November 10, 2005

because a song has got to stop somewhere


jenny holzer, from Inflammatory Essays, 1979-1982

* The Rude Pundit: Harbingers of Republican Death. excerpt:

"It's doom and damnation for the wicked men and women of the Republican party. They tied their destinies to that Bush express back in 2004, and that motherfucker's gone off the tracks. We won't know the full body count until a year from now, but it ain't lookin' pretty. And as Democrats have been learning, the path back from the realm of death is long: 'The evil man becomes born as an animal, among the worms, insects, moths, beasts of prey, mosquitoes, and so forth. There he is born in elephants, trees, and so forth, and in cows and horses, and in other wombs that are evil and painful. When he finally becomes a human, he is a despicable hunchback...When there is none of his evil left, and he is filled with merit, then he starts climbing up to higher castes.'

"Democrats may not be Brahmins yet, but, for certain, they have reached the level of higher beasts or lower humans while the Republicans are about to discover that there's only rocks to land on at the end of the tumble into death. The harbingers are there. Death is coming. The only thing Republicans can do is to try to change their wicked ways so that the afterlife is kinder. Or those rocks'll be sharpened into points."

* This is pretty funny.[via]

* "I have ten commandments. The first nine are thou shall not bore. The tenth is thou shall have right of final cut." -- Billy Wilder

* DCist speaks to the caribbean about their new album Plastic Explosives. excerpt:

"Plastic Explosives is beautiful, plain and simple, and a treat to listen to passively. It keeps gently reminding you, though, just how subtly rich its songs are, how much it has to offer. It's a masterpiece, tucked away in and revealing the crowded streets and quiet record stores of the District."

First off, we have to ask about the website. It's a brilliant corporate send-up, complete with goofy office photos and business-speak. What are you guys saying with this presentation? It's funny, but is it also something deeper?

Michael Kentoff: "We’d be much happier if, instead of a band, people thought of us as an architectural firm that happened to write, record and perform pop music. But thanks for the word 'brilliant' there; Matt no doubt appreciates it because he designed the site. And by 'designed,' I mean stole the HTML code off of Microsoft’s website. That’s basically all he did – he morphed Microsoft’s site into ours. And I think he did it primarily because it made him laugh. A juicy cease-and-desist from Microsoft's lawyers would've been thoughtful of them, too. Then again, they'd have to know we exist first..."

Along those lines, Plastic Explosives is constructed in an interesting way, complete with themes and shorter sound tracks between songs. Was there an overarching idea behind the album, and what can you tell us about the record's title?

MK: "The structure of the record is a creature of Matt’s thinking. Our friend Greg Jones helped sequence it because he’s got the Gift, but Matt thought of the tiny themes that dot the record here and there and tying it all together thematically. The title Plastic Explosives isn’t really connected to the big idea behind the record; we just had a song with that title and thought it made for a provocative album title."

Who are your favorite local acts?

MK: "Beauty Pill, Little Pink, and Pagoda are friends of mine, but, aside from that, I really think they’re onto some wonderful things. I want to play or help set up mics on their records because I believe in what they’re doing. They have soul. They also happen to be groups of funny, multi-dimensional people who have interesting stories to tell. They don’t want to just talk about the latest Pitchfork discovery all day. Also Don playing bass with Little Pink made him a better bass player in the Caribbean, so I’m grateful for that, too. And Chad Clark, who plays in Beauty Pill, has made enormous contributions to the last couple Caribbean records; he’s really responsible for the sonic image you hear. He’s also a darling. Who else? Our guitar player Dave’s other band, The Foreign Press, is still rather new but way too smart for their own good, which portends well. I really liked Dismemberment Plan and was not disappointed at all by Travis Morrison’s solo record. OK, there it is: I said it. I like Travistan. Travis and I also share a bit of a crush on Gilbert Arenas, so maybe I’m unduly influenced by that, but I thought Travistan, which got slagged off like Ishtar, was daring and unique and assbackwards in a useful, musical way. I think it’s a really good record. Oh, I also finally met Bob Mould, which was both mundane and scary. Would it be disingenuous to call him one of my favorite local acts?"

The Caribbean are playing November 17, as part of the Big Yawn event at DC9. Check it out.

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