Tuesday, January 27, 2009

SPECIAL MUSIC REVIEW EDITION: MERRIWEATHER POST PAVILION

The collective hysteria and hyperbole surrounding Animal Collective's new platter, Merriweather Post Pavilion, was uncharted. Close friends behaved like members of the official AC Street Team. Supermarket mothers were overheard discussing the vinyl street date bump-up in relation to the internet leak. As much as I've never been a "joiner," -- I'll be the first to admit to oftentimes being infuriatingly contrarian -- I kinda' wanted to be in on this one. Maybe I missed something by not downloading it along with everybody else in the last days of 2008. Truth be told, I feel like a retard for not liking it.

Well, I do like it a little bit. That is, track #5, "Daily Routine." But I'll have to disagree with Google as to MPP's status as nothing less than THE ALBUM OF THE DECADE because the fact remains:

Not a song on the album is nearly as catchy as "Leaf House." Or "Did You See The Words." Or "Peacebone."
Not a single moment makes me lose my shit like the two-note bassline of Kanye West's "Love Lockdown"(!!!).

If we're talking about weird-goes-pop, which we kind of are, then for all claims that MPP is the group's most accessible work (shout out to Entertainment Weekly!), I was expecting the new AC to sound a tiny bit like West's fuuuuucking goooood single; after all, MPP was purported to be "bass-y" and many AC tunes shares the same tribal drum pattern of "L.L." Instead, MPP is an incredibly murky and tedious record to slog through. And you do have to fucking slog through it.

Strangely, for all it's unlistenability, I was not prepared for the ::coughkinda'gaycough:: euro-pop/disco touches inherent to MPP. Back to the weird-goes-pop thing, where Black Dice's "Kokomo" [MP3] is an Escalade ride through Willy Wonka's factory, "My Girls" veers dangerously close to... well....

Alright, picture this: you're in Ibiza (but more like Ibiza, Florida) and it's the release party for an As-Seen-On-TV club music compilation. You've just taken a bunch of herbal ecstasy and are dancing with your hands in the air and IT FEELS SO GOOD. That's "My Girls"!

Beyond the outright cringeworthy pop of "My Girls," there's nary a hummable moment on MPP. On the flipside, the weird moments aren't even that weird, just less quantized (an aside: if you know this musical term, you are a nerd).

In the end, I can't help but feel MPP is less the culmination-of-all-AC-records-etc. and more a "phoned in" effort. Yes, elements from all those other, better AC records are there but it sounds less organic and more like a brand. I'm not exactly complaining. We could use more brands like this -- something more original and peculiar than the (major label) artists that typically receive the kind of praise this album is getting. I just wish Merriweather Post Pavilion was better.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

B HISTORY PART I

Twelve times. She'd done it twelve times that summer. So far.

He wandered behind the pool table and squatted, then rested his moist sockets in his palms. The concrete floor of the basement made his ass cold but he felt assured no one would find him unless they stumbled back there to puke or fuck around or actually play billiards. With his eyelids tightly closed, he moved his hands to the sides of his head and pressed his palms to his ears as if to stop a flow of steam from escaping.

Earlier, after he open-hand slapped at the window of her friend's car in a fit of terrible exasperation, she assured him from inside a plume of smoke that it wasn't a big deal. Fuck, he thought, it was a big deal. "I've only smoked pot twelve times in my entire life," he told her. He meant just the last two years.

Disaster marred every instance of his use. His last time stoned, two months ago, was the worst. On an otherwise sleepy residential street, he had been the cause of a car accident, a feat astonishing to everyone as he was driving about 12mph. Still, he insisted, it wasn't about him or her: an article on a marijuana-related death appeared in the paper that morning. It was a sign, a glaring signal to stop and stop her.

MP3 FOREST JUZIUK - B History

Friday, January 23, 2009

CREAM MADONNA

It's taken a minute to muster a feeling or something for 2009 but I remembered this is an odd year and odd years often seem to yield the best, don't they? Methinks it'll be a year of new, of larger learning. And I want to explain that but I'm not sure there'd be a point in doing it here, not for me or for you. As much as I want to see this as a conversation between us, I can't help but obscure the facts. So, without sounding too trite, I'll open up a couple veins and let out what more I can to give this thing some weight.

