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andee's world: June 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.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Karl Rove, Mighty Warrior

Karl Rove: "Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war...Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers"

What a fat, lying, cowardly piece of shit.

Not only was all of America united after the attacks of 9/11, not only did President Bush receive nearly unilateral support from both Republicans and Democrats for his plan to go after Bin Laden and company in Afghanistan (there was only one dissenting vote), but the United States also had the support of the rest of the world following the attacks of 9/11. Nobody questioned Bush's initial strategy.

Oh, that's right, we're still supposed to believe that this disastrous campaign in Iraq has something to do with 9/11, right? And if we oppose the Iraq war, then we support terrorism, right?

Hey Karl -- quit trying to sell us that line because no one believes it anymore.

I love how these chickenshit Republicans like Bush, Cheney and Rove, who have never been in combat a single day of their lives, like to characterize themselves as the brave ones. At least one third of the men and women serving our country in the furnace of Iraq right at this moment are what Rove would call "liberals" -- they voted for John Kerry last year. Democrats. Those "liberals" are getting their asses shot off in a chaotic hellhole while Karl Rove shoots his mouth off from the air-conditioned safety of his secret service-protected bubble.

Talk is cheap: "we saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war."

Karl Rove, when have you ever prepared for war? When have you ever fought for your country? When have you ever put on a uniform and gotten in the trenches? And you, Bush, and you, Cheney?

It's like Bush's "bring it on" remark -- it's easy to swagger when you know you'll never have to face your enemy in person, isn't it?

What a sickening, cowardly thing to say. What a monstrous bunch of fucking cowards.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Some Times I Wish I Were Bruce Lee

I'm not a violent guy. I haven't been in a fight since the 8th grade, and even then I was ambushed -- I didin't even start it. I'm about as much a "live-and-let-live" kinda person as you're likely to meet. I am profoundly indifferent toward other people. I'm big on minding my own business.

But there are people who don't return this courtesy. There are people who think it is their right -- even their duty -- to disrespect other people for absolutely no reason. When I say "disrespect" I mean everything from smirking and pointing at to physically attacking a person.

These people make me entertain very violent, ugly fantasies. These are the people who make me wish I knew martial arts. Bruce Lee and I share a birthdate; maybe that has something to do with it. But some people, I really think, desperately need an ass-kicking. Sometimes I want to be the one to give it to them.

There was the wasted homophobe who screamed at me on the train "YOU FUCKING FAGGOT, I HOPE YOU DIE OF AIDS YOU FUCKING FAGGOT" over and over while his posse held him back from beating me to a pulp. If his friends hadn't been there, the guy would've torn my throat out. The pure burning hate in this man's eyes was something to see. Then their stop came and they dragged him off the train, but not before he threw his 40 oz at me.

Had I the skills of the mighty Bruce Lee, would I have been wrong to demolish his jawbone with a well-placed kick?

There was the "punker-than-thou" dirtbag chick who came up out of nowhere in a bar and pulled my nose-to-ear chain out of my face because she didn't like my band. Would it have been wrong for me to crack her in the head? I know it's not cool to hit girls, but I didn't really want to hit her anyway -- I wanted to break the bottom off a bottle and stick it in her face.

There was the group of frat boys standing in front of the club. When I walked past, one of them yelled "F. A. G.!! F. A. G.!! F. A. G.!!" over and over. I took the high road and ignored this loser -- but, had I been Bruce, maybe I would have turned around dealt him a swift rain of efficient blows, leaving him in a bloody, pathetic heap on the sidewalk. Maybe an encounter like that would have made him think twice in the future about disrespecting strangers in the street. Would that have been such a bad thing?

Sometimes people bring out the worst in me. I feel like some people are a waste of life, a waste of blood and organs, a waste of oxygen.

Is this wrong?

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Myspace as Anthropological Curiosity

A few recurring Myspace archetypes:

If you're on Myspace, you've seen this one a billion times -- the amateur pinup girl. Her photo section is maxed out with an ever-rotating gallery of underwear shots, not to mention the additional dozen-or-so self-portraits stuck all over her graphically-overburdened homepage, which practically crashes your computer in the download process. As far as the Myspace Pinup Girl is concerned, there can never be too many pictures. She'll post eighteen bulletins a day to announce that she's put up "new pics," which always look like she took them in her parents' bathroom.

You're saying, "holy Vanity Gone Wild, Batman!", but wait! -- the "About Me" blurb reassures you that "If you think I'm just a pretty face think again, I am inteligent and fierce and deffinatly more then meets the eye."

Oh! How did I miss that?

Myspace is a dating service for some, and it is interesting to see the radically different ways in which guys and gals present themselves to the rest of the community. Some are painfully open and earnest, while others hide behind an elaborate smoke-and-mirrors presentation.

