Monday, October 31, 2005


As usual, the plans were all a jumble. One group was meeting at one house with another group. They'd make their way to a second meeting house, acquiring a second car of people. Monkeys and llamas cohabitating in a third car trailed at a safe distance.

Pizza somewhere, where we finally ended up all together before the big show. Makeup for Carnie and Chynna and The Other One (Polly?), and gin for myself. And a shield! My only defense: a plastic lion-clad slab of armor, strapped to my forearm and worn over jeans, a red tee, and a blue hoodie. Max gave me a dog/lion mask, and I felt anonymous. Good thing, too. Finally, a van ride, twisty up between enormous enclaves and armadas of escalades.

A torturous uphill driveway stormed barefoot by half our party, so steep. But the top! The party! We showed up as Wilson Phillips and crew (allowed as a tagalong for providing preparty materials and lipstick), to warm, vibrating hugs from the priest, the host, the director, Marcos. His dildo wooed.

The party rocked. Open bar, the typical sparse, concrete-floored flat screen-paneled bachelor pad nee 70's hilltop party house filled with cross-dressed Kiss and Michael Jackson and Naughty Girlscouts and two friendly (and one sullen) dogs and a Whoopee Cushion and Kelly Kapowski* was there too, I think.

More gin. Wandering, talking, patiofirepitsitting. Poolgazing. Passing it around. Good music and good people. Whipped it out in front of the Moonman Toilet Paper Holder (Best Group Video, "All The Small Things") a couple of times, and before I know it we're stumbling back down the hill.

More van, down around the crazy hills and into the green haze at the end of the night.

It was a good Halloween weekend!

* It might have actually been Tiffany. She gave me a dirty look when I took the picture and asked her for a big, "Go Bayside!" I'll have to ask Polska for the documentation.

Currently Listening:
Set list
By The Frames

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


this has been around the internets for ages, but I'll risk boring you to mention


sometimes for me, on days like today, navigating life is too much like navigating this website. I point and click blindly, am rewarded with grotesque and garish juxtapositions. Or I agonize over a stupid detail, to be rewarded with doubly stupid bullshit.

and it just goes on that way!

Currently Listening:
First Light's Freeze
By Castanets

Sunday, October 16, 2005

tough cookies

Extra special super prizes for the best solution to this sticky situation:

How do you tell a man wearing a sidearm and cowboy boots that his fly is down?
[here's a hint: yes yes all, to the beat y'all.]


My bookcase is falling apart. Currently, the contents of the bottommost shelf are squished under what was formerly the shelf above and the contents of two middle shelves are stacked haphazardly in front of the case. The top two shelves are still intact, but sag ominously under what must be immense weight.

There are books, of course. Odd books with stupid titles and only so-so content, books that are really not worth mentioning. Books that, if they're not overt fiction, might be wrong. There's a picture frame (no picture in it), a sheaf of random snapshots--not even of people, just a backyard and a small tree-lined square and maybe a dog--and one of those squishy, squiddish kush balls that were ubiquitous sometime not long ago. Those green tentacles are crusted with dust and detrius just like a 10-year old sea anenome stuck to the bottom of the ocean would be. A can of Super Silly String, green. An empty tin that still reeks of the breathtakingly strong peppermint chewing gum it once held. [There might be a couple of green stems beneath the paper liner inside.] Incense.

Then there are the toys, my favorite part! There's Batman [Would you like to ride with Batman?] and the green alien Frank and the puppy dog and the bunny rabbit and another kush ball that's really a cute little duckie. He's held by Ahnold, the pighead-wearing, chainsaw-wielding naked bad guy from Manhunt, who is standing next to the panama hat-sporting floatie toy from Erin, Bruce. It's mainly because of Bruce and Ahnold you can't see the top of the closet over the bookcase. Below those guys and the Halloween Monster are some HotWheels and some Disney characters and The Angry Nun facing off with the Happy Valentine Squeeze Toy [You're gorgeous!] vs. Hingey the Anime Toy and his Menacing Dead BiC Lighter Squad.

