i'm off to coachella!

origins of a prog nerd

when i was young (a long time ago), i remember going to this store called BEST. not Best Buy. BEST. this was before Best Buy was even conceived. it was some kinda mail-order catalog company that had a chain of stores as well. they were getting rid of their albums (i was still buying vinyl at this point). all the albums were a dollar each. i bought three albums, i had no clue as to what was on them. i was just interested. the first one i chose was
king crimson's discipline. i picked it because i really liked the design on the cover. eventually, i'd get a tattoo of that design on my left shoulder.

after looking at it a bit, i rummaged through the other albums. i noticed two albums by this guy named adrian belew. never heard of him, but the name sounded familiar. then i realized his name was listed on the back of the
king crimson album i was holding. fascinating. the albums were lone rhino, and twang bar king.

so i bought them, and went home to listen to them. the
king crimson album was weird. at this point, i'd pretty much been an AM radio top 40 kid. king crimson was unlike anything i'd ever heard. some of it was really fucking out there. there's a song called elephant talk, where he goes through a few letters of the alphabet and shouts out words that are synonyms for talk.
the guitar fx were crazy. on that song, it actually sounded like elephants. really fucking cool.

talk! it's only talk! babble, burble, banter, bicker, Bicker, BICKER! BROUHAHA! BALDERDASH! BALLYHOO! it's only talk...

another song that was strange to me (at the time) is indiscipline. the bass starts off the song, low and sort of ominous. drums and guitar slowly kick in. there's no set rhythm to the drums, but the guitar parts are sort of like a heartbeat. then they just tear loose. after a minute, it abruptly shuts down and belew starts talking:

I do remember one thing.
It took hours and hours but..
by the time I was done with it,
I was so involved, I didn't know what to think.
I carried it around with me for days and days..
playing little games
like not looking at it for a whole day
and then.. looking at it.
to see if I still liked it.
I did.

what the fuck? i didn't get it at all, but i thought it was cool.

there's a song called thela hun ginjeet. it's fucking great, it's still one of my favorite kc songs. again, the lyrics are spoken. the music is magnificent and kinda angry, and i'd never heard anything like it.

Well, first of all,
I couldn't even see his face.
I couldn't see his face.
He was holding a gun in his hand.
Umm... I was thinking...
This is a dangerous place..
This is a dangerous place..

I said, "I'm nervous as hell from this stuff.
I thought those guys were going to kill me for sure.
They ganged up on me like that.
I couldn't believe it.
Look, I'm still shakin'.
There out in the streets like that.
It's a dangerous place.
It's a dangerous place."

So, suddenly, these two guys appear in front of me.
They stopped.
Real aggressive.
Start at me, you know.
"What's that?" "What's that on that tape?"
What do you got there?"
I said, "huh?"
They said, "What are you talking into that for?"
I said, "It's just a tape, you know"
"Well play it for me"
I said "oh, no"
I put it off as long as I could.
And finally they turned it on, you know
They grabbed it from me.
Took it away from me.
Turned it on.
And it said, "He held a gun in his hand. This is a dangerous place."
They said, "What dangerous place?" "What gun?" "You're a policeman!"
And the deeper I talked, the worse I got into it.
I talked, I told him... I said, "Look man, I'm not talkin'...."
It went on forever.
Anyway, I finally unbuttoned my shirt, and said,
"look, look... I'm in this band, you know, I'm in this band you know,
and we're makin' a recording, you know.
It's about New York City, it's about crime in the streets..."
The explanation was going nowhere, but,
Finally, they just kinda let me go, I don't know why.
So I walk around the corner,
and I'm like shakin' like a leaf,
and I thought, "This is a dangerous place"

Who should appear, but two policeman.

there's an instrumental song, called the sheltering sky. it's so strange, the effects that belew used. i would lie on my bed, listening to this. this song in particular would conjur up visions of some bizarre alien landscape.

belew's solo albums are quite different. not nearly as experimental. the lyrics on those albums are more personal, thoughtful, and humorous. there's a song about his father, who passed away (man in the moon). another song is about the (mis)treatment of animals (lone rhinoceros). there's a song called fishhead. i don't know what he could have been on when he wrote that, but it's pretty funny. he's very much influenced by the beatles and hendrix, but definitely has his own style. his playing is great, i think he can flat out rock with anyone.

i was thinking about this tonight, my friends never liked this shit. seriously, i was always being teased by those fuckers. even though i listened to what they liked, i would listen to stuff like this as well and occasionally subject them to it. it all started with that trip to BEST.

dgm live (label)
king crimson
adrian belew
elephant-talk.com (kc fansite)

listen to king crimson:
elephant talk
thela hun ginjeet

listen to adrian belew:
lone rhinoceros
the man in the moon


i believe in peace, bitch

a few days ago, a friend sent me an mp3; tori amos covering "total eclipse of the heart". tori's always done interesting cover tunes, this one was okay. at 7 or 8 minutes long, it kinda drags. it's probably about 5 or 6 minutes too long. in any case, listening to that track had me wanting to break out some of the old stuff i used to love. i think i've seen her live about 5 or 6 times, the most recent being in 2001 on the strange little girls tour.

