Sunday, October 06, 2013


All the trains on one track. Had to cosign a Latino dude's explaining to white people. The white people start cheering hurray! for somebody on the stairs. They're all chatting now, and I accidentally make eye contact with some dude who's trying to sell the rest on going to Big Wangs in NoHo. I shake my head; he says, "He knows what I'm talking about." It's not happening. I'm not cosigning that.

They keep cheering. I ask if it's someone's birthday. They guy says yeah, but they'll cheer at anything. I say, "It's easy to feel enthusiastic about public transit."

I've had the kind of night with an open bar and the crashing of a bat mitzvah (in a morally edifying way). Mike and his FBI roommate are good role models and answer questions while I bond with some 13-year-old named Josh about the Walking Dead and Avatar: Legend of Kora.

The crowd in the subway's from the Midwest; someone's demanding of a chubby bearded guy if he was "In Michigan on a Target binge."

First guy yells, "It's a train!"
Second guy yells, "That or a Highlander!"
First girl yells, "THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!"

Some kid on the train looks like my platonic ideal of Darius, fat and high, with a metal t-shirt and a canvass elephant bag that says, "Don't forget — Reuse!" He looks baked and environmentally conscious.

That same group got on my train.
First girl: "Oh man, Star Wars!"
First guy: "Actually, Shaft."
First girl: Oh yeah!"
First guy: "They transition, actually."
First girl: "Yeah, yeah."

God, someone who specializes in artisinal muggings could make a killing at this station.

I keep trying to not walk right behind the birthday girl from that group, like, wow, what's that new Jon's signage I've never admired from across the street before? but she keeps slowing down more and more the closer we get to Hollywood. I turn towards Cheetah's instead.

There's a limo across the sidewalk at Cheetah's, some fat guy in a shiny shirt with one button buttoned and plenty of tanned, hairless belly is pouring out of the door as I walk up and he says loudly, "I'll show you Silverlake!" and points at me, a drunk guy in a suit with a holographic paper tophat.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Germans, synths, ontology, rap, who knows

Is Germany "Hanging on to Mutti," with reflexive conservatism letting Merkel slide into another term?

Beyond the Black Rainbow

Chance the Rapper — 10Day.

Nicholas Galanin

As Prop. 8 comes back into the news, the Prop. 8 Report is worth reading.

Broken Houses by Ofral Apid.

Toys That Kill have an album out, uh, new last year.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Wait, really? That many tabs?

What would have happened if people refused police sweeps in Boston.

Delicatessen With Love is another project from Gabriela Galimberti about grandmas and food.

Gerhard Richter's Atlas Sheet 11, 1963.

Innovative Leisure's blog.

Markov Spam Poetry

He raised his hands in laughing protest.
She smiled at him as one would at a conceited child.
Who is most wonderfully versed in war.
Messenger. These letters come from your father.
The formidable beak of a cuttlefish was open over Ned Land.
Thou needest not his cure.
At this moment Coupeau entered.
Raskolnikov continued to look at him in silence.
Why he was the last of the Gray Dogs is now to be told.
Chicago began to have visions of winning the pennant.
Clinton, Sir Henry, campaigns.
Shearer cast a glance at the river. He needed to be told no more.
On Him, existence without hope has closed.
Ye wait for his inspiration.
Elsie explained to her what was wanted.
ENSEMBLE. She will tend him etc.
Gent. She is importunate, indeed distract.
Perfetta. It really was too bad.
It is my duty, Major.
Il sent sa laideur fondre a ces mots de soleil. . .
Into the hidden corners of the past.
Ein blutig Opfer fuer der Griechen Heil.
And God reposed within her virgin heart.
And fling off hope, and enter at the gate.
Empire national anthems.
His day is marching on.
Tennessee by the pioneers.
The poor wretch only howled.
What this detested Jacobin hath done.
Majorca was obedient to the third.
Having been hitherto accustomed to obey, I ventured to dismiss Mr.
Monitor of Thuringia.
Because he did not of his Rome despair.
But Peggy was not to be drawn away.
She broke into a ripple of laughter.
Donal opened the window, took up the cabinet, and threw it out.
The graves of me mateys there, the grim, sour graves.
Stafford turned with a wave of the hand towards Copplestone.
Presently he roused himself, and began to look about again.
All safe. Then gave he quick commands to all.
Her words startled him.