The outer faces of the bookcase are stickered. It's sporadic for the most part, but a concentrated effort at covering the entire outer area is hinted at by the upper right side, which is thrashed with juxtaposed black, white, and red stickers. Lower parts of the outside still display my pathetic efforts to prevent the inevitable--brown packing tape wraps around the sides, disappearing to the back and conspicuously hacked over the front shelf faces. The whole thing has a bowlegged look, and cants to the right.

What happened was the back fell out. My one room apartment has a hidden secret compartment behind my bookcase. It's a linen closet, I guess, but doesn't have any shelves installed. It's really shallow, too, and kind of narrow. With a bit more depth it'd be the perfect place to stash my TV. As it is I had no idea what to do with it, so I covered it up. I remember thinking about The Cask of Amantillado and suffocating screaming/laughing dust bunnies when I moved my bookcase in front of it. The bookcase is a piece of crap, one of those cheap jobs where the back is flimsy particleboard tacked to a tenuously doweled frame. Without solid wall behind it, the back gave way a bit each time I rearranged things, or tried to fit more books on each shelf.

Once that started happening, it was just a matter of time. The backing didn't just keep books and innocent toys from plummeting down into my hidden secret linen closet/dustbunny graveyard; it gave the whole case stability as long as it was tacked to all four sides. Over the course of the past year I've been slowly sorting and organizing the mind-boggling pile of crap that's accumulated on the bottom three shelves of this case. Little did I notice that each time I straightened my things, I nudged the whole apparatus closer to destruction.

Finally, last week, I went for broke. The whole thing was gonna look straight, books all lined up, Important Folders neatly arranged, I just had a little bit left to organize. It was then, just as I was finishing, that the house of cards came down. The third shelf crashed down, snapping cheap plastic L's into the air at an eye-deadly velocity and triggering an avalanche of shelves. The bottom half collapsed, burying me under piles of crap--pure crap--and clouds of dust.

And that's basically where I stand. I'm working up the resolve to move everything that didn't fall off of the shelves and scrap the case alltogether. I keep thinking I'd be better off with some bricks and lumber in the secret hidden linen compartment, but I can't bear to give up this case. Those stickers! those carefully arranged characters! those slowly sentinent massive piles of bunnydust cadavers! Plus, I think a pack of oreos fell behind the case at one point early 2003, and I'm not eager to see what's made of 'em. In the end it might be a sneaking suspicion that a portal to Narnia will open up in my linen closet that makes me move the damn thing.

Truly, everybody's living quarters should come with super-secret hidden linen closet escape routes guarded by gnarled figurines and dust-urchin bunny corpses. They're way better than plasma.

Currently Listening:
The Ephiphany of Glenn Jones
By John Fahey & Cul De Sac

Saturday, October 15, 2005

the hits, they just keep coming

I just got some good news. It's inspired me to do a bit of a catch-up edition today, so bear with me.

First, the really important stuff. Here are some more albums up for consideration for 2005's top honors:

Purchased (I tracked down a few more around the apartment, too.)
38. Danger Doom - The Mouse & The Mask
39. Yesterday's New Quintet - Sound Directions
40. Andrew Bird - & The Mysterious Production of Eggs
41. Broken Social Scene - Broken Social Scene
42. Karate - In The Fishtank
43. Little Barrie - We Are Little Barrie
44. Constantines - Tournament of Hearts

Looking Forward To
45. Wolf Parade - Apologies To The Queen Mary (still!)
46. Deerhoof - The Runners Four
47. Jason Forrest - Shamelessly Exciting
48. Kanye West - Late Registration (fading fast, though)
49. Rogue Wave - Descended Like Vultures
50. Castanets - First Light's Freeze
51. Animal Collective - Feels (opened a copy and listened early at work last's reallly good!)

Now, after that big, juicy, sloppy kiss of good music, here's a nice warm hug of financial love: Last night it rained. Thankfully, it wasn't raining while I was riding between work and bustops and home, but it gave pretty good for a while before I left work. A miracle, in Tucson terms. A nice, refreshing, cleansing farewell to summer. And finally! Days that stay below 90; breezes that don't scorch delicate lung tissue--hope for long sleeves. It's wonderful and all, but it's wonderful all over my mail.

So I get home to find a soaked letter in the usual spot. It's from Sallie Mae and thick. It looks important enough, so I peeled the envelope away and carefully separated the five pages. They dried in the shower overnight, and today I read 'em.

