Print Story Everything is Weird
Diary
By Christopher Robin was Murdered (Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 12:38:21 PM EST) (all tags)
My personal dustbin of musical history. Flower power-tool. Sexy, in that corpse of the victim sort of way. Dinner. The educational value of a uterus made out of pancakes. Spelling bee ambush. Work?


Music

    We got a new computer a couple weeks back. Since then, slowly but surely, I've been transferring my CD collection into the laptop's music management program. This is an oddly entertaining exercise as, I reckon, only about 30% of my music is "on the playlist" at any given time. The other 70% includes records I once loved, one-hit wonders that suckered me into buying a whole album of their crap, impulse purchases that I regretted later, duds from artists I otherwise like, and so on. This excavation has forced my to revisit this sometimes justly, sometime unfortunately neglected majority.
    I recently rediscovered that I have an album of German polka music. I no longer remember when or why I thought this was something I needed. I suspect the influence of alcohol was involved in the purchase. One of the albums I uploaded yesterday featured traditional Arab folk tunes, in Arabic, sung by Danny Thomas, the nightclub comedian turned television sitcom icon from Make Room for Daddy. Again, where I found this musical tribute to the fruitful diversity of American popular culture is lost to history. I've never considered myself a Danny Thomas fan and, if the urge to buy traditional Arab folk music did overtake me at some point, I find it difficult to believe I would have settled on Danny Thomas as the guy I trusted to give that authentic Arabian folk music sound. I must admit that I may have purchased it simply because it was Danny Thomas belting out tunes in Arabic. The WTF-factor is its main draw now and may have well have been the main draw then. Who knows?
    Along with the "why are you here?" albums I've found several "are you still here?" albums. A large portion of the neglected 70% are bands that I once thought were absolutely the shit – but now, almost a decade later, ehhh, not so much. There was probably a whole week or so in the mid-90's were I might have been able to look you in the eye and say with utter conviction: "The Smoking Popes are the future of popular music." I don't think it would have ever come up, even then, but I could have said it. A man's got to have his enthusiasms.
    Among the neglected 70% I found Eleventeen, the only full-length album of a wacked out Brit rock unit called Daisy Chainsaw. What I remembered most about this group was:
    1. They got the kiss of death by being listed as one of Rolling Stones "hot" new groups in their annual bonfire of the inanities: "The Hot Issue." Getting officially listed as a hot band was about as sure a sign as one could wish for that a band was going to spend the rest of their lives fruitlessly flirting with mainstream success. Other "hot" groups included Teenage Fanclub, Breeders, American Music Club, Hothouse Flowers, and numerous other also-rans that never quite made the jump to superstardom. The poor kids of the DC never had a chance once they were officially hot.
    2. Their front woman was the deliriously crazed Katie Jane Garside. Garside's vocal performances were creepy tours of what MPD looks like from the inside. She'd alternate between throat shredding screams, discomforting baby talk come-on's, that bizarrely campy strident warbling sound one equates with British women singers of the pre-War years, dead-pan line readings, and this spastic word spill that resembles the staggering narrative style of small children. It was enough to make you think she was being fed lines from a pink laser shot from space.
    KJG's looks were as odd as anything she sang. Though she wasn't the sole grunge-era chick to adopt the baby doll dress, KJG's dresses always seemed to be smeared with mud. What we hope was mud. She didn't look like an emotionally arrested woman-child. She dressed like a sex crime victim's corpse. She was also fond of wearing veils and handmade crowns of holly branches and whatnot.
    Unlike other "sister from another planet" acts, she didn't trade on precious metaphors or traffic in confessional poetry. Her lyrics were fairly straightforward. More often than not, they were strings of clichés she caught fluttering about a given social situation. In the closest thing the group had to a hit, "Love Your Money," KJG made a tune out of nothing more than a jumble of the sort of vacuous sweet nothings label mavens spew at contract meetings. Think of somebody taking the Burroughs cut-up method to the minutes of an A&R meeting and you'd get an idea of what it sounded like: this is what music biz execs sound like in the world of Nova Express. Only KJG never possessed the cool satiric detachment of a Burroughs. She was more like some deranged version of Echo, only able to express her emotional needs through the words of others, screwed because she can only ever hint at what she wanted.
    Word on the street is that the character of Delirium, the unhinged Endless who embodies the mental derangement of Delight pushed too far, is based on the piano-lady songster Tori Amos. This is, however, just a bit of fanboy starfucking on Gaimen's part. If anybody ever fit that description it was mud-splattered, wailing, crazy little Katie Jane.
    Anyway, I ramble. So I found this album and thought to myself: "Damn. I wonder what happened to this band. That chick was crazy."
    Apparently she went crazy and the band broke up. She blamed the pressures of fame. Given their level of fame, I assume that's a euphemism for "I'm freakin' crazy."

Dinner

    Met Dan, his new girlfriend, and Melissa and Larry, some work contacts (there's a conference in town) for dinner at Troimphe, a tiny little French joint not far from the MoMA. Somehow the conversation turned, after several glasses of wine, to the Sex Ed films we were all subjected to in our school days.
    Melissa told us about this flick they were shown in which a group of teenage girls are all at a sleepover and they begin to talk about S-E-X. It becomes apparent that none of the young ladies has any idea what they're talking about. They then decide to do what any group of young women at a sleepover would do: go find the party hostess's mom and ask her a series of well thought-out and dead serious questions about reproduction.
    The coven of nubiles finds The Mom in the kitchen making pancakes. In the middle of the night. The Mom, of course, wants to be helpful and begins her discussion of the miraculous changes afoot within the bodies of the collected sleepers over by using pancake batter to make a diagram of the female reproductive system on a skillet.
    Melissa said there was plenty of stuff after that, but the image of the sizzling pancake uterus pretty much ended her efforts to follow it.