Crash Course in Great Gatsby.

Maybe I'll get my cameras fixed here.

Sub $50 fountain pens.

Did I say eschersketch before?

Recess Records on soundcloud.

Nice LA darkroom.

How "The Fucking Hipster Show" devalues structural communication about class and gentrification.

Two plants from one genome — plants are weird.

Options for the court on marriage.


Basquiat money laundering.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I keep it fresh with my linkdumps

Gary Winograd's street shots: Mirror of self or world?

DJ Bonez McCoy's Trill Ass Car Mix vol. 10 or so.

Guess what? We tortured people. National shame.


A whole goddamn LFO album:

Do Afghan Women Need Saving? Interesting paper on relativism, autonomy and futility.

LA as Subject Weekly.

Interview on internet communities, circa '96.

Volokh folks on Miranda and Boston Bombers. More on Miranda and Boston.

Electrical banana and psych art.

Don't let Boston fool us into thinking war hawks are right.

Digital Public Library.

Glenn Greenwald on "why call Boston terrorism?" vis a vis other recent mass killers.

Elizabeth Harper KILLING IT 'All the Saints You Should Know' on feminism and self-mortification. Seriously, if I didn't know her, I'd have this up on MeFi tout de suite.

Residential art signs by Stanley Marsh. Marsh is best known for the Cadillac Stonehenge in Amarillo, Tx.

Topoquilts (note: Steal this idea.)

Rosa by Grimes. I didn't like Grimes when I first heard her, but finding out she doesn't always do the ethereal voice stuff (which sounds too much like Christmas music from children to me) has made me interested in finding more.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

I don't always have 40 tabs open

Deerhunter finally sounds like what I always wanted from Deerhunter albums: A bit more crunch.

"Bunnystyle" K-Pop from D:

Hackers automate hack writing.

Even though it never really goes anywhere, it's a great beat.

Ruth Barcan Marcus on consistency and dilemmas (TL;DR — inconsistencies are inherent to any moral structure). Also she should wrestle as "Barkin' Marcus," since that's a great name.

Black Tamborine fuzz pop yeah

Sun Dial fuzzy yeah but more My White Bicycle kinda psych.

The Boredoms and Fall are a bad sell for Go Genre Everything, but they're still good. They're rock with some Aussie Lora Logic vocals.

Remember the Iraq War? The Washington Post would like to politely not.

Marriage for same-sex couples via state's rights might be pyrrhic.

VICE, AIDS, Disney musicals.

The social science of our vicious, weird, gouge-y forebears .

If you've ever had a hankering for some kinda hallucinated nostalgia for a more innocent Ke$ha, Charlie XCX fills that contemporary desire.

What kind of data can we gather from internet usage in authoritarian regimes? (TL;DR: Who knows, but here're some interesting inferences.)

Bitch Magazine on traditional marriage.

Code Cartooning. Itsa tumblr.

The new The Knife album the shit.

The Dalai Lama got paid by the CIA. Also, Tibet/theocracies: Fucked up? Yeah.

The 100 most influential singles of the '60s. Yeah, it's Some Guy's List, but I'm enjoying listening to these and seeing him make his case. God love the internet.

Awesome Tapes from Africa is exactly that.

Monday, January 21, 2013

"You are a toad eater and a fawner."

Martin Luther brings the zings.

Whitney Hubbs

Not my favorite, but decent article on the danger of analytics. Are we only what we can measure?

Rap battle.

Visual playlist ("Watching Windows") by We Find Wildness. These names are pretty much perfect signifiers.

Hmm. Glass lens Holga? Really what bugs me about the Holga is the amount of light you lose through the plastic; I gotta imagine I'll still get fogginess through shit-ass film handling.