On the a-little-too-eager side of things, here's a Myspace blurb written by a divorced man from New Jersey:

Who I'd like to meet:
SOME NEW FRIENDS."I WOULD LIKE TO JUST MEET NEW PEOPLE OF ALL KIND'S". MY THING IS PLAYING MUSIC, I PLAY THE DRUMS AND THE PIANO. I CAN SING AND WRIGHT MUSIC AS WELL. . I LOVE TO DRAW AND PAINT AND HAVE BEEN DOIN SO MOST OF MY LIFE. I TRY TO DO MY BEST AS A MAN. IM NO ANGEL! "BUT WISH I WAS." I WANNA BE THE MAN GOD WANTS ME TO BE, IT'S NOT MY WILL ITS HIS.I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO MEET A LADY WHO LIKE'S TO LAUGH & ENJOY HAVING FUN. WHO ENJOY'S CONVERSATION ALL THE TIME. WHO WILL TAKE ME AS I AM! SOMEONE WITH A GREAT PERSONALITY, SOMEONE WHO ENJOY'S TO DANCE,WALK,PLAY, AND BE ROMANTIC.I WANNA MEET SOMEONE WHO JUST LOVE'S TO BE HELD, HUG'D & KISS'T ALL THE TIME.IM A FUN LOVING PERSON. "PLEDGE OF LOVE'' I've made a vow, to no one but you I pledge my love to forever be true I'll take care of you and treat you right I'll lay beside you all through the night I'll feed you and clothe you and keep you warm I'll hug you and kiss you and give shelter in the storm I'll help you and guide you and clear a path I'll protect you and shield you from an angry man's wrath I'll listen to your problems help you solve them too I'll make you a rainbow and let the sun shine through I'll take your side even if you're wrong Just to prove our love is strong I'll plant you flowers and make them grow They'll be a symbol of love that only we'll know I'll whisper your name when no one is near So low that only you can hear You'll feel my love even if we're apart You'll know that we are one in heart. All my love alway's, Frank.

Well, hey, I appreciate the man's sincerity, I really do. Cheers, Frank!

On the other end of the spectrum, you've got the brooding, fetish-y types who try to seem as dark and impenetrable as possible by affecting a carefully cultivated aloofness. You know them -- they've got adjectives for names. All of their photos are professionally shot, with lots of latex in the wardrobe. They listen to goth/industrial bands you've never heard of. Cryptic, nonsensical blurbs create a facade of "edginess" and reveal just enough about the person to seem exotically alluring -- yet completely unavailable. A cyber turn on!

Myspace is a great promotional tool, if you're selling something. My band has gotten some visibility from being on the site, but we're definitely not using the networking potential to its fullest extent (I'm a lousy schmoozer). But many of the other musos on Myspace are obnoxiously aggressive about selling themselves. They take every opportunity available to plaster their self-promo across the landscape. If you've got a profile on Myspace, chances are a band has already used it as advertising space.

Here's a typical scenario: you get a "friend request" from a band. If you accept the request, their foot is now in your door, and they will start promoting. First thing they'll do is leave a comment on your page, which will go something like this:

"Hey, thanks for the add! You rock! Check out our video and download our new songs at and stop down to our show this Thursday at the Douchebag Lounge, etc etc..."

This friendly greeting is, of course, framed in a giant, bandwidth-gobbling banner that now dominates about a third of your homepage and features a huge rendering of the band's logo, photos, all the requisite web links, and maybe even a video, if they're particularly obnoxious. It's like having a neon sign installed on the front of your house.

And by the way, these people? They have no interest in you whatsoever.

Ok, you get your Myspace profile set up. Now all you have to do is pick a default photo -- this, along with your name, will become your thumbnail identity on Myspace, like an icon. Your photo is probably what will draw people in more than anything else, right?

So pick a good one! A flattering shot that highlights your great cheekbones; an action shot that catches you doing what you love to do -- like surfing or playing your guitar; a photo that reveals your loveable sense of humor -- you know, lampshade over the head, that kind of thing.

Or, use a photo in which you are posing with 15 of your friends, and leave people to guess which one you are.

I don't know why so many people do this. Maybe they're trying to say "look at how popular I am!" Or perhaps,

"Hi, my name is Julie, and I'm an 18-headed monster!! ARRRRRRR"

On your Myspace page, you get to share a bit about yourself by listing your favorite movies, books, general interests, etc. The "favorite music" section is often worth a chuckle because so many people are just afraid to admit that they only like one kind of music. Either that, or they genuinely think that being "eclectic" means listening to both rock and hip hop. I always see stuff like:

"I don't just like one kind of music, I'm all over the place, I listen to pretty much everything -- Jay Z, Britney, J-Lo, Linkin Park. Anything goes!"

