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Monthly Archives: September 2013

Taint/Goat Live at the Peanut Gallery 2000: Balls to the Wall

Taint/Goat/Lockweld/Noumena&Sodium/XTerminal/Contamination Diet/Mike Duncan
The Peanut Gallery, Akron OH, 10 July 2000
[originally posted 13Jul2000]

photo credit:

I have no idea why this picture comes up when one googles taint goat peanut gallery akron. But I cannot find a poster and I like this better anyway.

When Texas’ finest native musician and Texas’ finest transplanted musician decide to hit the road, you can pretty much be guaranteed that something awful is going to happen. And you’re probably going to love every minute of it.
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Desert Island Disc Day 3A: The Wilderness

Day 3A: The Wilderness

Day 3A Start

Day 3 is the last time we’ll be separating tracks by time period: at the end of Day 3, we will be down to the final ninety-six, and we’ll redraw at that point. I’m also changing things up a little for matchups—in cases where both tracks going head to head have lyrics, I’m going to be grabbing a piece of same from each song and comparing them solely on lyrical content (as long as I can decipher the full lyric excerpt I am trying to decipher). Well, this should be fun…

[man, it has been three months since I wrote most of this, and there are still tracks I couldn’t decipher the lyrics on, because I suck. My apologies to the bands involved.]

This is also the first time you’re being introduced to the sixteen tracks that make up the under-a-minute division. Here’s the stuff that hits you fast and hard, and is gone before you know it. Kind of like some of the people I dated in college…

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Seven Footprints to Satan (1928): F(r)iends of Lucifer S.

A. Merritt, Seven Footprints to Satan (Avon, 1928)
[originally posted 12Apr2000]

photo credit: Fantastic Fiction

You have to say one thing for the twenties, their book covers were outrageous.

Merritt was a million-seller back when being a million-seller meant something. Think of him as a depression-era Stephen King. The parallel’s not all that odd; Seven Footprints was one of the first books optioned for film before it actually came out (the film came out in 1929, starred Creighton Hale as Kirkham and Thelma Todd as Eve, and is probably best remembered for featuring, in a very very small role, Loretta Young).
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Sweat en Tears (1947): Blood, Blood, and More Blood

John Lieuwen, Sweat en Tears (Steketee-Van Huis, 1947)

photo credit:

Mine didn’t come with a jacket, more’s the pity. That would have probably stopped me cold.

The number of books that I have abandoned after reading less than fifty pages I can count on one hand, out of approximately 17,500 I’ve read over the course of my life. But some books have a flaw so glaring that it doesn’t take me fifty pages to know that there’s no way I’m going to be able to finish the book in question; it’s so horrific that the thought of pushing on past wherever I decide to abandon it is torture. One of those books is Russell Hoban’s Riddley Walker. The dialect in which Hoban wrote the book is so unintelligible that I suffered through the first chapter, spot-checked pieces of the rest to see if it ever started resembling English, and then kicked it to the curb. That was almost a decade ago, if memory serves. (Memory does serve; according to Amazon I posted my review in April of 2004.) Sweat en Tears, which is written in a dialect that Marion de Velder, in her introduction, calls “Yankee Dutch”, is the second. I made it through twelve pages (the first two poems) of the book’s hundred sixty-eight, and by that time I knew there was no chance I was going to be able to devote any more time to this mess. It doesn’t help that the first poem starts off with, basically, “Two Dutchmen and a Jew walk into a bar…”:

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Rob Roy (1995): What a Scotsman Wears Under His Kilt

Rob Roy (Michael Caton-Jones, 1995)
[originally posted 6Mar2000]

photo credit: Wikipedia

So tell me, what about this poster does not say “genre historical romance” to you?

Much was said, when this came out, about how it was overshadowed by Braveheart, while being just as good a film. Surely they jest. While there’s a damn good cast assembled for this (including Jessica Lange, who’s notable for actually acting in this movie, and a curiously low-key Eric Stoltz), it doesn’t come anywhere near the depth, intensity, and majesty of its shadowbearer. Thankfully, it’s also not nearly as long. Fine if you like any of the main players, but when you take bathroom breaks, you probably won’t find yourself hitting the pause button. ***

Für Species23 (2000): The Start of Something Beautiful (but Short-Lived)

Luftkanone, “Für Species23” (self-released CDEP)
[originally posted 14Mar2000]

photo credit:

We can’t show it to you because the Internet fails us (and my copy is long lost to time and house moves).

Another noise act coming out of western Pennsylvania (what is it with farmland and noizheads anyway?), the debut demo disc from Luftkanone (german, for “sound cannon;” seems the Germans weren’t letting the French do anything on their own during the seventies!) landed on my desk the other day, and I didn’t have time to get around to actually listening to it until this morning (thanks to having to make sure my own CD-R burning had come out okay, mostly).