Debt ceiling .PDF constitutionality platinum coin

Deep fried cranes for the Alabama Holocaust Memorial.

Onion bhaji were delicious.

Why do I have bell hooks' "Feminism is for Everybody" open in my browser? I do not remember, but it must have been good.

Wow. Lead? Huh.

Lem Dobbs talks about Haywire and other stuff.

Bargain Bin Blasphemy.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

College Republican Horst Wessel Files DCMAs

Justin Zatkoff was a College Republican — even THE College Republican — who lied to cops and said that "liberal thugs" beat him up, when really it was a friend in a drunken fight.

He's now filing DCMA complaints in order to get sites like shut down. (Wayback Machine shows why.)

Zatkoff was covered by MeFi six years ago, and since he's now in law school, he's probably trying to scrub his record to pass the bar. Maynard doesn't have the money to fight, but he's asking people to redraw the image so he can publish again.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Hookworms' Form and Function is fuzzy indie psych.

Naomi Punk is good power pop from Portland.

Pus Mortem by Black Pus freaked out my coworkers. It's on the Jesus Lizard/Pissed Jeans axis.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Reading is funda-metal

Adam Collins-Toruella from Pesanta Urfolk is in Lux Interna, a dark/drone Americana band.

They might not be metal per se, though Pesanta is kinda a metal label. Metal's edges are blurrier than ever. Which makes the old saw "I listen to anything but metal" (PDF) a little harder to pull off. That paper is about social constructions of identity through musical taste — basically, by not listening to metal you're saying that you're not like one of those poxy fules of lower-class economics and combat boots.

That's supported by the class implications for omnivorous music listening. I've long held that petit bourgeois have either the money without the taste or the taste without the money; I fall into the latter, I hope.

Every search engine's a critic.

Christoffer Relander does in-camera "double exposures" that stand out through strong black and white composition.

These are the twist-tie warriors I always wanted as a kid.

Monday, June 25, 2012

We made a name for what you like

I think that the label "noise pop" as applied by these guys to to make the 100 Essential Noise Pop Songs list is so broad that it's meaningless, but I do like every song on the mix, which never happens.

So I'm going to be posting 100 more noise pop songs, which will just be stuff I like too, for every year that they did. It's not better or anything, just more. (Plenty of them are the songs I woulda picked first.)

1970 through '80


Their pick:

Velvet Underground, "Rock and Roll."

Confusions, "Voice From the Inner Soul."


Their pick:

Big Star, "The Ballad of El Goodo."

My pick:

Roxy Music, "Re-Make/Re-Model"


Their pick:

The Feelies, "The Boy With Perpetual Nervousness."

My pick:

Pylon, "Feast on My Heart."

(to be continued…)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Who ever goes backwards?

Sometimes I can't close tabs until I've blogged them even though I know this is crazy.

I took part in April Wolfe's psychic transmission project (my drawing is above). I don't think mine looks anything like what she drew, but then, I don't really believe in psychic transmissions and that may have clouded my reception.

Link roundup:

Josh Stephens, who I worked for at the CPDR once or twice, has a pretty great story about California redevelopment agencies that unfortunately can be summed up as, "It's complicated and we need more data.

Why did that Arizona Little League team forfeit rather than play against a girl? They're run by a Catholic cult.

I work with Vivian, the Dapper Dyke. She takes her barber reviews really seriously.

Should I go see Avengers? I think Kirby got screwed, but I don't care so much about heirs. Grantland looks at Stan Lee.

Businesses and governments rob poor people pretty much because they can get away with it.

Against the kid-ification of museums.

Remember: Distrust all media.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Office birdsI

In that little picture, you can almost see the hawk that was in my office when I got back from my lunch break. It had been in there for a while, and Justin had hoped that having the lights off would convince it to leave.

