Friday, September 29, 2006

"christian america"

andrew sullivan notes atheist produced mock propaganda posters. the explanatory paragraphs when you click on the images are quality. interesting website all around.

my personal favorite.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

a glimmer of hope, no more.

well, it looks like mccain just capitulated to bush like the sauce did to life. my hopes for american democracy are genuinely dwindling.

ms. dahlia lithwick's depressingly accurate conclusion:

For the five years since 9/11, we have been in the dark in this country. This president has held detainees in secret prisons and had them secretly tortured using secret legal justifications. Those held in secret at Guantanamo Bay include innocent men, as do those who have been secretly shipped off to foreign countries and brutally ortured there. That was a shame on this president.

But passage of the new detainee legislation will be a different sort of watershed. Now we are affirmatively asking to be left in the dark. Instead of torture we were unaware of, we are sanctioning torture we'll never hear about. Instead of detainees we didn't care about, we are authorizing detentions we'll never know about. Instead
of being misled by the president, we will be blind and powerless by our own choice. And that is a shame on us all.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

the wise words of billy currell.

spenser hits the web.

celebrity drinking party:

if you could roll with 3 celebrities for an aggressive night out on the town, who would you choose? just for the record, the groundrules are that the possibility of sex with one of the celebrities cannot be a factor.

my crew?

dave chappelle
bill clinton
stephen colbert

honorable mentions: jon stewart, mos def, jeremy piven, stephen malkmus, conan o'brien.


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Fuck Gnarles Barkley

I still don't understand why so many people love Gnarles Barkley and think they're so fascinating & soulful. This is REAL soul music and what soul music should sound like FUCK Gnarles Barkley

Saturday, September 23, 2006

30 second reviews

Three Six Mafia Chapter 2: World Domination
Not as good as the End but, yeah, the name says it all.

Bonnie Prince Billie The Letting Go
Weirder than anything of late, with strings. Actually probably my second or third favorite of all his stuff. Some of it could fit on the Wicker Man soundtrack.

Bonnie Prince Billie Little Lost Blues
Limited release as a bonus disc to TLG. Not as good as previous Lost Blues editions. "Barcelona" is kinda like Will doing E6. Maybe he's been listening to Phosphorescent.

Music From the Morning of the World
I got this after obsessing over this documentary called Ring of Fire where these two British guys go to Indonesia and hang out with cannibals and guys that can make paper catch fire by thinking about it. Nice to listen to, along with the companion Java record, if you want to get in good with Josh McKay. Or if you just like cool stuff.

Boredoms JV team? Not really. More like Boredoms world music team. Not as good as the last one I bought.

Boredoms Super Roots Vol. 1
Found this super rare record for 7.99 at Wuxtry. 10 "songs" or so that sound like pudge barking on acid. Yeah, pretty awesome.

Royal Trux Sweet Sixteen
Out of print so good luck. The heroin duo at their absolute tackiest, trashiest, most Guns and Rosesish, and maybe at their best. Virgin probably shit their pants when they heard this one.

Tortoise A Lazarus Taxon
One of the only truly necessary rarities comps of the year from one of the only truly necessary bands of the 90s. Worth it alone for "Gamera."

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Take next Wednesday off and admire the bright blue sky

I went to two quality rock shows on Tuesday and Wednesday night. On Tuesday night, Calexico and a pleasantly surprising opening band called Oakley Hall played at the 40 Watt. The sound was poor and it was a typical overly chatty Athens crowd, but as a working stiff there's nothing quite like rockin' out and drinking heavily on a Tuesday night. More appealing than the show, however, was the satisfying feeling of wondering around Athens on a Wednesday afternoon while the rest of the city had somewhere to be.

I saw Sufjan Stevens last night at the Fox Theater. I know many people scoff when his name is mentioned, but I think he's really doing something different yet very listenable. The show was notably different from the great show I saw in Athens awhile back. This time he added a string section of about 8-10 people and trombone to the usual two trumpets, banjo, piano, and rock instruments. Now, strings can get really hokey fast, but in this case the arrangements were meticulous enough that the dreaded "rock band with strings" never crossed my mind. Give Illinoise and Michigan a good listen if you haven't already and definitely go see him live, especially if he plays somewhere classy like the Fox Theater. The shows are short and sweet, a little less than 2 hours and always unique.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A piece of Athens

On Sunday night I saw Don Chambers play in Berlin after I had dinner with Sanni and him a couple of days before. It was so good to see him play on a stage that is thousands of miles away from the stages he usually plays on. He told the audience that he’s from the South of America and gave everyone an idea of what that means by playing his banjo like the devil himself. For an hour he took me back to the town that I should have never left and it felt great...

Monday, September 18, 2006

I tried to link this yesterday and i'm sick of trying

Go to

The Republicans lame attempt at The Onion or Daily Show

since many of you are probably planning on seeing it...

... i just wanted to give you a heads-up that "the black dahlia" sucks. big time. this movie is to "la confidential" was dan quayle was to jack kennedy. i don't know if that analogy makes sense ('88 VP debate?), but i'm sticking with it.

it's hard to say what made it suck, but suffice to say that the star-studded cast could do nothing to save it (not that any of them did much to try). one of the big problems is that at the end of the flick, when the the intermingled plot-lines are resolving, your reaction is not "oh, of course. i wish i was smart enough to have seen it coming", but rather "oh. i guess that's what happened." there really weren't any clues or suspense, they just explain it.

the ladyfriend made the most telling point about this movie as we exited: that if we had been watching at home, we probably would have turned it off. it was that bad. in fact, i would say it was the worst movie i've seen in the theatre in years.

