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andee's world: January 2005

andee's world

Hello and welcome to my blog. This space will be devoted to opinions, observations, lists, articles and whatever else I feel like posting. Subjects will include music, human nature, politics, life in NYC, etc. If I paste someone else's writing up here, it is because the author said something way better than I ever could. By the way, I don't claim to be a particularly smart guy; I'm just a musician with some opinions. If you disagree with me, that's cool -- but then, you're probably wrong.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Snowstorm Music

Cocteau Twins, Head Over Heels
Jellyfish, Fan Club (Box Set)
R.E.M., Murmur
Moloko, I Am Not a Doctor
New Order, Movement
Kowanko, Kowanko
Siouxsie and the Banshees, Hyeana
Smashing Pumpkins, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
The Cure, Seventeen Seconds, The Top, Disintegration
The Wipers, Box Set
Kate Bush, Hounds of Love
Chaka Khan, Epiphany
PiL, The Flowers of Romance, This is What You Want This is What You Get
Replacements, Let It Be
Nirvana, Nevermind

Friday, January 21, 2005

You're a Rocker -- Now Wear This Uniform

There has always been a wonderful marriage between the worlds of music and fashion. Since both are very personal forms of creative expression, it only makes sense that they would go hand in hand -- after all, they both come from pretty much the same place, don't they?

As we all know, many of the most revolutionary artists of rock and roll have also been visually radical; the Beatles, or Jimi Hendrix, or David Bowie, or Johnny Rotten or Boy George would not have made quite the same impact on the world had they simply worn polo shirts and khakis onstage.

The problem is that, once the fans get hold of it, the fashion becomes fascism. And that's a drag. Each genre of popular music has implicit but rigidly understood and sanctioned dress codes that go with it, which are enforced by snobbish, insecure, provincial and narrow-minded scenesters. And the irony is that the dress is supposed to be a form of rebellion, when all it really ends up being, at the end of the day, is another form of conformity.

If you wanna call yourself a PUNK, for instance, then you should probably play it safe with the garb. You know the uniform -- mohawk, leather jacket, spikes, Doc Martens and Exploited patch, etc. You can set your watch by that shit. However, if you arrived at the hardcore matinee at the Continental dressed in drag, you may be asking for a beatdown -- even though it's about ten times more "punk" than red bootlaces and a Cro Mags shirt.

I love going to RAVES, but I must say it bums me out to see so damn many people under one roof wearing ridiculously oversize pants, chewing on pacifiers and waving glowsticks. You know what would be rad? Going to a rave wearing Ward Cleaver gear and smoking a pipe.

If you expect to be welcomed into the GOTH/INDUSTRIAL set, you better not have any Hawaiian shirts in your closet. Or white. Or colors. No, to show your individuality in the world, you must purchase a full wardrobe of black PVC -- then get goggles. Yes, goggles. No, not to wear over your eyes. You keep the goggles perched on your forehead. Don't ask why. Just do it.

Then there are the "I'M MORE PIERCED AND TATTOOED THAN YOU" types. One night while drinking PBRs at the lovely Three of Cups in the East Village, I spied a bumper sticker on the ceiling. It said, "YOU'RE NOT TATTOOED--FUCK YOU!"

Suit and tie...suit and tie....suit and tie...

One more thing -- remember the HAIR METAL scene in the 80s? In those days it was de riguer for every lead singer to wear bleach blonde hair, spandex, eyeliner, and do alot of pouting and kicks and stuff. Of course they were all imitating the great David Lee Roth, a true original who once said that his fashion sense was inspired by his two biggest heroes: Marylin Monroe and Tarzan. Now that's art. All those other jokers were just clueless frat boys copying a look they didn't even understand, and that's why they look ridiculous and Roth still looks totally cool.

Be yourself.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Lifestyles of the Rich and Heartless; A Look at Inauguration Week Festivities by Numbers

January 20, 2005

by Christy Harvey, Judd Legum and Jonathan Baskin
with Nico Pitney and Mipe Okunseinde

A look at this week's festivities by the numbers:

$40 million: Cost of Bush inaugural ball festivities, not counting security costs.

$2,000: Amount FDR spent on the inaugural in 1945…about $20,000 in today's dollars.

$20,000: Cost of yellow roses purchased for inaugural festivities by D.C.'s Ritz Carlton.

200: Number of Humvees outfitted with top-of-the-line armor for troops in Iraq that could have been purchased with the amount of money blown on the inauguration.

$10,000: Price of an inaugural package at the Fairmont Hotel, which includes a Beluga caviar and Dom Perignon reception, a chauffeured Rolls Royce and two actors posing as "faux" Secret Service agents, complete with black sunglasses and cufflink walkie-talkies.

400: Pounds of lobster provided for "inaugural feeding frenzy" at the exclusive Mandarin Oriental hotel.

3,000: Number of "Laura Bush Cowboy cookies" provided for "inaugural feeding frenzy" at the Mandarin hotel.

