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Archive for the ‘Kansas’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: MAJOR HIT-Robert De Niro at the Tony Awards Remix (2018).

Who is Major Hit?  No idea.

Is this remix very good?  Not really.  It’s only a minute or so.

Is it hilarious?  Yes.

Is it satisfying?  Hell Yes.

Will you listen to it more than once?  Probably not.

But will you feel a little bit better about your taxes after hearing this?  Well, probably not.

Actually, it might make you feel a little better.  And you probably find yourself quoting De Niro, too.

 

[READ: April 4, 2019] The Awakening of My Interest in Advanced Tax

Madras Press publishes limited-edition short stories and novella-length booklets and distributes the proceeds to a growing list of non-profit organizations chosen by our authors. For this particular book, proceeds to benefit Proceeds to benefit Granada House.

Originally appearing at the heart of The Pale King, David Foster Wallace’s posthumous semi-novel, this extended monologue brilliantly rambles its way around the circumstances that brought its narrator out of his ‘wastoid’ childhood and into maturity at the IRS. Along the way, he falls under the spell of a fake Jesuit, considers the true meaning of a soap opera station break, and narrowly escapes a gruesome death on the subway.

This is the final Madras Press book that I had left to read.  Since I has already read The Pale King, I was in no hurry to read this one.  But now it’s nice to say that I’ve finished all of the Madras Press books.  And that I could post this just in time for the massive Republican tax scam in which thanks to trump and his evil puppet mcconnell, my tax return dropped over $3,000.  Bastards.   May they all rot in prison.  And then hell.

Interestingly, back when I read this during Pale Summer (2014), this entire section was one week’s reading.  So my post from that week is still relevant.    It is posted almost in its entirety below:

This book is an excerpt from The Pale King.  In the book, it is almost 100 pages of one person’s testimony.  Without the novel for context, this excerpt stands on its own just fine.  It is basically an unnamed person’s introduction.  This narrator is so detail oriented that everything gets the same amount of importance–snowfall, the way to score drugs, the effects of drugs, Christian roommates, his father’s death, his mother’s lesibianism, oh and taxation.

So much of it is “irrelevant,” that I hate to get bogged down in details.  So this is a basic outline of ideas until the more “important” pieces of information surface.

For the most part, this is all inside one man’s head as he talks about his life in college, after college, and into the Service.  Mostly this is simply a wonderful character study, full of neuroses and problems that many people face at some point (to one degree or another).  The interviewee states that “A good bit of it I don’t remember… from what I understand, I’m supposed to explain how I arrived at this career.”

Initially he was something of a nihilist, whose response to everything was “whatever.”  A common name for this kind of nihilist at the time was wastoid.  He drifted in and out of several colleges over the years, taking abstract psychology classes.  He says that his drifting was typical of family dramas in the 1970s–son is feckless, mother sticks up for son, father squeezes sons shoes, etc. They lived in Chicago, his father was a cost systems supervisor for the City of Chicago. (more…)

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tpk3SOUNDTRACK: OBETROL-“The Sound Machine” and “Chopped an Dropped”(2011).

obetrrolObetrol is a band that I can find out very little about. They seem to have 5 songs out and each one is quite different. My favorite is “The Sound Machine” which has a lush sound with twinkly guitars and a wispy female vocalist singing over the top of it.  It has a very trippy slow motion quality to it.  The singer sings a bit like a delicate Kim Gordon (in that shes not always exactly on key).

It’s hard to get more out of this song since it’s only 2:25, but I think it would make a cool intro to any record.

“Chopped and Dropped” on the other hand opens with buzzy guitars (and a “Kick Out the Jams” sample).  The vocals are sung (screamed) by a man. It is a fast-moving tinny punk song with trippy female echoed vocals in the background.

Hard to pin them down, but you can check them out here.

[READ: July 28, 2014] Pale Summer Week 3 (§22)

This week’s read is only one section because it is almost 100 pages of one person’s testimony.  Presumably, this is also part of the testimony on videotape which was broken down into smaller sections.  But there is no “context” for this section;  no ID number.  Although it does address very similar issues and questions.  I was on the fence about how much to include here.  So much of it is “irrelevant,” that I hate to get bogged down in details.  So I think it will be a basic outline of ideas until the more “important” pieces of information surface.

§22

For the most part, this is all inside one man’s head as he talks about his life in college, after college, and into the Service.  In terms of advancing the “plot,” there’s not much (until the end).  Mostly this is simply a wonderful character study, full of neuroses and problems that many people face at some point (to one degree or another).  We don’t know who this author is (very minor spoiler: we will learn who it is in §24 [highlight to read]).

The interviewee states that “A good bit of it I don’t remember… from what I understand, I’m supposed to explain how I arrived at this career.”

