Tuesday, September 30, 2008

i think blogs are like DFW footnotes, for life

let me see if i can weave a bunch of convoluted references into a linear progression:

1. had the same bus driver today that i had on my previous post! he was not as talkative, maybe a little sad, but i do project that on others.

2. man on bus with a moustache (different one this ti
me) commented on my beard.. at least i thought he did, and i ignored it at first, thinking it was not about me. i got confirmation when he asked me if i wanted to visit iran, because the mullahs would really like me with my gnarly beard and lack of tie (wearing collared shirt sans tie as per my strict personal dresscode). i took the 'compliment' as gracefully as possible.

3. that made me think of this video which is worth watching again, because it's funny, because fred armisen is adorable, beacuse they ripped off a great aphex twin piano line, and because gay panic jokes are not usually funny, but they're goddamn hilarious when in regards to ahmedinejad.

3b. which reminds me, andy samberg is dating joanna newsom. i was initially really mixed up about that, but i've sort of made my peace. sort of. i still might try to hurt him.

3(c)(4). which reminds me, this is like brandon's obsession and subsequent disillusionment with scarlett johansson, except almost the opposite; the common thread is that i think we both are on some level inspired to volcanic, impotent fulmination by them. and yes i read everyone's blog in the universe. sorry.

god knows that volcanic, impotent fulmination is my middle name.

Monday, September 29, 2008


i fully intend to write a wrap-up of my overall fantastic weekend, soon, but until then here are some things that make me joyful:

i contracted for a custom-made amp cover at crafty bastards. houndstooth! go here for bags from the same charming designer. seriously, who makes custom amp covers?

i'm also going to get a custom-made awesome 60's luggage pedalboard/suitcase for music stuff. they don't have anything online but trust my judgment. now all i have to do is learn how to play music that will live up to the style of my gear!


Friday, September 26, 2008

the city

there are a lot of things that i'm going to (probably viscerally) miss as i go on the road over the next couple months, normalcy being a big one, but the busride brought some of the little things into focus.

the busdriver was this awesome, awesome man with a super deep voice who is great at driving the bus and at being friendly. he's older, probably in his fifties, and seemingly knows everybody. i always recognize him and say hello (i am very friendly with busdrivers. they make me happy, in general), and so my morning started off right. it was also jacket weather. he picked us up at lamont street, and drove very prudently, which i appreciate. jobs well done are jobs well done. i decided not to crack open breakfast of champions, which i'm re-reading, because i didn't feel like it and because it's sort of a bad book to read on the bus due to vonnegut's hilarious and sometimes dirty illustrations. so i was looking around, listening to the busdriver's conversation, noticing other folks. my bus is great because it's always got a slightly different mix of people. one guy looked to be iraqi (which is a guess), in his fifties, well kept moustache, blue dress shirt, dark blue slacks. he was wearing sandles (this type). there are always hispanic ladies, but no kids today.

two things happened that are worth noting. first, we always drive by the planned parenthood on 16th and L, and i tend to look out and see if anybody's protesting under normal circumstances. today, we stopped at the light at L and everybody noticed there were tons of people outside (60+, this is not a big front lawn), and i think several others assumed they were protesting. but then we realized that they were primarily kids, from age 8 to 18 or so, and they were all wearing similar shirts... my next thought was that it was a church group, but what sort of church group takes friday off to come protest planned parenthood with 8 year olds?! then, and these thoughts were going through my head in real time at the same rate they were going through other people's heads-- there's a school right next to PP, on the corner, and from a certain angle you could see a flashing strobe light. fire drill! i think, actually, that the kids were blocking the sightlines of two or three white college-aged protesters who were kneeling and praying at the building. sucks to your ass-mar, anti-choice zealots!

the second was a little bit of jesus wisdom from my bus driver. often along 16th street there are multiple S2 and S4 buses running at the same time, and sometimes they'll pass one another. a rather imprudent driver came up and kept trying to pass our bus, and finally at around U street he/she did so. our busdriver was talking to one of the passengers up front, i think, or he might have just said this offhand and out loud: "Don't you worry, the first shall be last and the last shall be first" in his baritone voice, and kind of chuckled. If i ever run for office, that's going to be my made-up-Found-Jesus moment, because i immediately grinned and just thought, YES. that's the most enlightened view of busdriving, and life, i've heard in quite some time.

they're closing down the homeless shelter right next to my work today, and hauling out the beds, and there are police all around. it was scheduled to happen next wednesday but they secretly moved it up so as to avoid protests. there's no alternative site they're setting up-- it's basically Fenty saying, good luck in the outlying parts of the city, we want you out of downtown so we can build a hotel. it's total bullshit. i think fenty could use a little busdriver advice: don't you worry, the first shall be last and the last shall be first. i'm going to miss this fantastic, fucked up city, and i already can't wait to return.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

mccain cancels debate to take nap; implores americans to sacrifice and "go see alec's show instead"


i'm glad i don't own anything of value

When I die, they’ll want to put my face on money-- if there were money in the future, instead of just hugs and internet memes!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

the conclusive philosophical proof that all long-haired bearded dudes are music geniuses





josh it in your josh blog

glinks says:
yeah, i mean... if they're using the template (she said they were), it might not be bad, but i'll let you know if it turns retarded
glinks says:
not that you'll care! you big bully
alec says:
alec says:
i do care
alec says:
you know this
glinks says:
i know
alec says:
but in another important way
alec says:
i don't care
glinks says:
i just JOSH with you
alec says:
so cram it in your cram hole
alec says:
glinks says:
josh it in your josh blog
alec says:

