Saturday, May 31, 2008

I'll never forget the first time I learned that music can be dangerous. It was in Mrs. Lasher's class, third grade, and everyone was gathered around the boxy record player, passing the huge headphones around like an illicit bottle of cough syrup. I only got to wear them for about ten seconds before someone else was tapping my shoulder for their turn, but I had long enough to hear that thrillingly wicked chorus: We don't need NO education/We don't need NO thought control... Oh man, it was just so wonderfully bad.

That said, I never became a Floyd fan. I don't think I've ever actually even bought a Floyd album, except for the Barret ones, used. The trippy Barret stuff is fun, but Waters always struck me as bombastic (that said, I put his Radio KAOS concert right below Slaughterhouse Five on the list of things that stopped me being Republican). Besides, why would I need to spend money on a Pink Floyd album? Everyone I knew was playing it non-stop, and there was no escaping it on the radio. Darkside of the Moon may still hold the record for most time on the charts (there was a copy around here of Darkside that Blade bought but Sally bit it in half); that stuff was just in the air.

Well last night I learned to love The Wall. I went to see the students of the Seattle branch of the Paul Green School of Rock Music perform the entire album for their year-end concert. It was amazing. These kids can rock! Most of the instrumentalists were older kids, sixteen, seventeen, so the music was very competent. What really made it were the vocalists--an eight year old girl sang Comfortably Numb and Another Brick in the Wall. The audience was about enthusiastic as any I've seen, all ages, from toddlers to grandmothers, just going nuts, lighters in the air... They kept switching kids off the stage, so there was always a new line up of musicians and singers--it was constantly engaging. There are a lot of Schools of Rock throughout the country; I highly recommend seeing a concert if you get a chance. It just might blow your mind.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


You know how certain figures just stick with you? One thing that I can't get out of my head was something I heard on NPR on Friday during their broadcasts from China. They said that only three percent of China is college educated. A tiny percentage, right? But they did the math: That's forty eight million people.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Driving in the Danger Zone

The other night at Professor Unc's and Scratch Padding's I had the (guilty) pleasure of trying my hand at Grand Theft Auto 4. What really freaked me out was that I was less freaked out by the fact that I beat up a rabbi than I was by the fact that the radio stations for the cars you carjack include songs by Gong and Terry Riley. What carjacker cranks up "A Rainbow in Curved Air?" Strangely, it gave me hope. But I hope there's no karma for video games.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Norman Dubie has some new poems in the latest Blackbird.

Matthea Harvey

Want to read some good poems?

I occasionally give to environmental groups, but I'd be a lot more likely to support the World Wildlife Fund if they didn't threaten to send the "Blue-footed Booby Plush"to donors. Doesn't sending crap like that (along with ceaseless mailings) hurt nature? Or am I nuts?

Malkmus in Arthur

"The Republican Illuminati/Kingmakers wanted McCain—so it is written and so it shall b). In this post-chad environment, I’m not sure they can rig Florida again.... They have almost nothing to lose this time—whoever takes over this mess is deeply screwed. If I were a conservative oligarch, I’d focus on Congress and let the Democrats hang themselves; then come back strong in 2012 with "I told you so"-style propaganda."

If one more person says I look like Kenny Loggins, they're going to get a "Loose Foot" up their ass.