Not for the faint of heart, but Thing 2 sent me these. She’s there for study abroad, and says she’s never coming back. “It smelled hella evil, but I had to take a picture for you.” Awww…sisterly devotion. Enter at your own risk….

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I’ve been drinking Palomas, my new favorite summer drink. So forgive me if I get a little verbose. As you know, dear reader, that your bloggist has been on the pulp end of reading this year: your murder mysteries and sci-fi novels and lots and lots of TV. But after I listened to Junot Diaz interviewed on Fresh Air, I figured I would read his new book, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.

This is really an amazing book. It does everything you want a good read to do: great characters, a little magic, and sadness and triumph also. And most interestingly, it makes me want to try to write again. Seems like a good way to recycle your past, so here we go again

Saw some good movies:

My Winnepeg: Guy Maddin was there for a talk, and only reenforced my infatuation with Canadians. He was charming, self-deprecating, and filled with wit. His 80-min “docufantasia” was weird, funny, and beautifully soft. Guy Maddin narrates.

Fados: Also very beautiful, though I felt like I wanted a narrative thread, however thin. Appearances by Caetano Veloso and Chico Buarque. I liked his use of reflections.

Shadows in the Palace: Wow, quite shocking, actually. I didn’t get the program guide before I bought the tickets and didn’t see the bit about the graphic torture scenes. Aside from that, it was again a beautiful film, with period costumes, elaborate hairdos that denote rank among the servants, and atmosphere. And of course, the lovely ladies.

Big Man Japan: So I think I was the only person who walked out the theater feeling quite depressed. It was funny and the monsters were pretty ingenious, but I suppose it was the plight of Dai-Sato that made me sad: depressed, alone, and exploited by everyone around him. Even the supposed impartial documentarian turned on him. It reminded me of The Comeback, Lisa Kudrow’s painfully humiliating show on HBO. But with monsters.

So your faithful bloggist has returned to her hometown. Hurrah. Lovely flowers, tho.

As winter turns to spring and into summer, 2008’s live music season is upon us. So far, me and kPod have been to 3.

1) Meat Puppets/Built to Spill at the Fillmore, Feb. 24th—I guess it’s been a couple of months since this show, I should probably write these closer to the date….to be succinct, Meat Puppets: older, but rad; Built to Spill: mind-meltingly boring. kPod wrote a much better review on his blog, Uncorrected Proof.

2) Nick Lowe and Robyn Hitchcock at the Fillmore, April 12th—A good show, but not as good as their solo tours. That’s the problem of being a obsessive: too much of anything becomes boring. Robyn seemed a bit nostalgic and sang songs from his SF period. Nick was charming as ever, but there was less chatter than previously. Still better than Built to Spill, tho.

3) Yeasayer and Man Man at the GAMH, April 22nd—Every year, one has to go to a show to remind one of one’s age. This was this years show. Yeasayer is one of those Brooklyn bands that all the kids like. Man Man, I’ve heard of, but knew nothing about what they sounded like. After 3 beers and standing around whilst the floor filled up to completely obscure my view of the stage, Yeasayer came on  (to a Madonna song) to play in front of a digital projection of strange, vaguely ethnic imagery. The catchy “hit” singles were played, some twitchy lead singer antics were seen, etc. The band was good, and I like the shimmery African influence on the guitar bits. Most of the songs were catchy, but mostly, I felt all of my 31 years. Man Man was actually better (no expectations), crazy punky carnival marching band. Everyone with snares, drummer in the front, crazy singer climbing all over his keyboards, 2 xylophones. The kind of music that makes young men flail about in abandon. I hope dancing is coming back to “indie” music, it makes people watching more interesting

EDIT: Here’s a picture of Heather Jr. Designed by Clifton Carter at Tattoo City.

Tiger tattoo

Wow, this new WordPress interface is quite fancy……

Exciting time here in mad method land: I’ve finally finished the long awaited tiger leg tattoo, to be know as Heather Jr. My tattoo guy, Clifton Carter, did an amazing (or sick or tight, as the young ’em are saying) job. The tattoo itself has no real resemblance to the lovably exasperating fat Heather, but there’s something about the eyes and the face that really makes me think of her. Heather Jr. was by far the largest tattoo that I’ve gotten, and easily the most painful. I don’t have any pictures, since no camera

Some music stuff from Youtube, so I don’t have to start working on my art homework.

Meat Puppets, as I remember them from the day.

Hey, Wayne’s hair is orange! And Steven has a Ramone’s hairdo!

I know these guys are on the MTV and the Letterman, and, like Peter, John, and Bjorn, will be infectiously spreading to an Urban Outfitters near you, but DAMNNNNNN…..this song is really catchy. Don’t really get the African influence, as written on Pitchfork, tho.

Vampire Weekend—A-Punk

This experiment has it’s flaws: I am a sloppy typist. But we soldier on. And that’s what editing is for, right?

This song is the one that sets the tone for the album concept. Looking at the past, a list of things/happening in Illinose, and his trademark riff, which I can’t describe phonetically. Let’s just say it’s optimistic with brass and singers.

The thing I absolutely love about Sufjan is that he mixes the personal with the historical in his music. This line is great: “I cried myself to sleep at night/And the ghost of Carl, he approached my window/ I was hypnotized; I was asked to improvise/On the attitude, the regret of a 1000 centuries of death”

I figured since the songs on this album kind of run together, I would do the first few posts together. Man, what a crazy wordy title. I love this album, it is possibly in my top 10 favorites of all time. I should spend some time seriously considering my top ten. This song is pretty much all instrumental, with the Sufjan Stevens singers going, “Ahhhhh, ahhhhh, ahhhh, etc.” and the Vince Guaraldi flourishes abound.