Lemme just say here how much happier my life is now that I've started reading financial information people find important enough to mail to my house. I didn't do that for a long time, and I was miserable as a result. Being financially responsible sucks ass according to the music addiction gremlin that has taken half my brain up as residence and wants to blow $400 on music every Tuesday, but he doesn't really know what's good for him. He just wants shiny jewel cases and cool liner notes and lots of good music.

Anyway, Sallie Mae sent me a letter to let me know that they've purchased my student loan debt from the regional lending service that's owned it since time out of mind. I just finished getting the payment details set up with the previous company, and have been stressing lately about the large monthly payments. But Sallie Mae says I don't have to start paying until halfway through next year!!! Also, they only want half of what the old guys wanted per month!

Call me dumn for putting it off, but if I can halve my student loan payment each month after not paying it for a year, I'll be extremely happy. Spread that debt out! Let the infinity of time bear the brunt of my poverty. [Pretty sure this is the gremlin talking, but whatever--more CDs!!!]

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Kip's [BIRTHDAY] Party Mix [mix three]

[It should be noted that, for reasons of convenience and coolism, in lieu of the usual plain track list original liner notes are reproduced here.]



this mix kind of has a storyline, encompassing arriving at or preparing for a party, actually parting (dancing, drinking, swooning, singing along), and the after-party and compressed into about an hour. thus, while parts of it are in fact good party music, other parts are not necessarily meant to be played to a crowd or at high volume.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Step One: The Listing

I had my first best albums of 2005 discussion the other day. Out behind the loading bay dumpster, where the girls who work the cosmetics counters in Dillards enter and exit the mall, we batted around some rough sketches of our top 5, top 10, and top 20 albums of the year. There was a lot of disbelieving guffaws and derisive snorts tossed around, too, but no less appreciative nods and curt forgot-that-one-yeah's. In the end we were only very slightly closer to having an idea about our choices for best albums of the year, let alone what they actually were.

So, in the spirit of fairness and good music, tonight I combed my apartment for albums I've purchased that were released this year. Anyone who's had the pleasure of trying to find a seat in this hole I live in knows how daunting this task would be. I may've missed a couple. In fact, I'm nearly positive I have missed some. But I have all the ones I remember purchasing. They're right here, stacked next to the desk and coming up to my knee. Please keep in mind that I am including EPCDs (Extended Player CD Singles) and significant Singles in addition to LPCDs.

Now, seeing as I spent half the year working at a college radio station (not to mention conducting and participating in other, slightly less salacious musical enterprises), this stack of jewel cases and digipaks is not nearly representative of all of the albums I've acquired this year, let alone listened to. Keep that in mind, please, as this fact may bear upon my final list sometime nearer the end of the year. Chances are, though, if an album is good enough to make my top 10 list, it was worth purchasing. Hear that? When I actually get around to whittling a real list out of this catalog, the albums listed will be worth purchasing.

Also, please note that there are some 10 albums or so that I'm still waiting to purchase before the year's out. For some, the money situation wasn't right when it was released. Most of the remaining albums have yet to come out. I am positive that some of these will demand consideration come December. But for now, all I can do for the endeaver is catalog the known purchased releases of 2005.

Here they are, in no particular order:

01. M. Ward - Transistor Radio
02. Four Tet - Everything Ecstatic
03. Spoon - Gimme Fiction
04. Sufjan Stevens - Illinois
05. Martha Wainwright - Martha Wainwright
06. The Fiery Furnaces - EP
07. The Books - Lost and Safe
08. Rogue Wave - 10:1
09. The Mountain Goats - The Sunset Tree
10. Iron & Wine - Woman King
11. Fruit Bats - Spelled In Bones
12. Aesop Rock - Fast Cars, Danger, Fire and Knives
13. Edan - Beauty and the Beat
14. Mara Carlyle - The Lovely
15. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
16. Matt Sweeney & Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Superwolf
17. Sam Prekop - Who's Your New Professor
18. Devendra Banhart - Cripple Crow
19. Holopaw - Quit /or Fight
20. The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema
21. The Go! Team - Thunder, Lightning, Strike
22. LCD Soundsystem - LCD Soundsystem
23. Of Montreal - The Sunlandic Twins
24. Prefuse 73 - Surrounded By Silence
25. Prefuse 73 - Reads The Books
26. Animal Collective - Prospect Hummer
27. DJ Z-Trip - Shifting Gears
28. Low - The Great Destroyer
29. Feist - Let It Die
30. Destroyer - Notorious Lightning and Other Works
31. Crooked Fingers - Dignity and Shame
32. Iron & Wine/Calexico - In The Reins
33. The Bees - Free The Bees
34. Stephen Malkmus - Face The Truth
35. My Morning Jacket - Z
36. Liz Janes & Create(!) - Liz Janes & Create(!)
37. MF Doom - MM..Food

