June 25, 2004

I wish I could read what his eyes are sayin'

* Bob Nastanovich on the Ectoslavia days. excerpt:

"When I was there, Gate was the spiritual leader and Chambo had the most poise. When they shut their bedroom doors, I felt the need to respect their privacy. I think they were doing schoolwork. The basement was where we got together to make a horrible racket. I contributed metal percussion. We smoked just enough weed to think what we were doing was amazing in a Trisomie 21/Nurse With Wound sort of way. The next day's playbacks were always disheartening. One afternoon, I came home and was standing on the first floor back porch. David ran by me, didn't say a word and entered the kitchen. Then, he ran back by me with a large knife. He ran across the parking lot, up the hill, across the tracks and into the College Inn parking lot. Naturally, I followed him to see what was up. When I reached the crest of the hill, I watched him slash all four tires of a newish BMW .He ran back by me and into the house. I walked into his room and asked, "what was that about?" He plaintively replied, 'some frat boy called me a fag.'" [via the silver jews bb]

* Review of Streets Chicago show. excerpt:

"Mike Skinner is the Streets, a critical favorite ever since his debut album, a basement tape called 'Original Pirate Material' (Vice), was released two years ago. He is an unorthodox character compared to the large pool of fashion-conscious braggarts that dominate the hip-hop mainstream. Even though his thick accent sets him apart at first listen, Skinner is at heart a storyteller whose first-person narratives move the listener inside the action. He raps conversationally, sounding closer to Lou Reed; and the tales of petty thievery, girlfriend woes and drug malaise on his second album, 'A Grand Don't Come For Free' (Vice), are cinematic in scope with novelistic depth. It is a blue collar coming of age story very similar to 'Quadrophenia,' Pete Townshend's rock opera three decades back."
...
"The songs were designed to show the sensitivity of a slacker. But onstage, Skinner played up his inner Beastie Boy. A contraption holding ready-to-pour vodka and brandy bottles was on hand so he could dispense drinks for the audience. He also readily handed out backstage passes to front row ladies who caught his eye. And when he struck thug poses and faux break danced, it was intentionally comic.

"He was a clown who realized the joke wasn't on him but on the rigid expectations of his genre. The complexity of his narratives may have been too dense to translate very well onstage, but even when he blew off steam, it felt like a blast of fresh air."

The Streets play the 9:30 club on Thursday.

* Bathroom Improv, by Franz Wright

Book composed of poems no one will ever read
or write if I can help it:
each verse composed of words
I will never cleverly jot,
or transcribe from memory, never
recite in my blood--
e.g., the jagged sonnet which begins
For sure the motherfucker's sober now--
book with hunter
green cover, the beautiful color
of oak leaves in summer,
with no smirking photograph;
color of life, color of death
with no prizes, no trivial biography, no academic
honors earnable by any moron who can read
or write his name. No name
or gloating progeny
of shame, no irrelevant
lies and not one
date.





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