like most people, i fell prey to the kate bush comparisons and bought "little earthquakes" and quickly fell in love. she came around a couple times for that first tour and i went both times. my then girlf absolutely hated her the first time, ended up listening more and enjoying it (probably because i was so obsessed), and demanded to go the second time. her opinion of tori did an about-face. i nearly skipped the choirgirl tour because it was in this huge indoor arena (oakland coliseum), but ended up going with some friends who had just gotten into her. it was a decent show, but i prefer the girl and her piano act.

over the weekend, i listened to all the stuff i have. i have all of the albums up to "scarlet's walk", and i have most of the singles up to around "choirgirl". i still can't wrap my head around "scarlet's walk". even though there are a few good moments, it just seems kinda bland. "from the choirgirl hotel" was the last album i really liked. i think my favorite would be either "under the pink" or "little earthquakes", depending on which day you asked me. those are probably the two best ones, for my money. i haven't listened to "the beekeeper" yet, i've read not so flattering reviews. i might try it out sometime.

favorite tracks would be "precious things", "baker baker", "cloud on my tongue", "father lucifer", "sugar", "raspberry swirl", "winter"...the list goes on.

there are a shitload of websites out there, here are a couple i have bookmarked. they have lots and lots of mp3s for you to check out. of course, don't forget to check out toriamos.com for official news and shit.

diagnosed sounds
collecting bees

muhammad my friend (live with maynard keenan, from tool)
i'm on fire
sugar (live)
smells like teen spirit
baker baker
the waitress (live 1994)



i was playing an AB match (in WoW) the other night and made a game saving play. go me. some dude gave me props for my mad skillz. check the text box on the left. it's kinda rare, actually. people usually just bitch at one another. yes, my character's name is fisticuff...don't you watch dave chappelle?


"patriotism hiding bigotry"

i've been listening to todd rundgren's "a cappella" a bit lately. this album was my first encounter with rundgren, when it was released way back in 1985. it was around that time that i was breaking away from the stuff that most of my friends were listening to (van halen, iron maiden, metallica), and this was a welcome avenue of escape. the cool thing about this album is that it's, well, a cappella. he sampled and digitized his voice to create all of the sounds that you hear on the album.

i remember a couple years ago, when bjork's "medulla" was released. she was saying things like "instruments are dead, this is the new way forward" (i'm paraphrasing, but you get the picture) and people were making a big deal about it...but todd rundgren did this some twenty years ago. he's this cult figure that's always been on the fringe and it seems to me that he doesn't really get credit for the things he's done.

he can write a pop song as well as anyone ever as, but he won't anymore because he's been there and done that. he's considered an innovator in rock, electronic, prog, and music videos. he was using computers in music long before it was the norm. he was prolific as a producer, working with a bunch of bands with many different styles of music (although i'm not sure if he's still producing now). the only albums of which he's produced that i can recall off the top of my head are meatloaf's bat out of hell and xtc's skylarking, but i know there are a lot more.

johnee jingo
mighty love
something to fall back on


28 days later...

so i'll be rockin' the uk next month. there's a thread on the bowlie.com to keep track of dates and such. i have this compelling urge to go visit stonehenge. perhaps i've seen spinal tap one too many times. sharon assures me we'll be hitting up HDIF on the 19th of may. so come out, we'll drink, we'll get drunk. i'm also going to edinburgh to kidnap kristin, if only for a few days. predictably, here are a couple songs about london, because london is obviously the only city in england. do i get points for not posting london calling? man, it looks like an 80s revival in here.

bananarama > hey young london
xtc > towers of london
the go-go's > london boys

oh fuck it. i'm gonna post it anyways, if only because of this story. wtf is that shit all about? it's racist bullshit, that's what it is. so here it is...

the clash > london calling

oh, and how about a bonus track for good measure...

the clash > london's burning

btw, has anyone seen 28 days later? zombies are cool.
man, i need help.


it's like the cold if you were dead

it was raining like mad tonight. the wind kept trying to blow my car into the next lane. there was a crazy accident on my way home, one car really got fucked up. you can't really see much in the pic, but i like the way the lights glow and reflect off the wet road. when it rains like this (and it's been happening a lot lately), i'm always reminded of the cure song, "plainsong", from disintegration. a rainy, windy night like tonight feels like this song.

"I think it's dark
And it looks like rain" you said
"And the wind is blowing like it's the end of the world" you said
"And it's so cold
It's like the cold if you were dead"
Then you smiled for a second

"I think I'm old
And I'm feeling pain" you said
"And it's all running out like it's the end of the world" you said
"And it's so cold
It's like the cold if you were dead"
Then you smiled for a second

Sometimes you make me feel
Like I'm living at the edge of the world
Like I'm living at the edge of the world
"It's just the way I smile"
You said

the cure > plainsong