And if I had a nickel for every time I've seen "I listen to everything except country," I would be able to buy Myspace...and turn it into an all-country music website. Which is exactly what I would do.

I can understand why some people are so bored. Home with the 'rents in a small town, not much to do. The cure for this excruciating suburban ennui? The internet! And, more specifically, Myspace, where you can post thousands of bulletins to your other bored friends all day long.

No topic is too trifling for the Myspace bulletin board, no observation too inane. Some common subjects of bulletin postings include:

*up-to-the-minute updates on your haircut

*your feelings on puppies

*surveys on topics like "where was the wildest place you had sex?! what is your favorite position?! have you ever been in a 3-some?!"

*copy-and-paste chain mail postings which, depending upon whether or not you participate, will ensure either three years of good luck or eternal damnation in hell

* new photos of yourself (see also the MYSPACE PINUP GIRL). The urgency of sharing the latest fruits of your digital camera is a given. So is your tragic need for hourly compliments.

Like I said, I totally understand why people are bored. But the Myspace bulletin board is almost useless to anyone who has anything serious to post on it. No matter what you've got to say, it is bound to be washed away in the ceaseless tide of trivial minutiae...

Alot of people on Myspace seem to be following a biological imperative to collect as many Myspace friends as they possibly can -- the more the better; quantity over quality. These are the ones who blindly solicit your "friendship" without sending a note or even checking out your page to any great extent.

And I have noticed that alot of bands, particularly, make it a point to stack their "friends" section with loads and loads of porn and model chicks. I'm not sure why...but I keep seeing the same platinum-haired, silicon-enhanced hussies all the time on band sites! Do all those bands really know these 15-20 gals from Los Angeles with names like "Tequila" and "Forbidden", or do they just want the cheap eye candy?

And by the way, if you ever look at the porn and model chicks' profiles (which I have), you'll notice that these young ladies always have thousands of friends -- and piles and piles of ass-kissing comments left by drooling, sycophantic, horny guys who think that maybe, just maybe, if they say the right thing, they will get lucky.

And, who knows? Maybe they will. After all, it's Myspace, where dreams can come true...

And the mating call rings out:

"Damn, gurl, ur hott!"

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Eat Up the Hot, Black Night

I love Robert Smith. I doubt if there will ever be another musician who will capture my imagination so completely. I've been a fan since '90 or '91, a little after Disintegration came out. Since then I have systematically explored every nook and cranny of the Cure's career. I've bought all the albums, singles, videos, bootlegs and books I can find. Cure fans are nothing if not obsessive, and if you're a Cure fan, then you understand my thorough absorption with this music.

My favorite period of the Cure is undoubtedly the '82 to '85 phase -- just a few years, but musically an incredibly rich and creatively restless time in Robert Smith's life. It was also, probably not coincidentally, the darkest and most chaotic time in his life, during which he took copious amounts of hallucinogens, destroyed relationships with friends, fell into bouts of depression, nihilism and even violence, broke up (and reformed) the band and probably entertained the notion of suicide more than once.

During this short but insane period, Robert Smith prolifically made four Cure albums (Pornography, Japanese Whispers, The Top and The Head on the Door), two Siouxsie and the Banshees records (Hyaena and Nocturne) and a wonderfully mental one-off LP with Banshee bassist Steve Severin (The Glove's Blue Sunshine), plus a slew of brilliant Cure B-sides.

Think about how much music that is for four years -- these days that kind of output is unheard of. But what's more mind-blowing is how rapidly the music evolves. There is a breathless, feverish spirit of experimentation that marks The Cure's music from this period; it is fiercely undefinable yet completely identifiable. The musical adventurousness that blossomed in this era touched off a good decade's worth of fearless, genre-defying music-making for The Cure.

I still make mix tapes, partly because I'm a luddite and partly because making mix tapes is better than making mix CDs. You can't work the pause button when you're making a CD. You can't ride the recording level. You can't be very artful about it. I hate mix CDs, honestly. You've gotta have a boring, uniform, 4-second gap between all the songs, and the volume levels careen wildly from one track to the next, depending on how loud the source disc is.

Anyway, that's a whole different rant. Point is, I still make loads of mix tapes -- I've got hundreds of them. Most of them are of the 'various artists' type, but I also love making compilations from just one band's catalog. I've made many Cure mixes, but my favorite one is a tape I made two years ago. It's not so much a "Cure mix" as a "Mad Bob" mix, which focuses mostly on Smith circa '82 - '85.