Initially he was something of a nihilist, whose response to everything was “whatever.”  A common name for this kind of nihilist at the time was wastoid.  He drifted in and out of several colleges over the years, taking abstract psychology classes.  He says that his drifting was typical of family dramas in the 1970s–son is feckless, mother sticks up for son, father squeezes sons shoes, etc. They lived in Chicago, his father was a cost systems supervisor for the City of Chicago. (more…)

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aug2013

SOUNDTRACK: GWAR-“Carry on My Wayward Son” (A.V. Undercover, October 8, 2012).

gwarIf I thought Reggie Watt’s cover of Van Halen’s “Panama” was absurd, imagine my surprise when GWAR’s version of “Carry on My Wayward Son” proves to not only be not absurd but actually rather faithful.  Well, I mean Oderus Urungus is certainly not serious, but the band sounds amazingly tight–who knew they could play their instruments so well?

The opening is played very faithfully–solos and all–it’s quite impressive under all that foam.  The verses are played at breakneck speed (with Oderus barely singing and improving at times). The chorus is fascinating though as they slow it down quite a lot–with a different singer this might bring an extra gravitas to it, although this version assuredly does not.

I never knew Oderus’ mask fit so poorly before.  And I don’t believe I’ve ever really noticed the large green item hanging down between his legs.  See for yourself:

[READ: September 6, 2013] “Sleeping Together”

The final article of this forum about sleep is set in Tokyo.  Lewis-Kraus has gone to the first co-sleeping cafe. For about $30 for a membership and $30 for 40 minutes you can sleep with a woman.  Not sex–indeed, nothing sexual is allowed to happen. You just sleep.  Or more specifically, you lie next to a woman (seems unlikely that you could actually sleep).  You can also get options like staring into each other’s eyes, being petted on the head, spooning and resting your head on her lap.

There are, of course sexual cafes, as well. The kayabakura is a bit more explicit than the sleeping cafe–the women are all made up and act servile, but this is different.

The woman who the author sleeps with is Yukiko. Yukiko admits that most men don’t sleep, they talk.  She says that in their culture shame is very big, so men seek comfort and encouragement from women. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: BLUE ÖYSTER CULT-Agents of Fortune (1976).

After the release of their first official live album On Your Feet or On Your Knees, it’s unsurprising that the band would put a concert photo on the back cover of this disc (On Your Feet…was their first Top 40 disc).

What is surprising is the piano fueled second track “True Confessions” which is as delicate as the title suggests  (Eric Bloom even hits a falsetto note AND there’s a saxophone solo(!)).  Combine this with  “Debbie Denise” a tender (!) song about lost love (!) and you have quite a tender an un-heavy metal album.

Of course, the disc opens with “This Ain’t the Summer of Love” which is certainly a strong heavy track.  But that’s mostly it.  There’s a lot more piano/keyboard on “E.T.I. (Extra Terrestrial Intelligence)” although the guitars definitely come to the fore during the wailing solos.  And then, frequent contributor Patti Smith gets a vocal inclusion “The Revenge of Vera Gemini” (her voice works quite well with the spooky psychedelia of the band).  “Sinful Love” is an almost disco-ey dance track (the falsetto backing vocals are weird, to say the least!).

The later songs on the disc sound like 70s rock.  There’s rather little heavy metal involved at all.  In fact, “Tenderloin” comes close to sounding like Kansas.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just kind of a shock coming from these heavy metal pioneers.

Oh, and I almost forgot, it also contains the biggest BOC song in the universe, “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper.”  [When my friend Lar saw a BOC Greatest Hits disc he asked if it was just this song 12 times).  Of course, you probably know the song, but if you haven’t heard in a long time, it sounds even better than you remember.  I have to assume that that track alone absolved the band of all the mellow tracks on this disc.

The bonus tracks on the remastered edition include a truly bizarro version of “Fire of Unknown Origin” and a demo of “Reaper.”

[READ: February 22, 2010] Crogan’s March

I enjoyed the first book in this series so much that I couldn’t wait for number two.  And how lucky for me that it was already available!

The premise of this series is that the Crogan family (who live in contemporary America) are a fairly normal family: happily married, two young kids who squabble a lot, etc.  This family aspect of the story bookends the main body of action (their father tells them a story about one of their ancestors to prove a point or make an argument).

In this case, a fight between the boys is summed up by their dad: “Some people believe that everyone should be given the freedom to make their own choice and others that everyone should be held to the same moral standards.”  So, let’s hear the story of Peter Crogan, member of the French Foreign Legion circa 1912.

When I was a kid, the foreign legion was this sort of mythical entity.  The phrase, “run away and join the foreign legion” seemed to be bandied about a lot as a means of escape.  I don’t know why it was, or why it seems to no longer be, but suffice it to say that I haven’t thought about the foreign legion in twenty years.

So, this story about a legionnaire was a welcome surprise from the get go. (more…)

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