Looking forward to:
38. DangerDoom - The Mouse & The Mask
39. Kanye West - Late Registration
40. The Double - Loose In The Air
41. The Constantines - Tournament of Hearts
42. Rogue Wave - Descended Like Vultures
43. Wolf Parade - Apologies To The Queen Mary

So far, this is what I have to choose from. I'll browse the albums I've heard this year but didn't actually (or don't intend to) purchase in Step Two. Please, if you feel there are any glaring omissions to this list do let me know after I finish Step Two.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Use Headphones [mix two]

01. You Get A Horse's Hoe - Half Handed Cloud
02. Shoes - Akron/Family
03. The Tourist - The Robot Ate Me
04. Not For Sale - CocoRosie
05. 3-Shy-Cubs - Holopaw
06. Not Even Stevie Nicks - Calexico
07. Cotes des Neiges - Stars
08. Airport - Karate
09. The Will To Death - John Frusciante
10. In California - Neko Case
11. On The Mountain - The Angels of Light
12. I'll Be Yr Bird - M. Ward (the version from Duet for Guitars #2)

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

no purchase necessary

Meet Normal. He's an older gentleman, a real person (with a fake name). Norm--for short--is involved in a long-term relationship with a woman, we'll call her Judy--Jude is his for short for her (what the fuck, it's a nom de guerre (so to speak) too). How real is Norm? Oh, rest assured Norm is as real as anything Normal can get. How do I know for sure? I get his damn mail. What about Jude? Well, I've seen her naked, if that counts for anything. How long-term is their relationship? Hard to say from where I stand.

Some backstory is in order. Norm divorced his second wife, Asha (again, we gotta go with a false identity) in 1987. I was 7 at the time. Norm's first wife is not known, but it is known that she bore him one child, female, aged approximately 12 years older than I. Shortly after leaving Asha (which was a long time after leaving wife no. 1), Norm began rehearsing a multi-role part in a local business community guild olio show to be held at a local arts center. It is presumed that he first encountered Jude at some informal rehearsal. I can only imagine what it must have been like; office drones sloughing their weekday game faces to play like highschoolers putting on cheap, cheesy renditions of and tributes to last season's SNL sketches. What fun! I don't know if it's like this for every generation, but it seems like it must have been incredibly sexually odd to live your late 30's in the late 80's.

I see Norm back then, beard in full force and charm turned into the red, practicing his lines while he perfects his tongue-in-lip crochety old man impression backstage. Asha's kicked him out, and Jude's a peroxide blonde with an ass that's only just beginning to spread out and take the shape of her office chair. She wears black stirrup pants at every rehearsal, and Norm just can't resist the clingy material and the wicked gleam in her eye. He knows on some level that he should stand down, concentrate on working things out with Asha--if only for the sake of their three children--and even though he's got it on good authority that she's a psychotic bitch-monster. His kids mean a lot to him, or at least that's what he tells himself as he struts on stage. Struts keenly aware that Jude's somewhere in the theater. That all is how I imagine they met.

Out of my imagination and back into realtiy, Norm did try to go back to Asha once. It didn't work out. She really was a bitch-monster. He rued the blow he and his soon to be ex-wife were dealing to their children, but moved on nonetheless. And how! He persued peroxide Jude immediately and persistently. She was charmed--of course--and soon enough they were definitely together. His kids had to know at some point, so Asha found out too. Whatever.

Soon enough he had another kid, when he moved in and had to deal full-time with Jude's young son. Soon enough after that he had another daughter, his and Jude's own.