Alot of this music is wired directly to my impressions of summer -- there's something about the demented, wonderfully warped sounds of early eighties Cure that evokes delirious, sleepless, tar-black summer nights spent in the studio, exorcising the nightmare visions and lurid colors of a tortured imagination.



"Shake Dog Shake" (from The Top, 1984)

"Short Term Effect" (from Pornography, 1982)

"Perfect Murder" (from Blue Sunshine, 1984)

"The Kiss" (from Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, 1987)

"Torture" (from Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me)

"This Twilight Garden" (B-side from Wish, 1992)

"Kyoto Song" (from The Head on the Door, 1985)

"Sex Eye Makeup" (from Blue Sunshine)

"The Funeral Party" (from Faith, 1981)

"Bananafishbones" (from The Top)


"The Hanging Garden" (from Pornography)

"Siamese Twins" (from Pornography)

"Just One Kiss" (from Japanese Whispers, 1983)

"Like Cockatoos" (from Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me)

"All I Want" (from Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me)

"The Blood" (from The Head On the Door)

"Six Different Ways" (from The Head On the Door)

"Mouth to Mouth" (from Blue Sunshine)

"Cold" (from Pornography)


I'll make a copy of it for you if you want...but then, you probably don't have a tape deck...

Burning in summer,

Monday, June 13, 2005

I Shed No Tears for CBGBs

I know some people are going to skin me for saying this, but here goes anyway -- I don't give a rat's ass that CBGB is closing down. Right now alot of people are rallying around the old landmark club in these "Save CB's" efforts, but not me. CBGB's expiration date passed a long time ago and it's time for the damn place to die a natural death.

I can hear you already: "WHAT?! CB's is legendary, man! What about the whole NYC punk scene that was born there?! It's a historical landmark!"

Yeah, but as a club, it has sucked for years, probably for way longer than the time that it was actually cool. Whatever CBGBs used to represent is just an old dream now. Whatever aesthetic identity it once had has been completely lost. Yeah, the close-knit, fertile music community that blossomed there in the seventies must have been fantastic -- for a brief period of time, you could stumble into CBs on a given night and witness great ideas being born on the stage. Bands like Television, Blondie and the Ramones could be seen playing together on one bill. And then at the end of the night Debbie Harry would drive everyone home in her beat up car. Everyone knew eachother and supported eachother and it was a very exciting, but short lived moment in time.

But when was the last time CBGB even put on a night of cohesive music? -- of bands that actually make sense playing on the same stage on the same night together? Louise, who's been booking CB's for about 150 years now, is so jaded and over her job at this point that I don't think she's even thought thoughts like that for more than a decade.

For years CBGBs has been going through the motions, slapping together incongruous bills of music each night of the week. Bands that have absolutely nothing in common get booked together at the rate of, what, eight per night? Each act gets rushed through its measly 20-minute set and hurried offstage to make way for the next band, all for the "privelige" of playing the "legendary CBGB."

My band used to do CBGBs but we stopped a long time ago because the experience was always so excruciatingly unpleasant. We always brought alot of people and usually outdrew all the other bands on the bill. We made alot of money for the club and we were always 100% professional and friendly, yet we were treated like total shit every single time. The "mystique" of CBGB quickly dissovles after you've been berated by the sound guy -- over the PA system -- for the fifth time and your friends are forced to pay a ten dollar cover to hear your stressed-out 20 minutes of music (which usually starts an hour late), drink $6 Budweisers and endure shitty attitude from the bitter, jaded staff. Oh, wait, is that supposed to be "punk rock"? You can have it.

And by the way, why didn't Hilly Cristal just buy the damn hovel decades ago when it probably cost a song? Now, the monthly rent of CBGB's has apparently shot up to something like $40,000, which is of course completely obscene -- but why did Hilly let that happen? Why am I supposed to help bail this guy out now?!

I'll tell you who I'm going to miss -- Luna Lounge, who just closed their doors last weekend. Yeah, Johnny Thunders never chucked his biscuits in the dressing room, Handsome Dick Manitoba never assaulted any trannies on their stage and the bathrooms actually have doors on them (so much for your "punk rock mystique"). But for more than ten years, Rob and Diane have poured nothing but love and care into booking and running the shows there and have always maintained warm relationships with the bands. This positivity was reflected by the rest of the staff, and, consequently, the bands and the patrons. You always felt welcome at Luna and there always seemed to be a great vibe. That's the kind of scene that's valuable to me.

But CBGBs? Fuck them. They can go to hell.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

The Last Laugh -- by Joe Conason's Joe Conason: "History will hold Bush and Blair accountable for their lies in the run-up to the Iraq war, even if the D.C. press corps just finds them funny."

check out the full article here: