The primary reason for my recent extended blog-absence is simply exhaustion; it is far too tiring to keep up with and process the doublethink and the cognitive dissonance that passes for routine social and political discourse in this country. For the time being, this site is probably going to be more of a "blahg" than a blog, at least for the next couple months. I hope the five people who read this site don't get upset. In the absence of my superbly trenchant and brilliant political commentary and insight, please visit the following sites; they actually know what they are talking about.
Movin' to Larrytown
Maggie & I are moving to Lawrence, Kansas, exactly two weeks from today. We've been offered live-in jobs with a non-profit organization that runs an impressive system of group homes for developmentally disabled folks. Needless to say, we are quite excited.
If you like music--any kind of music--I highly suggest you leave your home or place of work this very moment and pick up the new Radiohead album. It is beyond good; it's not quite OK Computer (nothing ever will be, though), but it does blow away everything they have done since that record (even Kid A, which until Hail to the Thief was my #2 Radiohead record). I'm not going to try to review it or anything, I'm just going to tell you to get it. In fact, you had better already be on your way to your corner record store by now.
I haven't been listening to any other "new" music; probably the most recent release besides the Radiohead I've had on constant rotation (and my second-most-favorite-album-of-the-moment) is Pig Lib by Steven Malkmus and The Jicks. You may want to pick that one up when you go to get the Radiohead. Seriously. I've also been listening to Pavement non-stop. And The Dismemberment Plan.
Speaking of The Plan, Maggie & I caught them in Lawrence a couple weeks ago, along with Gold Chains, Lake Trout, and Paris, TX. The Plan rocked the joint to the ground, naturally, playing a set largely consisting of audience requests. It was somewhat of a bittersweet performance, since it was their "farewell tour." If only they turn out to be like Ozzy... Anyway, as for the other bands: Paris, TX was completely awful. They were your standard "garage rock of the moment" band, complete with tight jeans, vintage tank-tops, and white-boy Afros (which I like to call Caucs). If our ticket price had been refunded a dollar for every time the singer jumped off the drumset while doing the splits and making the International Sign of Rock--\m/--we would have been able to see the show for free and get more than a few drinks from the bar. They were bad. Gold Chains was good. They have a rap/hip-hop thing going on, infused with electronica and rock. Very fun, very catchy. Of course, since they were Band #1 of the night, they played to a largely unimpressed crowd. (In Lawrence, a band made up of John Lennon, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Kurt Cobain would play to the turned, disinterested backs of an audience, if they were Band #1.) Lake Trout Blew me away. I can't really describe them. They were just fucking awesome. Imagine if Sigur Ros was also a "jam band" of the Phish variety. So, minus one band it was a terrific show.
I've also been reading. A lot.
Since I don't currently have a job (and as of last week I have no need to continue with the job hunting), and since I rarely bolg anymore, I have spent most of my time reading. So, simply because I have nothing else to do at the moment, here is what I have been reading over the past few weeks (with or without commentary):
The Lord of the Rings: Yeah I'm a geek. I also read The Book of Lost Tales Volume I, which is the literary and historical predecessor to The Silmarillion. I found it to be very strange.
I've been getting my Philip K. Dick on in a big way lately, thanks to the arrival of a book club introductory shipment containing The Man in the High Castle, The Uncollected Stories... (which I ripped through in a day and a half; great, great stuff), and a "special bookclub omnibus edition" called Counterfeit Unrealities, which contains the novels The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch (which I'm reading right now), Ubik, A Scanner Darkly, and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?.
Prior to the Dick, I read The Dreams Our Stuff is Made Of and Apocalypse Pretty Soon (for some reason I cannot remember the authors' names), To Afghanistan and Back by Ted Rall.
I'm sure there were a few more but I can't recall them at the moment. I think I might try to write some reviews of the more current books in that list... or maybe not. I'm not very good at reviewing books. Anyway...
For the past five days a World War II-era B-17 bomber plane has been repeatedly flying at a very low altitude over my neighborhood. Should I be worried? I'm afraid the thing may just break down in the sky and crash on top of my house. It doesn't sound too healthy. Maybe it's a bomber on its way to a target over Germany in 1944 and got trapped in some sort of temporal disburbance, and now the pilot is wondering what the fuck happened to the Krauts. Maybe I should contact the Department of Homeland Security? I should call somebody, it's getting really annoying. Thing is flying literally 50 feet over my roof. Those planes are loud. What an asshole.