenty years ago I would've called that shiz.  I just find something a bit humorous about a notable vampire novelist abruptly turning to religious memoir writing.  Oh well.

Attention, this may contain SPOILER ALERT, depending on how far I take this.  I'll let you know if that's the way my thoughts are leading.

So, there's a concept in the last novel, Breaking Dawn, that I'm having a long time trying to wrap my head around.  Somewhere in book three, novel four, Bella analyzes (OKAY, IT'S INEVITABLE, SPOILER ALERT!) her new life as a vampire.  Bella says, 

"I was always going to want more.  And the day was never going to end" (p 483).  

This evident concept of forever is majestic, knowing you can "live" forever, but I'm trying to tie that together with: not ever having the need to sleep.  Therefore forever is one long day.  Days and days and days tied together technically, but time is irrelevant when you're not changing/growing.  You never have the need to sleep because, as a vampire, you can't.  Imagine standing in the same two-footed position for a week.  Imagine daydreaming for twelve days without it feeling more than an hour.  My back gets tired after standing at a concert for two hours.  Just imagine never getting tired after exerting yourself running, dancing, working, studying, researching.  Imagine never needing sleep- being exhausted, yes, but not needing to close your eyes and shut up your conscious mind to cure that exhaustion.  Coming home, sitting, collecting thoughts, and subsequently moving on with the one day of your long life. Mmm this concepts makes me wish for non-existent things.

I'm sure there would be times in the philosophical "forever" that one would want to end it- it meaning life.  End the rising of the sun and the moon.  End the death that you witness with mortals/loved ones.  End the change in technology, animals, people, rulers, fashions you see.  Maybe you enjoy the change, but it is not important to you because know there will be more to change in another decade or century.  Also, you don't need the advancement of medicines or technology because you will never die, so you watch and listen to the breath of evolution. Imagine being together with the one you love forever.  Why worry?  There's never a need to stop or hurry or time-manage.  You can take however long you need to learn a new language or instrument or sport and not feel pressure of grasping the rules quickly, because you have all the time in the world, literally.  Who decides when forever ends?  Would forever constitute what happens after our world has vanquished?  Where would you go from there?  Does space count in "forever" terms?  

I have no idea why I am so dumbfounded yet intrigued by this concept.  Of course this is not my first encounter thinking about infinity, but this is the first time I actually care to wonder.  Or maybe it's the first time I've thought of forever in terms of love.  Thinking thinking thinking.  Anyway, go read Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn.  It is the next best thing after Harry Potter 1-7.  Thank me or Melinda Mendez when you're done, and then write a letter to Stephenie Meyer thanking her.  

If you need more convincing:
"[Meyer is] the world's most popular vampire novelist since Anne Rice" _Entertainment Weekly
"Move over, Harry Potter" _USA Today
An Amazon Best Book of the Decade...So Far
A New York Times Editor's Choice.

Motion Occupies Music

Assistant Engineer at Automated Sound Studios
1500 Broadway (43rd St)

Used to practice my mixing with the Grateful Dead master tapes for Terrapin Station. Just thinking about that now I realize just how many people had the opportunity to “practice” using Grateful Dead masters? What a hoot.

Automated was brand new beautiful state of the art recording facility in the heart of Times Square. I found out they were staffing the studio from a friend. I was working at Ogilvy and Mather at the time as an AV tech doing casting sessions, and attending NYU part time. To get the job at Automated I had to “try out.” We were trained over the July 4th weekend and then tested. I guess I passed. I was the only female hired along with two males. Vicky Fabry, the head asst. and 3rd engineer, who came from A&R recording, trained us all.

It was Automated where I worked with some of the most amazing musicians and engineers in the world. I was assigned to assist Elliot Scheiner, a guest engineer who was coming to work at Automated for the first time. I was told that the session must run flawlessly. (No pressure.) I was young, shy, but ready to roll. When Elliot showed up he did a monitor check and there I was hearing the latest mixes he had just completed and they were the masters from the soon to be released:

