Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Why I love Camille Paglia

I'll be writing much more about Camille Paglia in this post later, but for now enjoy this interview with her.

She used to be a regular columnist with Salon and I miss being able to pick her brain all the time. I guess her time away has been worthwhile as her new book sounds great.

I've since added another author to my reading list, one that I turn to when I'm feeling particularly brainy, rather when I feel like pretending I'm brainy.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Show No. 493

The Three O'Clock--feel a whole lot better [outtake]

Melody's Echo Chamber--i follow you [
Velocity Girl--go coastal [sub pop]
Laetitia Sadier--silent spot [drag city]
Efterklang--hollow mountain [4ad]
Tamaryn--garden [mexican summer]
!!!--the most certain sure [warp]
Seapony--what you wanted [hardly art]
Beach Day--beach day [kanine]
Black Marble--cruel summer [hardly art]
Django Django--default [ribbon]

Sebadoh--weird [sub pop]
The Jam--all around the world [decca]
Bleeding Rainbow--inside my head [kanine]
The Clash--know your rights [epic]
Ween--fiesta [chocodog/rounder]
Black Moth Super Rainbow--windshield smasher [rad cult]
Fink--fear is the like fire [ninja tune]
Generationals--lucky numbers
Deerhoof--breakup songs [polyvinyl]
Animal Collective--applesauce [domino]
Frankie Rose--the fall *fort romeau remix [slumberland]
Frankie Rose--night swim
Captain Beyond--bright, blue tango [pclc]
The Funk Ark--chaga [esl]
The Three O'Clock--marjorie tells me 

The Three O'Clock < The Byrds

A rare recording from The Three O'Clock, a band I discovered one night at age 14, travelling down PCH in a van driven by my orthodontist's son on our way to a church dance. That night, that moment, those songs have yet to fade.

I'm going to open the show tonight with this track. I get giddy when I find great songs to play on the radio.

Everything is interesting

Somebody somewhere came up with a list of habits to help one navigate life. This somebody calls these Habits of Mind (THIS somebody, me, should do some homework and give credit where credit is due. But if I did that, I'd have to stop writing this and I'm not going to stop writing this).
One of these habits is Responding with Awe & Wonder. What a wonderful habit to have, to see the world around you as though your seeing it for the first, not five-hundredth, time.
Then another someone, Kerri Smith (I can pull her name right out of the ol' memory bank because I own one of her books: Wreck This Journal), wrote a whole book about this habit. She calls her book How to be an Explorer of the World: A Portable Life Museum. She offers a list of ways to respond with awe and wonder:
How to Be an Explorer of the World:
1. Always be looking. (Notice the ground beneath your feet.)
2. Consider everything alive and animate.
3. Everything is interesting. Look closer.
4. Alter your course often.
5. Observe for long durations (and short ones).
6. Notice the stories going on around you.
7. Make patterns. Make connections.
8. Document your findings (field notes) in a variety of ways.
9. Incorporate indeterminacy.
10. Observe movement.
11. Create a personal dialogue with your environment. Talk to it.
12. Trace things to their origins.
13. Use all of the senses in your investigations.
I try to teach these to my students everyday of my working life. It's not easy. I'm gonna turn this into a poster and hang it in the front of my classroom so my students see this day in and day out. One or two of these tips just might stick. I mean, I memorized the Big Mac's ingredients in third grade because the lyrics to a jingle were taped up near the pencil sharpener. Unfortunately, they stuck, while  Shelley's Ozymandias has mostly slipped away.

Didion < Orwell

This post's title doesn't mean Orwell is great than Didion, rather Didion stole from Orwell and did so shamelessly—
Of course I stole the title for this talk, from George Orwell. One reason I stole it was that I like the sound of the words: Why I Write. There you have three short unambiguous words that share a sound, and the sound they share is this:
In many ways writing is the act of saying I, of imposing oneself upon other people, of saying listen to me, see it my way,  change your mind. It’s an aggressive, even hostile act.
Didion inspires just about everything I do when it comes to words and thinking about words. And then I stole the name of my radio show from Didion's first novel. I hope she doesn't mind.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Tame Impala--apocalypse dreams [modular]
Bogan Via--copy and paste
The Motors--airport [caroline]
The Wedding Present--let him have it [island]
Artichoke--the market of farms [greeen]
The Jesus & Mary Chain--head on [rhino]
Redd Kross--stay away from downtown [merge]
Dinosaur Jr.--watch the corners [jagjaguwar]
Freedom Fry--summer in the city [caveman arts society]
Belle & Sebastian--dirty dream number two [matador]
Lloyd & Will Cole--pale blue eyes [lloydcole.com]
Real Estate--it's real

Peace--your hand in mine [suicide squeeze]
AC Newman--
Indian Handicrafts--red action [sargent house]
Nick Lowe--so it goes [columbia]
Freelance Whales--dig into waves [mom+pop]
Beach House--myth [sub pop]
Bat For Lashes--all your gold [capitol]
Veronica Falls--my heart beats [slumberland]
Ultraista--smalltalk [temporary residence]
Daphni--ye ye [merge]
Ssion--earthquake [dovecote]
John Maus--quantum leap [ribbon]
Jason Lytle--your final setting sun [anti]
Latitia Sadier--find me the pulse of the universe [drag city]
Deerhoof--breakup songs [polyvinyl]

Saturday, October 06, 2012


Michna--through the city on the edge of forever [ghostly]
Kid Koala--4 bit blues [ninja tune]
Jim Noir--key of c
George Sarah--lament [pusan music group]
Melody's Echo Chamber--i follow you [fat possum]
The Pale Saints--throwing back the apple [4ad]
My Bloody Valentine--soon [sire]
Jason Lytle--your final setting sun [anti]
Lloyd & Will Cole--pale blue eyes
Lloyd Cole & The Commotions--four flights up [capitol]
Camera Obscura--lloyd, i'm ready to be heartbroken [merge]
Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti--only in my dreams [4ad]

Tame Impala--solitude is bliss [modular]
Wild Nothing--shadow [captured tracks]
Simian Mobile Disco--cerulean
Cold Cave--love comes close [matador]
Can--millionenspiel [mute]
Daphni--ye ye [merge]
Matthew Dear--up & out [ghostly]
Ultraista--bad insect [temporary residence]
Flying Lotus--pickled! [warp]
Liars--brats [mute]
Ssion--earthquake [dovecote]
Citizens--reptile [kitsune]