Anyway, nice stuff. Not overly chaotic, not overly minimal. Treading the line with simple static-based noises and a really decent mixer. Tends towards the quiet side of things until the last two or three minutes of the disc, when stuff starts burning, exploding, falling apart… you know. This is kind of like the soundtrack to a building demolition– a scurry of activity, then an interminable wait, then all the sudden everything goes boom. And then it’s quiet again… ***

John Carpenter’s Vampires (1998): A Few Steps Down from They Live

John Carpenter’s Vampires (John Carpenter, 1998)
[originally posted 22Feb2000]

photo credit: Wikipedia

Not a lemon grove in sight.

Could have been worse– a lot worse, given how far down Carpenter has slid since They Live. In fact, this is the first really decent piece of filmmaking I’ve seen from Carpenter in the last decade. James Woods and Daniel Baldwin work well together as the buddy-good-guys who aren’t actually buddies (they love each other, but don’t really like each other—you know how that goes), Maximillian Schell is appropriately creepy as a higher-up in the Catholic church, Sheryl Lee makes a great hooker (assuming her role is supposed to be played as unsympathetically as it is, of course), and the action only stops long enough for you to draw a breath before it starts again. Not the best of the films we rented in the past week, but worthwhile, and a good deal of fun. ** ½

McDuff Comes Home (1997): And Went Right Back Out Again

Rosemary Wells, McDuff Comes Home (Hyperion, 1997)


photo credit: Goodreads

Frolic through the park.

The McDuff stories are big juju among my wife’s family. (My wife explained it to me as “my mom always wanted a Scotty” at one point.) I’d never heard of them before the bean came along, but the first time Grandma took him to the library, they came home with a fistful, two of them from the library’s ongoing used book sale, three taken out of the library. As far as I could tell, McDuff Comes Home was the second of them, chronologically. After the events of McDuff Moves In, McDuff gets caught up chasing a rabbit, loses his collar, and is found by an inquisitive gardener who takes off through the city looking for his home. From my standpoint, I had the same problems with this one I had with the other books in the series—some awkward language, an odd/inchoate feeling of anachronism given the setting of the stories (they’re set in the fifties, which makes me unable to help comparing them with the Beany Malone books)—but the real killer here was the bean’s reaction. He likes a couple of the books well enough, tolerates a couple of the others, but it took us seven or eight attempts to get through this one the first time; he would hear the first words of page one and have an immediate, sometimes violent, negative reaction (i.e., the book went flying across the room more than once). Not one that will be coming home with us again. **

Hidden Miracles: Vegetarianism and Alternative Medicine (????): Nothing You Can’t Find Free on the Internet

Jamie Wilkinson, Hidden Miracles: Vegetarianism and Alternative Medicine (No publisher listed, no date listed)

had I planned on giving this book any stars, it would have lost them for incomplete information.


photo credit: lulu

The cover is so inspired I almost feel bad giving points off!

So let me get this straight, even though I know it happens all the time I still can’t believe people try to pull this ridiculousness: you did five minutes of “research” on the Internet, copied and pasted some descriptions, added a little of your own writing (just enough for us to tell what’s copied and what you modified a touch), and then slapped a three-dollar price tag on a thirty-six-page “booklet” and put it up for sale at Amazon? Yeah, yeah, I know, I’m just jealous I didn’t think of it myself. Trust me, though, dear reader: stay far, far away form this. You can do a google search on the title and have more complete information in five seconds. (I know, I just did while writing this paragraph). (zero)

Perfect Piggies! (1996): How to Cure Brainwashing

Sandra Boynton, Perfect Piggies! (Workman, 1996)

Full disclosure: All credit to Justin Marc Lloyd, the curator of Rainbow Bridge Recordings, for pointing out the soapbox I got on here…

photo credit:

A book! A song! A celebration! A message of love, peace, and acceptance! (optional)

There’s been a wave over the past fifteen years or so regarding fat acceptance. There’s a push, then a backlash, then a re-push, and so on and so forth. It’s getting tiresome. (We’re just starting on the backlash cycle again as I write this thanks to some despicable morons reacting badly to Yossi Loloi’s photography at (it occurs to me I should warn you this link is NSFW). Some people will just never feel good about themselves unless they’re slagging someone else, or preferably an entire culture of someone elses.) I have an attempt at a solution—we’ll take all the people who mindlessly parrot the status quo, sit them in a stadium somewhere, and given them all copies of Perfect Piggies! to read and re-read and re-read some more until they get it through their heads that it’s okay to not look like Uma Thurman and/or Charlie Hunnam. As anyone who’s ever held a squalling child knows, there is something magic about the language Sandra Boynton uses, whether it’s her effortless command of rhythm, her books’ strong resemblance to song lyrics (in fact, dozens of her books, over the past decade or so, have been made into songs, some of them by very famous folks; I’m still trying to reconcile the Eric Stoltz who was so wonderfully obscene in Killing Zoe turning in a rendition of “Snuggle Puppy”), or her singularly cute artwork, but you put a Boynton book in front of someone and something changes. It works with eighteen-month-olds. Maybe it will work with adults who still exist on the emotional level of eighteen-month-olds as well. *** ½