I figured out that it was a juvenile Cooper's Hawk, mostly because of the banding on the tail and the striped body (which, along with habitat, seemed good enough to say it wasn't a Sharp Shinned), then spent twenty minutes desperately trying to figure out how to clear it from the rafters. I tried playing Cooper's Hawk sounds, especially nesting ones outside the door, but the damned thing only flitted around to where it could tell I was just holding a laptop to fool it. Eventually, I gave another shot with the darkness, sitting for ten minutes in the black silently, until it finally just took off.

So I go to close the big door that let it in, and as soon as I've done that, a pigeon that was hiding under a half-loft and blanket comes flapping out. My guess is that the hawk chased it in here, and then was looking for it until it decided to split.

But the pigeon's not nearly as peripatetic — it's avoided all my attempts to spook it out, including shooting a bunch of rubber bands at it. It let a couple bounce off before making a half-assed circuit around the room and returning to the same spot. Thanks.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Digestion aids eaters and readers

Psychoanalysis and Homosexuality in Respond Magazine.

Some interesting points: Freud had a weird view toward the causes of homosexuality, but repeatedly supported full inclusion of LGBT folk into professional societies and didn't think that being gay was a disorder. He rather treated it more like being crippled — not desirable, but not grounds for exclusion. Which was a progressive attitude for the time.

18 Secret LA Gardens in Curbed.

I think this will be handy the next time I have to take visitors around LA. Rooftop gardens are a lot more fun than the Walk of Fame, in that you can actually visit them on purpose without being in the way of everyone trying to actually use the city.

Concord Art Space has open drawing every Monday night.

I meant to go, but forgot. Maybe I will remember next week.

HRLA or Human Resources LA.

It's a contemporary art and performance space that seems to favor the beardos.

Google Map of 25 Alternative Art Spaces in LA.

Another place to take visitors (or, a lot of places but I tend to think of art spaces as kinda fungible — I'll go see almost any art).

Little Magazines index.

If I had infinite art resources, I'd love to run a "little magazine" of pomo art shit. But I'd need more time and money in my life, something unlikely to happen.

How water freezes.

It's actually kinda mindblowingly cool. There's a lot of different ice. Though Ice 9 was pretty disappointing in real life.

Something Awful collects Political Rap.

Oh, earnest political nonsense plus pop culture modes makes for hilarity.

Kill Radio's Nat'l Bag.

This is Amanda's show; I listen when I write.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Chavez liked the gays

I have a blog post up at EQCAblog about César Chávez, where I interviewed Marc Grossman, the communications director for the Chavez Foundation and César Chávez's aide and speechwriter.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Half the time I feel like the Death Grips are right down my alley, what with noize beats and alt rap. The other half the time, I think I'm judging them on targets they're not aiming for, like that the dude's flow would suck if he was a rapper, and that it's not too far from Die Krupps and all the rivethead shit I listened to in high school. They're seriously one thin membrane from Frontline Assembly meets Rage Against the Machine on the Judgment Night soundtrack sometimes. I feel like I just can't step far enough away from the band to think about them objectively (which is kinda weird itself, since I don't know them).

Beginning to see the light

An essay (PDF) by Ellen Willis about feminism and punk. More on Willis, the New Yorker's pop critic in the late '60s and '70s, from Sasha Frere-Jones, New Yorker's current pop critic.

It's got some really interesting insights, as well as a perspective that seems bafflingly quaint — really, you thought "God Save the Queen" was from "All the Young Dudes"? — but part of the essay is how Willis came to really get punk (the Brits showed her how) and love it, and it gives a nice counterpoint to the general narrative of punk being the sudden blast that killed Prog or Arena Rock or whatever. (It didn't.) Instead, Willis complains of having to explain to editors that punk wasn't tragically retro, too passe for publication.

And along the way, she nails some themes (like the too-apologetic-to-rock female rock band or the brief suggestion of class issues in disco glam) that resonate with contemporary music pretty presciently, along with making me think more about one of my least favorite Sex Pistol tunes ("Bodies" always felt like a less funny "Belsen Was a Gas").

Friday, March 16, 2012

An open letter

I have few illusions about the traction of letters written to my congress members, but I'd like to think that when some poor intern googles me to make sure I'm not a terrorist, seeing it here might make them think, "Hey, that sounds like that awesome letter I was reading."