    Larry had no Sex Ed stories, but he did have this story about this spelling bee he was in. First time Larry entered the spelling bee, 6th grade, with is like, I don't know, your second year at Hogwarts for you Brits, he turned out to be quite the prodigy. He made it all the way to the regional finals, last step before nationals, before getting knocked out.
    The next year he was the kid to watch. Unfortunately, the next year he got a new English teacher. He hated this woman and the feeling was mutual. And it was this woman who was judging the school's bee.
    Now, before we get any further in this story, Larry's a bit L7. You need to know tht for the story to make sense. He's a good guy, but he's the sort of guy who tends to turn red when people around him tell off-color jokes. I fairly sure "dookie" is the strongest obscenity in his arsenal of bad words.
    He gets up there and the teacher smiles at him. He smiles back.
    "Your word is menstrual."
    Larry nearly shriveled up and died. Even then his choirboyish ways were well known.
    Finally, overcoming his juvenile embarrassment, he tore through the word.
    But he'd misheard. They wanted Jolson not Aunt Flo.
    To this day Larry believes he was set up. He feels that his teacher knew he'd be too flustered to ask for the word to be used in a sentence.

    I had the seared scallops and the market salad.

    Later, Dan and I had a drink at bar of the hotel where he and his beloved were staying. He hinted that his new squeeze – who owns a respectable firm up in Boston – might soon be looking for a new project manager. I've been doing a lot of freelance work for them already and they're very happy with it. I would still work out of Brooklyn, with semi-regular trips to Boston. Salaried position. Not so much as I was making at the last place, but I knew that was a rare situation: I'll probably never be so in the driving seat when it comes to salary requirements again.

Song title: Daisy Chainsaw's Everything is Weird

< I should have seen that one coming. | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
Everything is Weird | 14 comments (14 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
I had the... by ana (4.00 / 1) #1 Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 12:51:42 PM EST
seared scallops and the market salad.

Indeed.

If you find yourself in Boston, we can do lunch.

Power up your flaming yo-yos already! --StackyMcRacky

You got yourself a deal. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #2 Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 12:55:03 PM EST
It's just jibber-jabber right now, but if it comes through, I'll probably be making monthly trips up there.

I'll let you know.

[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #3 Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 12:56:46 PM EST

This comment has been deleted by Christopher Robin was Murdered



[ Parent ]
I had to parse your Breeders reference a few times by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #4 Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 02:08:42 PM EST
at first I thought you were listing them as not so much.


Nope. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #5 Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 02:21:25 PM EST
Just listing them as another one of the bands cursed by the RS Hot List.

[ Parent ]
Speaking of The Breeders by lm (2.00 / 0) #6 Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 02:22:05 PM EST
The Deal sisters are natives of my hometown, little old Dayton, Ohio.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
I really have nothing to add here . . . by slozo (2.00 / 0) #14 Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 04:40:11 AM EST
. ..  other than, Breeders ROCK.

[ Parent ]
Any relation to Green Garside? by Horatio Hellpop (2.00 / 0) #7 Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 03:10:56 PM EST
I wonder.

"You can't really know something until you ruin it for everyone." -some guy who used to have an account here

No connection so's I can find. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #11 Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 12:31:12 PM EST
If there's a link between the two, the Internets don't seem to think it is relevant enough to record.

[ Parent ]
Katie Jane Garside by ni (4.00 / 1) #8 Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 04:44:34 PM EST
She was more like some deranged version of Echo, only able to express her emotional needs through the words of others, screwed because she can only ever hint at what she wanted.

Purely in the interests of fairness -- understand, I'm not disagreeing with you here; your analysis seems articulate and thoughtful -- but just to present all sides of the story, so to speak: You can totally see her nipples in one of the wikipedia pictures.

Just throwing that out there.


"What woman wouldn't love a guy in WW2 aviator glasses eating their ass?" -- dest

So if Larry's so square by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #9 Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 06:23:15 AM EST
or puritanical, how'd he manage a conversation over sex ed from those wonderfully awkward days of adolescence ?

I got it backwards. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #10 Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 11:40:57 AM EST
Larry's story came up first. This led to a conversation about whether or not any of the rest of us would have known, at that age, what the word meant. That led to Sex Ed which, of course, leads to pancakes.

[ Parent ]
digitization strategy by Kellnerin (2.00 / 0) #12 Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 04:46:19 PM EST
Are you transferring your whole collection, no matter how WTF it is now, or are you only concentrating on things you feel like listening to, or have a reasonable expectation that you'll want to listen to? D tends toward the former -- actually, he used to put his entire music collection on "random" and there is some seriously bad shit in there, including some electronic music that he got from god-knows-where by this guy who decided to invent his own musical scale. It's not so much the notes that bother me, but the total lack of rhythm or anything else that I associate with "music" -- but what do I know.

Myself, I have a more selective policy (that sounds better than "lazy"). Most of what's on my computer is stuff I acquired after the computer, or ripped for a particular purpose. As a result it's an oddly unrepresentative selection that doesn't even include all the stuff I really like.

And, I second ana's comment about the Boston gig. Would be cool to have the excuse to catch up once in a while.

--
"Late to the party" is the new "ahead of the curve" -- CRwM

I started selective, but now it's all in. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #13 Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 05:53:55 PM EST
May and I have decided that we need the shelves currently occupied by the CD collection, so we're both boldly rushing into an all material-less.

It sounds lame to think that my music listening future will basically be over-determined by an interior design issue, but there it is.

[ Parent ]
Everything is Weird | 14 comments (14 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback