Sunday, June 15, 2008

Ends, beginnings and, oh screw it, middles, too

There's a scene in Tom Sawyer where Tom and Huck have run away to an island and sneak back into town just in time to attend their own funeral. They are surprised, as I suppose most people would be, at all the nice things people say about them.

I had a similar experience this week, after flushing my MOG page. I'd sort of meant to go quietly, because MOG can be a very dramatic place...and anyway, the new site enhancements meant that I couldn't post or comment anymore without driving ten miles into town for WIFI. I've been kind of bored with MOG lately, to tell the truth. There are people I like on there and people who post interesting stuff...but there's a lot of commercial dreck on there, and the site seems to value it more than the good stuff. (The main page is particularly, aggressively awful.)

Anyway, I had been unable to upload music from home for a year and a half, since an upgrade that timed you out of the system if you were inactive for more than 10 minutes (uploading a song counted as inactive for some reason). Another upgrade a few months ago made it impossible to listen to music clips (you couldn't let them load and listen to them later). The last upgrade cut me off from even posting text. So it was time to go, and I went.

And then my friend Cody did this:

It's the nicest obituary anyone's ever written about me, and I didn't even have to die for it. Thank you Cody.

I've had two experiences recently, which illustrate both the up- and downside of not being on an active social site (this one doesn't count because as far as I know, no one reads it).

On the upside, on Friday, during the time I might have been screwing around on MOG, commenting on clips I can't hear, videos I can't see, etc., I listened to about an hour of an WFMU show by (sometime MOG-ger) Lou Ziegler and heard about six bands/records that I want to check out.

In order of appearance:
Allez Allez -- Belgian synthy dance punk, sort of like ESG or Delta Five
Battant -- also in the crevice between punk and dance, but more current and more punk I think.
Future of the Left -- Here we go all the way over to the punk side...this could be classic late 1970s stuff, but I think it's not...
A.H. Kraken -- super distorted garage punk from France on the can-do-no-wrong-ever In the Red Label.
Bardo Pond's Batholith...which my friend Michael already sent me, which I am reviewing for tomorrow morning for Philly Weekly and which is pretty mind-splitting great, if you ask me.

You can listen to this show, too, if you want, by clicking on this link:

So in terms of hearing new music, I think MOG has been a bit of a sinkhole, and it's good, no strike that, it's downright exciting to be out there foraging for new experiences again.

The other thing, also on Friday, was that I went to an open mic with to meet my friend Ann's new boyfriend, who plays guitar. His bass player has a washtub bass, something I had never really looked at up close, but it's kind of cool how you can move the stick around to tighten/loosen the string and change the note. As a joke -- oh yeah, this is fairly pathetic -- I asked the guy if he could play any Pere Ubu songs. I mean, it was a ridiculous thing to say, but the idea of "Final Solution" on washtub bass kind of tickled me. My friends' new boyfriend never heard of Pere Ubu, to the extent that he asked what kind of music they played. So this is the lonely thing about not being on MOG...that no one will know the what the hell I am talking about when I talk about music and I will have to learn to shut up about it again, at least around people that I want to stay friendly with.

As for new stuff, here are some links:
Thalia Zedek interview in Philly Weekly

Review of Grand Archives/Sera Cahoone show in Blurt-Online

This has utterly disappeared from the index of the website at the only way anyone can ever see it is by following this link:


Review of Bishop Allen/War on Drugs show in PopMatters

Review of a totally insane a-capella-on-steroids, art-freak record by Lexie Mountain Boys

Oh, and the new Alejandro Escovedo record is freaking brilliant, way more rock than the last one and a kick in the ass all the way through. I'm reviewing this one, too, for tomorrow, for Philly Weekly, and I might be interviewing him for Popmatters.

I think I’m going to do this about once a week, to keep track of what I'm doing for my own purposes at least.


Cody B said...

It is eminently clear that MOG needs you more than you need it. Good on you..

Cody B said...

and it was my pleasure to report your non-demise!

Cody B said...

and thank you for my 15 seconds of fame on 30 seconds over.

jenniferpkelly said...

Hah, I don't think ever got 40 comments on anything the whole time I was at MOG...if you quit, they'd shut the place down.