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.

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.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Who funded that?

Tonight, some guy stopped to talk to me who said that it was all well and good to teach kids about tolerance, because it wasn't gays' fault that they were like that, it was their parents' fault. See, kids turn gay because parents don't love them enough, and that means the first time they feel affection for somebody, they confuse it with sex.

"Uh, I don't think that's right at all," I say.

"No, they proved it with studies. There was a study in Germany where they took ten kids and the nurse only touched three of them, but five of them could hear her singing. The ones that were touched turned out normal; the ones that only heard singing grew up messed up, you know, gay; the other five died," he said.

"When was that study done?" I ask, because my guess is, Sir, that's some Nazi shit you're spouting.

"I don't know, but two years ago, they did the same thing at UCLA."

"Sir, I'm sorry, but there is literally no way at all that they did that study again at UCLA."

"I read about it in the Times."

"Well, then, either you're misremembering it, or the Times got it wrong, because there is literally no way that an Institutional Review Board would let researchers kill kids."

"I read about it in the Times."

"There is absolutely zero chance that either of these studies happened after World War Two, and I know enough people in academia that there is no way that could happen. I'm sorry. Anyway, back to the Fair Education Act — it protects kids now, since you agree that it's not their fault that they're bullied."

"Oh, bullying, that's terrible. We just need to get parents to stop plopping the kids down in front of the TV, ignoring them, you know, so they can work an extra job to buy more cars or whatever. Then they won't be gay or bullied."

"So, can I count on your support for the Fair Education Act?"

"No, it's the parents we need to work on, not schools. If parents just loved their kids, no one would be gay."

"Uh. OK. You have a great night then," I say, thinking that this guy needs professional fucking therapy, and if I have to talk to him for 30 more seconds, I'm going to slip and tell him exactly how stupid I think he is.

I get home, and I start talking to Amy about it. Like, seriously, what kinda department would let you just start killing babies? And what's the lit review there look like? What are the previous baby-killing experiments? "Multiple Modalities in Confined Infant Head Traumas?" Oh yeah, that's when we put 'em in a sack and hit 'em with hammers. But, you know, small sample size. To be sure, we're going to have to kill a lot more babies.

"Oh yeah, Amy says, "what about throwing them in rivers?"

"What kind of sample size do we need to get this published?" I say.

"What methodology are you using to distinguish your sacks of babies in the river from other people's sacks?" she asks.

"How long do we have to keep the bodies to make sure they stay dead once they're drowned?"

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Reading room

From Obama and Geithner, no real fixes for fraudonomics. Matt Taibbi questions whether the executive is serious about dealing with systemic financial abuses.

The Nation looks at how climate change became a key plank in the anarcho-capitalist kulturkampf, and whether we're willing to pay the price to save our planet.

Speaking of capitalism, Matt Stoller, author of Naked Capitalism, points out ideological problems that Ron Paul highlights for the liberal establishment. (I tend to think that Stoller oversells the efficacy of Paul's critique of central authority's expression in military-industrial terms, but it's a good, brief essay about a thousand times more coherent and less cherry-picked than Glenn Greenwald's customary hate-on for Obama that linked to it.)

Similar to Stoller's discussion of historical plates in American liberalism, Haaretz looks at shifts in the Israeli left, in the context of the Occupy protests.

And speaking of Occupy, this (now outdated) article from The Nation, "Hard Times at Occupy Boston, looks at the problems of small self-government and describes some of the challenges that were overlooked in the national unsympathetic coverage.