"Aja is an album by the rock band Steely Dan. The album was named after the Korean wife of group co-founder Donald Fagen's friend's brother. Originally released in 1977, it became the group's best-selling album. Topping at #3 on the U.S. charts and #5 in the United Kingdom, it was the band's first platinum album, eventually going platinum twice. In July 1978, the album won the Grammy Award for Best Engineered Non-Classical Recording. It has sold over 20 million copies worldwide. In 2003, the album was ranked number 145 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
The album is considered quite ambitious and sophisticated, and features several leading session musicians. The eight-minute-long title track features complex jazz-based changes and a solo by renowned saxophonist Wayne Shorter, as well as dextrous drumming by Steve Gadd - most notably at the end of the tune.
Aja is also the subject of one of the Classic Albums series of documentaries about the making of famous albums. The documentary includes a song-by-song study of the album (the only omission being "I Got the News," which is played during the closing credits), interviews with Steely Dan co-founders Walter Becker and Fagen (among others) plus new, live-in-studio versions of songs from the album, and the opportunity to hear some of the rejected (and uncredited) guitar solos for "Peg," before Jay Graydon produced the satisfactory take.
The album is also one of the only Steely Dan titles not available in a 5.1 version on any high-resolution audio format. When DTS attempted to make a 5.1 version, it was discovered that the multitrack masters for both "Black Cow" and the title track had gone missing. For this same reason, a multichannel SACD version was cancelled by Universal Music. Donald Fagen has offered a reward for the missing masters or any information that leads to their recovery." (Wikipedia)

M.O.M. 2


Last Monday, before history changed for the better, I was able to see Coldplay in concert.  Coldplay is not a band I would call a favorite, as I had an episode with one of their songs three years ago, and was unable to recover until their recent album, Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends.  Though, I do love them, maybe just not as much as Radiohead or The Derek Trucks Band.  My mother and I saw Coldplay at the 2003 Grammy Awards in NYC.  At that time A Rush Of Blood To The Head was released, and they played "Clocks" with the New York Phil Harmonic in the background.  That was amazing, but we both craved an entire show of awesomeness.  Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends is different than their other albums, strikingly upbeat, thoughtful in Brian Eno's musical genius-way.  I read multiple music-related articles and seen the brash stance they hold, but after witnessing their performance I can really see and say that they have a wonderful and true band format.  The four artists, Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland, Guy Berryman, and Will Champion share the spotlight, comfortable in their contributions and literal positioning.  Martin, being the multi-faceted artist he is may be at the forefront of defensiveness and controversy, but their efforts are equal. Champion had a solo in the concert, Buckland and Berryman practically moved as much as Martin (as much as you can with a guitar), and their interactive nature heightened the audiences' participation.  Martin's energy was compatible to Thom Yorke's introverted stage presence, gesticulating wildly and looking down as if his brain depended on it.  Martin takes Yorke's dynamic individuality and divides it with ferosh body language, bouncing off the invisible sides of the stage to create a wonder wall for the performers. Martin kicks and spins and delves in extreme yoga poses; hard to miss his bend-ability and flexibility.  Wouldn't you love to be Gwen?

After Duffy woefully sang her thoughts, Coldplay ignited the stage behind a thin black scrim, steadily climaxing with "Life In Technicolor".  This song, though it reminds me of an 80's movie teenage makeout scene, is the perfect anecdote for the awaiting crowd.  The album's artwork filled the backdrop, a ship of trials and tribulations echoing the worlds state of being.  From that point Coldplay just kept going, stretching and twirling for two hours.  "Cemeteries of London", "Lost!", "42", "Lost?", "Lovers In Japan / Reign Of Love", "Yes", "Violet Hill", and "Death And All His Friends" were enigmatic.  You couldn't help but jump and down.  All I really wanted to do was spin in circles alongside Coldplay, a backup dancer just filled with joy.  I wanted to open my arms wide, as if I was having a revelation or seeing some sort of musical god.  Spinning in perfect circles in Edward Cullen's meadow filled with pixie dust and guitars.  Their music made me feel alive.  More alive than I've felt for a long time.  A vibrant alive, a powerful force of energy radiating all over the world, being one with everyone else.  My assigned seat number held back nothing and everyone in the arena was part of one big statement.  A big blob of music rolling swiftly over hills, crossing continent lines, spreading some sort of infectious feeling.

Coldplay played their big hits off X & Y, A Rush Of Blood To The Head, and Parachutes like "Fix You", "Clocks", "Speed of Sound", "Politik", "In My Place", and "The Scientist".  The band came back for one encore, giving us a little more head medicine with "Yellow".  Martin dedicated "The Hardest Part" to Jennifer Hudson's loss, slowing the energy for a bit with a little reflection.  Before he played the piano ballad, he said this was the last dip in the roller coaster, the last slow song before the sidewinders, loops, and drops.  Following the darkened mood the band quickly changed pace with "Viva La Vida", and it took about two seconds for the entire arena to stand on its feet.  I kept thinking about what Madonna said during her concert about standing up while watching her perform.  She's working her ass off, why can't we stand.  Sheesh, it's the LEAST we could do.  Isn't that what a concert is all about, letting lose the frustrations of the day/week/head and just living in the moment.  The song echoed my thoughts perfectly, and I got my own rush of blood to the head.  What's wonderful is that you see how much these artists love to perform, to share their thoughts, to share their energy with us. 

