August 27th, 2005
"...so get dressed and go fetch me a flagon of ale!"
Lots to address.
My song "You Ruined Everything" is now available on the compilation Buzzlighter 10: Direct Connections from Shut Eye Records. I'm not entirely sure how to get ahold of it, but their website says you can do so practically for free, and the couple songs I've listened to so far have been worth hearing. However, on the back cover, my song is erroneously listed as "You Ruining Everything." Which makes me sound like a Japanese punk band. A description that is a bit of an oversimplification, to say the least. My question to you all is this: should I make a big deal of it? I paid quite a bit (by my standards) for the song's inclusion on the compilation, and Shut Eye got the title right in the liner notes, so I'm certain it was their error and not the result of a careless mistake when I filled out a form or anything. And since I haven't yet heard anything in response to my job interview two weeks ago, every dollar matters to a depressing degree. Not a degree that was an obstacle to my purchase of the new New Pornographers album, which is awesome, but still, a degree that's larger than I'd like.
I wasn't particularly upset when Bev pointed this boner out to me or anything (it's a minor mistake compared with the initial pressing of Airbag, where the printing company misspelled the name of the band as "Disclaim" on 2,500 copies), but my worry is this: on the slim chance some radio station receives the compilation and decides my song is deserving of airplay, the DJ may announce the incorrect title. Thus, on the even slimmer chance that some listener then wants to check out my album, if they do a Google search for "You Ruining Everything," they're not going to find any Disclaimer-related information. Except possibly this entry. So, while I certainly don't think I'm entitled to a full refund or anything, this mistake could theoretically be really counterproductive to what I'd hoped buying a slot on the compilation would accomplish. Or am I blowing this out of proportion? What do you all think?
Of course it goes without saying that I now fully plan to record a song called "You Ruining Everything." Just as I've been referring to my brother- both publicly and privately- as "T-Bone" since the All Music Guide inexplicably credited him as such. How I love the folly of man!
Bev and I went to Portland a couple days ago to see the Pernice Brothers. They played at this neat little "alternative arts venue" called Space, which is sometimes an art gallery and sometimes a concert place, and which has benches and is therefore better than a lot of indie-rock clubs. The first opener was Jose Ayerve, the Pernice Brothers' road manager and member of the bands Spouse and the Nuclear Waste Management Club. I liked his music. Some of it was in Spanish, and still struck me on a more emotional level than most bands who sing in English can accomplish.
After Jose came Cloud Room, who reminded me just how sick I am of these boring, hookless hipster bands whose lead singers think they're a version of Lou Reed who's even more concerned with the possibility of anonymous groupie sex. They're one of those bands whose every kick of the bass drum makes you acutely aware of each second of your life that's passing you by as you sit through their fucking dentist's waiting room of a set. To steal a joke from Todd Barry, if you asked Cloud Room's A&R representative what they sound like, he'd say, "They're really hard to describe." You'd say, "Try me," and he'd say, "Alright: they sound sorta like The Strokes, but crossed with Television and The Velvet Underground and a poppier version of... the New Bomb Turks, maybe?" To which you'd say, "Oh. So they sound like The Strokes."
The Pernice Brothers were predictably, typically amazing. This was the sixth or seventh time I've seen them live, and it was quite possibly their best show I've seen. Impeccable sound (even during the harmony bit at the end of "7:30," which rarely sounds right live), a setlist that included every song I especially wanted to hear except "Everyone Else is Evolving,"
and a fun anecdote, when Bev went to use the ladies' and came upon Peyton Pinkerton and James Walbourne yelling through a door at Joe Pernice for taking way too long in the men's room. She offered to let them go ahead of her in the women's room and they laughed.
During the "Joe solo" bit of the encore listed above, following a killer version of "Bum Leg," Joe told us the story behind the Scud Mountain Boys masterpiece "Grudgefuck": "I used to have a girlfriend who was obsessed with the old Gin Blossoms song 'Hey Jealousy'- which is a fine song, I must confess. But she would play it for me over and over and tell me to listen to the lyrics and say, 'You see what he's saying? You can't just leave and come back and leave and come back,' and I said, 'No- that guy is clearly just trying to get laid. That's what the song is about.' And I liked that, so I wrote 'Grudgefuck' as kind of a companion piece to 'Hey Jealousy.'" Which just makes it all the cooler, in my book.
Portland itself was also very cool. Great record stores. Also, Bev and I stopped in an Asian food market and bought some goodies. Or, rather, she bought some goodies while I bought a melon-flavored Japanese soda in a bottle that contained a marble to prevent you from taking more than one sip at a time:
Its label contains the phrase "For even more delicious this drink chill before drinking," so there's no comprehensible explanation for why the marble is there, but it sucks and I hate it. Also, the local pigeons seemed resistant to Bev's attempt to favor them with the seaweed-rice crackers she'd purchased at the same store. Lousy stuck-up pigeons. Think they're so big.
Also in Portland, we picked up a free paper called The West End News, and it contained a hilarious "heard around town" column that featured the following entry on one of their delivery boys: "PaperBoy is usually very safety-conscious because he really believes the odds will eventually catch up with him, but he was riding the WestEndNewsCycle down High Street the wrong way the other day when some guy in a crappy little car coming up the hill gave him a disapproving look and stuck out his finger at him. Of course, PaperBoy didn't respond, because he is mature enough to realize that some people have bad manners, some people are envious, and some people are road hogs, and some people are all of the above."
In the past week, Bev and I have also seen the Monmouth Community Players' productions of The Taming of the Shrew and Love's Labours Lost. I'd never seen or read either play, and although both productions were fabulous, creative, and enjoyable, the last ten minutes of the former were so misogynous that it left the worst taste I've had in my mouth since I stopped eating cube steak. I like 10 Things I Hate About You much better. And Clueless better still, though that's probably not really related. Love's Labours Lost was a treat from start to finish, though.
For those of you with Netflix, the Flaming Lips documentary Fearless Freaks is the best non-Stop Making Sense rock 'n' roll film I've ever seen. Sure, it fawns over its subjects, but it also features self-effacing interviews with the band about their early incarnations, a hilariously bitter interview with Gibby Haynes from the Butthole Surfers (alongside more complimentary ones from Liz Phair and the Starlight Mints), and as its centerpiece, a remarkably straightforward interview with Stephen Drozd about his heroin addiction as he's shooting up. For those of you who understandably think of Wayne Coyne as a self-indulgent megalomaniac, this film may change your mind. For those of you without Netflix, why not? You can get great DVDs like Wild Strawberries, Incident at Oglala, and Hell House, which will make you a much better person than you are.
Finally, here's a fun quotation from the book You Are Worthless by Scott Dikkers: "Lonely? Have kids. They'll be like an Alzheimer's patient at first, then they'll be like a high-maintenance pet, then they'll be like your worst enemy, then they might call once in a while. Finally, in your old age, they'll neglect you. By the way, this whole de-lonelification process will cost you a few hundred thousand dollars." Exactly.
CURRENT MUSIC: We Are All Natural Disasters by Hanalei.
CURRENT MOOD: In midlife crisis mode. I'm blessed with a nice, full head of hair, and I'd never had any gray hairs until a couple days ago, when suddenly there were dozens visible among the brown, all at once. Isn't that sort of thing supposed to happen only if you get struck by lightning or accidentally step on a leprechaun or something?
NEWEST DISCOVERY ABOUT NOVI THE COCKATIEL: In addition to hating it when I sing Beck's "Novacane" to her as "Novi-cane," she hates it when I sing ABBA's "Knowing Me, Knowing You" to her as "Novi Me, Novi You." She hisses.