$1: Amount per guest President Carter spent on snacks for guests at his inaugural parties. To stick to a tight budget, he served pretzels, peanuts, crackers and cheese and had cash bars.

22 million: Number of children in regions devastated by the tsunami who could have received vaccinations and preventive health care with the amount of money spent on the inauguration.

1,160,000: Number of girls who could be sent to school for a year in Afghanistan with the amount of money lavished on the inauguration.

$15,000: The down payment to rent a fur coat paid by one gala attendee who didn't want the hassle of schlepping her own through the airport.

$200,500: Price of a room package at D.C.'s Mandarin Oriental, including presidential suite, chauffeured Mercedes limo and outfits from Neiman Marcus.

2,500: Number of U.S. troops used to stand guard as President Bush takes his oath of office

26,000: Number of Kevlar vests for U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan that could be purchased for $40 million.

$290: Bonus that could go to each American solider serving in Iraq, if inauguration funds were used for that purpose.

$6.3 million: Amount contributed by the finance and investment industry, which works out to be 25 percent of all the money collected.

$17 million: Amount of money the White House is forcing the cash-strapped city of Washington, D.C., to pony up for inauguration security.

9: Percentage of D.C. residents who voted for Bush in 2004.

66: Percentage of Americans who think this over-the-top inauguration should have been scaled back.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

U.S. Tells D.C. to Pay Inaugural Expenses --by Spencer S. Hsu

U.S. Tells D.C. to Pay Inaugural Expenses
Other Security Projects Would Lose $11.9 Million

By Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 11, 2005; Page A01

D.C. officials said yesterday that the Bush administration is refusing to reimburse the District for most of the costs associated with next week's inauguration, breaking with precedent and forcing the city to divert $11.9 million from homeland security projects.

Federal officials have told the District that it should cover the expenses by using some of the $240 million in federal homeland security grants it has received in the past three years -- money awarded to the city because it is among the places at highest risk of a terrorist attack.

But that grant money is earmarked for other security needs, Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) said in a Dec. 27 letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Joshua B. Bolten and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. Williams's office released the letter yesterday.

Williams estimated that the city's costs for the inauguration will total $17.3 million, most of it related to security. City officials said they can use an unspent $5.4 million from an annual federal fund that reimburses the District for costs incurred because of its status as the capital. But that leaves $11.9 million not covered, they said.

"We want to make this the best possible event, but not at the expense of D.C. taxpayers and other homeland security priorities," said Gregory M. McCarthy, the mayor's deputy chief of staff. "This is the first time there hasn't been a direct appropriation for the inauguration."

A spokesman for Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.), chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, which oversees the District, agreed with the mayor's stance. He called the Bush administration's position "simply not acceptable."

"It's an unfunded mandate of the most odious kind. How can the District be asked to take funds from important homeland security projects to pay for this instead?" said Davis spokesman David Marin.

The region has earmarked federal homeland security funds for such priorities as increasing hospital capacity, equipping firefighters with protective gear and building transit system command centers.

OMB spokesman Chad Kolton said no additional appropriation is needed for the inauguration.

"We think that an appropriate balance of money from [the annual reimbursement] fund and from homeland security grants is the most effective way to cover the additional cost the city incurs," Kolton said. "We recognize the city has a special burden to bear for many of these events. . . . That's expressly why in the post-9/11 era we are providing additional resources."

The $17.3 million the city expects to spend on this inauguration marks a sharp increase from the $8 million it incurred for Bush's first.

According to Williams's letter, the District anticipates spending $8.8 million in overtime pay for about 2,000 D.C. police officers; $2.7 million to pay 1,000-plus officers being sent by other jurisdictions across the country; $3 million to construct reviewing stands; and $2.5 million to place public works, health, transportation, fire, emergency management and business services on emergency footing.

Congressional aides said the District sought unsuccessfully last year to boost the annual security reimbursement fund from $15 million to $25 million to pay for inauguration expenses. In contrast, New York City and Boston-area lawmakers were able to obtain $50 million from Congress for each of those two jurisdictions to cover local security costs for the national political conventions.

Inauguration officials said they plan to spend $40 million on the four-day celebration, which will include fireworks, the swearing-in, a parade and nine balls. Those expenses -- which do not include security and other public services -- are being funded by private donors.

OMB and DHS spokesmen said they could not provide an estimate of what the inauguration will cost the federal government.

Federal employees who work in the District, Montgomery, Prince George's, Fairfax and Arlington counties, Alexandria and Falls Church are entitled to a holiday on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, the Office of Personnel Management has announced. As of June, the cost of giving federal workers in the capital area a day off was about $66 million.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) asked OPM chief Kay Coles James yesterday to dismiss federal employees at noon or 1 p.m. Jan. 19 to avoid gridlock. The Secret Service plans to close an area bordered by Constitution Avenue and E, 15th and 17th streets NW at 3:45 p.m. that day to accommodate a ceremony at the White House Ellipse, Norton's office said.