Thursday, September 18, 2008

x marks the spot

this is the (dream) plan

said it was good to be alive

i am in a rough mood, so let's focus on the positive. the weather today could not be better. twelve calendar days until the end of the quarter. twenty two calendar days until the end of work. and i've got holland, 1945 stuck in my head.

which led me back to an idea that's been kicking around in my head along with my other grand and probably unworkable plans: monthly drunken cover singalongs. here's the pitch: lots of people like to go to/host dance parties, in which good times are had and alcohol is consumed. as is well documented, i don't like dance parties very much. as is also well documented, i love playing other people's songs. so, what i want to do is curate and host the first edition of a hopefully monthly gathering of folks hanging out, imbibing, and having a big ol' singalong.

i have no idea if this will work, be weird, be well attended, or what. but i think it'd be a hell of a lot of fun, especially if a few people (me, others) were actually excited about the ethos of it, namely, to participate and share and have fun unironically via music. so, preferably no snide covers of radio rap, no forced participation, etc. byob, byoinstruments. i'll need to get an upright piano. three part harmonies encouraged.

brainstorm a tracklist with me in the comments. forward this to anyone you would want to have involved. tentative ideas: neutral milk hotel, fleet foxes, CSN(Y), spoon, pavement, sufjan, bowie, talking heads, joanna newsom (duh), wilco, bon iver... i guess anything that's on the tip of people's tongues. we'd publish it in advance for learning purposes, and if muxtape were still around i'd make one of those. maybe i'll post the tracks... ON MY BLOG.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

draft calendar

important dates in my life, first draft version. add yourself in the comments!

sept. 26 (friday): show @ the red and the black. seriously, please come.
sept. 30 (tuesday): last full day of work
oct. 3-5 (friday-sunday): maybe going to richmond for okkervil river and friends
oct. 10 (friday): last day of work forever; mdr show @ iota
oct. 18 (saturday): pittsburgh for elephant 6 travelling circus of a show, hanging out with my pgh adopted friends
sometime in between: making a record with poets and painters and kurt vonnegut's ghost in iowa city
oct. 28 (sunday): back to dc for magnetic fields
nov. 4 (tuesday): JUDGMENT DAY

sounds pretty good, right? want to join? want a piece of me post-election day?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"I was down on one knee and my eyeballs looked like novelty-shop eyeballs."


this article is geeky, technical, digressive, fanboy-ish, and two years old. it's also phenomenal. something about the story of the little boy and the context of dfw's recent suicide makes it that much more moving. and somehow life affirming? weird. i think my life is affirmed by reading a great writer who compulsively uses footnotes. there are dozens of us... dozens! thanks for everything.

Monday, September 15, 2008

downer... with jools holland

this is what i shoot for. you've got an affable british presenter named 'jools' thanking some fellows from glasgow, chatting about sensible dress, you know. typical variety show patter.

and then...

well, stick that in your craw, jools. justin vernon busts out the definitive version of this song. i love, and i mean like :D love, performances that demand your attention like this one does, even though/especially because it's in such a weird context. nobody's remembering the banter after that one.

other than that, the other song i've been obsessed with recently is pretty much the exact opposite of the one above. listen, or do as i do and listen on repeat 15 times in a row.

on purpose

i like italics.

i like italics.

at least in the abstract. they give words momentum. songs should almost always be written in italics, not to imply that they are emphasizing every single word but to feel like they're going somewhere, that they have a purpose of their own, even if the italics should be backwards-- songs that are so comfortable in where they're going that they don't have to get there with any particular speed or purposefulness.

maybe it's the illusion of purpose. just italicizing something doesn't make it worthwhile or win the argument or your attention for more than a second. you seem like a charlatan or a National Review Online commenter or a sadly befuddled protester outside McPherson Square when you overuse italics. (or hyperlinks for that matter). when used correctly, though, even the act of writing and italicizing a word can make you talk out loud to your computer screen-- yes, that is what i meant, or yes, that is what i agree with, or yes, that is how i feel.

as some of you know i'm leaving my job to go work on my soul a little bit. i'm going to travel as extensively as i can through the parts of the country without snow and try to play music and make friends in different cities and drink water and double espressos in as many places with wifi as possible. it feels like (and this is one of those comforting fabrications that i make up to make myself feel more impressive) i haven't had a week off since eighth grade, so i'm going to take about four months to try and make a record and read and write and experience. the point about italics, because there's always a point with me, is that i'm looking to make something that's worth italicizing, that i can share with other people and say, hey, this is worth your five or so minutes of contemplation before you go back to your undoubtedly complicated and mixed up life.

i think the process will be exciting and scary and illuminating, and i think i'll come out on the other side with a lot of the same hangups that i have now (and less money), and if i come across things i want to let you know about i'll put them here so you can keep track of what i'm up to and so that i can share it with you.

also, i will probably think of lots of funny jokes, and i will need a place to publish them to universal acclaim.