Coldplay actually ran into the audience, up a tier and played "Strawberry Swing" near the mezzanine level.  The people behind them watched anxiously, hoping to be groped by a rockstar.  Mouths agape, we all wished it was us instead.  We would be a better backdrop for this epic band.  Live, Coldplay truly kicks ass.  The set was not too showy but had technical elements that would blow you away.  Besides club lighting pulsing with bass beats, they had mini orbs-which reminded me of Sigur Ros at Bonnaroo- that flashed each member in black and white.  Live editing taking place in a mini globe.  If you watched the orbs long enough the alluring dizziness became live intoxication.  Coldplay announced their obvious liberal political views, and if you weren't a liberal in the audience, you were immediately the elephant in the room- pun intended.  

"Listen as the crowd would sing".  Loud fans weak in the knees with tragic melodies sang with the force of Lady Liberty.  Life was lived on this Monday night at the IZOD center.  The energy is something I put in my pocket, and will unfold when I'm feeling a bit down, remembering the pure joy I felt on this night.  Coldplay IS a musical force to be reckoned with.  They dare you.  

Obama Nation


Proud to be an American.
Love those blue states, always coasting with the best.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

From A Distance

"I haven't left my house in days. 
I watch the news channels incessantly. 
All the news stories are about the election; 
all the commercials are for Viagra and Cialis.
Election, erection, election, erection- either way we're getting screwed."
_Bette Midler

Election Day

VOTE. And be happy you did.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Head Cuts

I keep imagining this trailer in my head but to the bridge of Madonna's "Devil Wouldn't Recognize You" when J-Timz is moaning. I see lightening and really quick edits flashing scenes of lust, brawls, a crowd of vampires walking in a slow motion V- like the Armageddon astronauts, and a girl jumping from a cliff. I imagined the cliff jump music video scene before I actually read about it. I like what that says.

I guess my version is not too different.  Less melodramatic, though more suspenseful...maybe.  I'm not sure, maybe mine would be more melodramatic.  I would need to actually create it, review it, critique it.  I think the concept might reveal less, in terms of the attack, but reveal more of the love.  Romeo and Juliet but in black and white, or fire and ice. I agree with the intensity and themes of "forever", but I would want the music to enhance that more than the graphics. I wouldn't want the trailer to start at the beginning of Twilight, but rather someplace in between, leaving the audience guessing between calm and chaos. Not to say I don't like this trailer, I just see the movie being advertised differently...maybe with a little more jaw coverage/camera angles...a little more sexy I guess. Not sexy in an overtly obvious way. Sexy in a love story, edited way. Exhibiting "forever" in inches, or centimeters rather, so to show suspense in the inevitable. Proving agony exists within ecstasy... and danger. Love on location: woods/basements/arms/cars/enemy lines. Provoking questions and pains of "forever" between two different species. Is it possible? How? Why? Who? When? A little big classic thriller a little bit post-modern abstract. Like a fragmented painting. Passion intermixed between the waves of Justin's "Oh's". Each "Oh" defined by a different up or down moment in the film. The down beat would be reason to for the dramatic clip change, guiding the visuals by his misunderstood voice- therefore explaining the struggle for the characters in the book/film. There's something hidden in the secrets of vampire lore that is seductive, and to bring that to the forefront while not giving away the entire plot would be fantastic. Make it different. Fast edits, not a second long, between a dark, motionless screen contrasting against pale skin, red lips & eyes. Imagine that as a preview. I would be intrigued.

the missing

Hey guys sorry I haven't written in a while, relatively, I've been reading the Twilight series, and it has taken over my life. Literally.
Currently soaking Eclipse, the third book. Just one more to go after that, and it will be like reading Deathly Hallows all over again, coming to a sad end when I know there will be no more. Except this series took less than a week to get through instead of six years. The first book, Twilight, was released in 2005, so I guess Stephenie Meyer only needed three to become a phenomenon, but I'm glad I finally caught on.

I am literally falling in love with the lead male character and I feel like a teenager. But what's wrong with that? I haven't read a book that's kept me this engaged in a while, and a little fiction is good for the soul. So, when I finish the final book I'll update with thoughts/details/reasons, and get back on track with life. Ciao for now.


Halloween in the Village!

Subway ride to Queens.