Dear Senator Feinstein,

Tonight, I watched the Daily Show report on the defunding of UNESCO by the US, due to a 20 year old law that requires us to punish the UN for recognizing Palestine.

I know that you, and likely the staffer that screens this email for you, enjoy the Daily Show. You're a smart person, and I think that you realize this is ridiculous. The law's a bit of imperialist bullying from the United States, and makes us look like jerks. Taking away funding for critical infrastructure and cultural programs due to the results of a democratic international process makes us look like spoiled children and only panders to an aging demographic that's likely to vote Democratic anyway.

You know what's right. Repeal the bill. Or even modify it to allow a vote on each international agency. That way, should it be too important to keep from funding some other organization, we can deal with that when it comes up. That allows us to pursue justice while still respecting the voices of those who might disagree with funding any individual agency.

Let's end this idiocy, Senator. Please do that for me.



Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Yes, CBS is actually running a contest where the grand prize is hanging out with Ozzy Osbourne in New York and getting a colonoscopy. According to the ad, it's Ozzy's secret fantasy.


Tips for teens!

American Life League bravely expose the perv agenda at Planned Parenthood. Lols abound.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

It's free, if you want it

More free/pay what you will music from Bandcamp.
Born to Deal in Magic: 1952-1976 byShooting Guns is instrumental stoner metal that's surprisingly tight and concise for a rambling genre.

Lugar's Concrete Light is Spanish Kraut in a Stereolab vein.

Tumbleweeds by Across Tundras is low-key prairie rock.

The Teenage Stranglers' Dark Sun E.P. sounds like Beat Happening; lo-fi jangly teenage fun.

The Times We Didn't Have Fun by Diehard is a Brooklyn album of '90s-style indie rock like you loved from Archers of Loaf and Magnapop.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Witch Mountain's South of Salem is stoner/gloom metal with a female vocalist. Sounds like PJ Harvey with the knob turned two more clicks toward "heavy."

Jake Kaufman's Mighty Milky Way/Mighty Flip Champs is epic 8-bit gamer music.

WATCH YOUR BACK by Butchers is noise slacker psych.

Cheaper than music

Oroborus, by Hypatia Lake. Solid stoner rock.

Sedan s/t. Simple, hypnotic piano/guitar and drums.

Kösmonaut 1, by Kosmonaut. Tangerine Dream-ish space rock.

Going Up, Coming Down, by Sudden Death of Stars. French psych in a sitar vein.

Psychonaut, by Cosmic Dead. Boy, the names of band and album really sum this one up. Good stuff.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Corrupt Autopilot's Inside the Crystal Palace.

I know Crystal Palace mostly as a dirt-cheap rotgut vodka. Turns out it's also some fuzzy indie fun. Stream/download the whole thing free.

Rainy day music

Julian Lynch's Mercury

Au Revior Simone's Another Likely Story (Neon Indian remix)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A world I want to exist

Watching Veronica Mars episode Green Eyed Monster, and this guy has all these Nick Cage posters up all over his house, and it turns out that it's actually Nick Cage's house. Which makes perfect sense because you just know that Nick Cage has Nick Cage posters up all over. Amy says Nick Cage doesn't stop there, he's got a room for every movie.

But you know Nick Cage can't afford separate rooms for sequels, so he's got a National Treasure room all done up with dark wood and brass, full of fake bookcases and Ben Franklin's glass throwing stars. Ghost Rider's obviously the garage; that crazy one with the numbers (Knowing) would make a great chalkboard kitchen decor. And who wouldn't want a Wicker Man apiary.

The really weird thing is that this guys' girlfriend thinks the incipient Nick Cage museum he's housesitting is supposed to be his, which means believing that you're dating the world's biggest Nick Cage fan, like, the only person that would have a Face/Off themed bathroom (it's got a mirror that makes you look like John Travolta), have a copy of World Trade Center, and a picture of Lisa Marie on his mantle.