While it is known when Jude and Norm began living together, it is not known when--or even if they ever got married. When probed on the matter, Norm mentions two things in close succession: 1) That even if they never did bother with the whole church-ceremony-cake fiasco, they'd be married by common law by now anyway and 2) He's not telling either way. Suffice to say they've been living together for a long time.

Long enough that knowing Norm as I do and as long as I have I'd say maybe he's become restless, just a bit. He's an active guy, gets around town on the job and doesn't slouch on the social end of things either. He's notorious for eyeing off the occasional young woman, and any middle-aged to older woman is a given target of his considerable charm. He could carry on a relatively coherent conversation if we had a cute waitress, say, but when my eyes peeled back to him from off her ass his were always still glued. I wouldn't be surprised if he copped the same looks and flirted the same ways in other areas of his life, and that it paid off for him at least once.

Accordingly, I'm also not that surprised to get mail at my home from Victoria's Secret with his name on it. I guess I don't mind much that Norm's gettin' some on the side, and I most certainly don't mind the free panty (plus $5 off any bra) coupons.

You go, Norm!
Keep 'em coming!

Currently Listening:
The Best of The Beta Band: Music (live disc)
By The Beta Band

Monday, October 03, 2005

the traveling ironies

this weekend (we'll define this term as friday evening through monday morning) I went outside of my house exactly once. for that short period of time, which constituted about four hours on saturday night, I felt alright. beer helped, if only because it made me think I was vomiting because of the alcohol and not whatever the fuck was infesting and attacking and pukifying my body the rest of the time.

the remainder of this weekend was spent in the confines of my humble abode, consuming what little food I had, and consummately regurgitating it into my humble commode. i was sick, booo. my theory (keep in mind that theories and the wonder of are all I have to work with here due to the ambiguously conscious "choice" of living below the poverty line and eschewing healthcare for its prohibitive costs) on how I got sick is thus:


you see, I forgot to ask the hot 19-year old waitress at Bison Witches to hold the sprouts on my full-sized green turkey. I ate half the sandwich fresh on thursday, and the rest of it friday afternoon. very shortly after that friday afternoon--really just minutes on into evening friday--I got started on painting every restroom I encountered. the project lasted until yesterday afternoon.

I blame myself entirely. after all, I am the one who chose to bike home my leftovers, then bike them to work the next day. I am the one who forgot to pass on the sprouts. I am the one who actually ingested the broodwich. maybe if somone else ate it, I could have found some excuse to leave off being sick. as it stands, I blame myself entirely.

moving on, there are a couple of interesting happenstances from this weekend that resulted despite my illness. for one, I got to see Dan Bejar live and in person. for another I got to see Neko Case live and in person. yet another is that I got to see Carl Newman live and in person. one more is that I got to see Mr. Fancey (I can't remember his first name) [5 minutes later - Todd. Todd Fancey. I think....] live and in person. That is, I saw my favorite band, Destroyer, open for the New Pornographers. Hooray! Someday I'll write up a show review. Look forward to it.

the other half of the previously-mentioned couple (if you can dig) is that I booked a flight to the city of angels. that's right, my west coast-flavored friends, I'll be in LA friday the 28th through monday the 31st of october. I honestly believe that the only reason I was able to book a flight out of tucson is that I was flat-on-my-back ill and hermited by disease. it must have been some reaction to the feeling that I couldn't move that made me want to skip town. otherwise, I think I would have put the purchase off and off and off until it was almost too late. now, I'll take this opportunity (among others) to solicit rides to and from the airport(s). If you're interested, let me know and I'll provide the details. I already have a place to stay, and am working on a Halloween costume.

finally, I'll note that I am feeling better today. the fever's down, and I actually downed some solids. I plan on leaving my house today. I plan on existing on a similar (if slightly skewed) plane as the rest of you for the next while or so (as opposed to the plane I existed on this past weekend, which was covered with vomit and not at all as pleasant as the one I suspect you folks hang out on) so keep an eye out for me.

finally finally, the guitar hook for the Jim Yoshii Pile-Up's The Mind of God sounds exactly like the vocal melody of Love Will Tear Us Apart and makes me want to sing those lyrics.

Currently Listening:
Now You Know
By Doug Martsch