Friday, September 15, 2006

For just ten minutes...

The headline on (in response to the Spinach E. Coli story) was "Toss that Salad." By the time I went back to link it it was gone.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

a glimmer of hope.

bushy's illegal, immoral, and tragically short-sighted stances on detainee rights took a hit today from the senate armed services committee. colin powell comes out against his boss, stating what is probably the most significant [and long-lasting] of the repercussions from the bushy administration's jingoistic posture: that “the world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism.” as well they might.

these happening make me think, with a glimmer of hope, of a quote my pops forwarded to me a couple months back. i've started using it as my email signature line. before anyone comments, i realize it's kinda lame to have a political signature line (for that matter any signature line). but i do, so fuck off. enjoy.

"A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to its true principles." - Thomas Jefferson

a new carter is born:

jason and kate carter had a kid a few weeks ago. young henry will almost certainly grow to be smarter, more successful, and more personable than anyone who reads this blog. we wish him the best.

Monday, September 11, 2006

DJ Mahogany @ Little Kings Latherin' Up The Funk

Hi to all,

I've got my first show at Little Kings in months...I'm going to be playing nothing but soul goodness all night long. I just wanted to invite everyone and ask everyone to please help me spread the word. It's a free show and everything will start at 11 p.m. I hope everyone comes to out the shake their ass especially the Sauce...and Mike...and Ben...and Dave C....and John K....well hell...all the hot boys (and girls) who contribute to this blog... I hope to see you out.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Cobblestone-Snake

I often ride my bike across Berlin for hours just to get used to my new home and to enjoy the sometimes hidden beauty of this huge city. A couple of weeks ago I watched TV after one of these bike rides and learned that the following day marked a historical date that didn’t only have a huge impact on my life but on the lifes of millions of other people.

Exactly 45 years ago in the night from August 12 to August 13, 1961 thousands of soldiers and policeman had blocked off the Soviet sector from the rest of Berlin. The East German leaders had set the foundation to what is now known to people from all over the world as the “Berlin Wall.” Walter Ulbricht, then the political leader of East Germany, was cited in June 1961 with the words: “No-one has any intentions to build a wall” after being asked by a West German Journalist. Two months later he gave the order to build a monster that separated millions from each other, killed hundreds, and led to the Cold War.

Today this war is history. On my bike rides I cross the border between former East and West Berlin several times every day often without noticing it. The only visible sign of the wall is a line of cobblestones that seems to crawl through the streets of Berlin like a giant snake. This line marks the position of the former wall. The cobblestone-line cuts through streets, runs along sidewalks, separates big squares, stops at one end of a brand new building just to start again on the other side of it. It runs over bridges, along rivers, and across open fields and parks.

Today my roommate and I followed the line across the city with our bikes. We passed a lot of pieces of the original wall that are scattered across town. Most of them are part of memorials or are protected as pieces of art. The memorials are impressive and silent witnesses of a past period. We passed museums that address different issues related to the separated Germany. We passed world famous sights like the Reichstag and the Brandenburg Gate where tourists take their pictures and where only a few remember how different these places used to look like only a little more than a decade ago. Most amazing for me was to see how totally different architectural stiles developed on both sides of some roads. Without knowing what the cobblestone-line in the middle of those roads stands for, one would have a hard time to explain this phenomenon.

Even though I grew up in the former Eastern part of Germany I have problems to imagine that a lot of people paid with their lifes trying to cross this line that I cross several times a day on my way to work or on my way to see a friend. I have had the strong desire to write this post for a while now because I witness the same thing every single weekend: The park a block from my house is called the “Mauerpark” – the “wall park.” It used to be a part of the so-called death strip behind the wall. Instead of soldiers with machine guns, barbed wire, mines, and observation platforms you can watch parents smiling along with their kids, people playing soccer and music – today there even was a guy with a drum set – friends grilling sausages and drinking beer, dogs all over, people reading and talking in all kinds of languages, and lovers enjoying the sun.

When it gets dark all these people go home crossing the cobblestone-snake that runs through the park, in one or the other direction just to come back the next weekend. How bizarre must all this be for people who stood infront of the wall 20 years ago dreaming to get across it in the hope for a better life…I really hope people will learn.

Friday, September 01, 2006


Movies come in a lot of varities: good, bad, weird, etc. But as "The Onion" has pointed out repeatedly, some movies aren't so much bad as they are completely unnecessary. Sequels are usually completely unnecessary, but even a horrible sequel isn't as unnecessary as the copy-cat movie that loses the race to the theaters.

And so now we have "Infamous" - another movie, not just about Truman Capote, but about his writing In Cold Blood. As if it weren't unnecessary enough, they've replaced Catherine Keener with Sandra Bullock (who, as a buddy of mine once said, needs to be executed gangland-style).

I sort of understand how this sort of thing happens with other types of movies. One studio hears that another studio is doing a movie about an asteroid crashing in the Earth, and they just can't stand getting beaten to the punch. But Truman Capote? I can just picture a movie studio executive going "What? What? Paramount has a Capote film? Goddamit, why don't we have a film about Truman Capote!!."

I would've given Infamous the award for least necessary copy-cat movie sight-unseen. But that was before I stumbled across "Without Limits" in the middle of the night on HBO. Not just a completely uninspired biopic about semi-famous 1970s middle distance runner Steve Prefontaine starring the always wooden Billy Crudup, but a note-for-note copy of "Prefontaine" which came out the year before and starred the even less charismatic Jared Leto. "Without Limits" basically threw down the gauntlet of non-necessity. We'll have to wait to see if "Infamous" will pick it up.