Musically speaking, seeing as my stray dogs have needed a home for a minute now and the physical realm doesn't seem to be the best place for a clearing house, Charles Atlas By The Fire Pit will be the spot for the old & new. And, shit, even ringtones:

MP3 FOREST JUZIUK - Chop Shop Ringtone

So, things are going incredibly well on this end. Erin's absolutely wonderful. Eating healthy. Feeling wealthy (er... kind of). It's sunny and 35, it feels so good to be alive. Another tune and the last bit of truth before I start lying again: I've been chipping away at a writing project, experimenting a bit... probably shouldn't say too much more.

MP3 FOREST JUZIUK - Hello Relief / Strange Fact [old]

See you in a minute.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

WILD WIFE or SKIRT POSSESSION

JD Twitch's 60 Minutes of Fear mix -- a full hour of top notch early-'80s punk/post-punk/not-punk -- is superb save for one glaring stinker: Big Black's infamous child abuse indictment, "Jordan, Minnesota."

Shortly after the release of Atomizer, Steve Albini said, "We're all pretty interested in ridiculous extremes that people go to for no real reason, just because they have nothing better to do. That's a pretty extreme situation, where you have a whole town of people who are actively involved in kid fucking."

If unfamiliar with the incident, it eventually became one of several cases in which a single child sexual abuse complaint ballooned into mass arrests via hysteria and bogus questioning techniques on the part of the cops. Albini was pretty serious about the topic at the time, which is understandable, but knowing what we know now, the "suck daddy" refrain is so completely goofy and in poor taste that I cannot hear the (also now goofy, capital-o Ominous) opening chords without jumping up to hit fast-forward.


In other news, Tom Buckholz was just in town and as hilarious as ever. Alas, it was a loooong night and I'm feeling like turning in early despite all the joyful partying happening all over town. I'm in the midst of reading The Master and Margarita and listening to a whole lot of Yusef Lateef. Erin has been organizing something along the lines of something you might find on killtherestaurant.com and it's looking pretty effin' promising. Also, Mr. Wiltoncroft announcements coming shortly!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

COLD IN HEAVEN/HELL

After the Elks Lodge gig I wrote about here, I felt I kinda' owed Nate Frick, a.k.a. DJ OrNate, for saving the night so I offered up my design services. The result is located to the left; the first poster for the newly-christened Shock the World, styled in the spirit of classic early-80s party posters. Mike did yet another smash job with the printing (final scan to come!) and the two of us attended with a recently-returned-from-London pal of his named Jennifer while Erin stayed home, sick in bed (total bummer). Brad and Steve didn't make it out from Detroit due to bogus weather conditions but it was much fun nonetheless. The year's first Dark Matter dates have been set!

The Slits are up there on my musical radar, perhaps a result of the massive amount of dub I've been consuming of late (great, great morning music for making food with your honey) and that same kind of looseness Mi Ami has. The first time I saw The Slits was on a PBS documentary about rock (that would be the one with the hilarious Jonathan Richman interview in which he talks about the university babes in their "big suede boots coming up to here and they had the guawaz [sp?] cigarettes, and they had the long hair and the brown suede jacket -- ooohh I was very impressed.").

In the doc, a segment of the "Typical Girls" video played and I was deeply struck & confused by Ari Up's look and sexuality. She was heavy heavy heavy and you need only to look at any piece of Slits artwork once to get that same feeling of heaviness from her, Viviane Albertine and Tessa Pollitt. And the jam was so sweet that, in at least two of my own songs, I cribbed the winding, delayed guitar part (which are not too dissimilar to the feverish zings of Notorious B.I.G.'s "Hypnotize").

MP3 Forest Juziuk (as Boro) - Ugly BS (demo)

THE SLITS - Typical Girls

Friday, January 16, 2009

BOOGIE ADMISSION

It was late December when the local junior high put on a play ostensibly about Madonna and Guy Ritchie's relationship during the course of filming the 2002 remake of Swept Away. Called Lucifer's Island: Do You Believe In Love?, the play featured neither the likenesses of Madonna or Guy Ritchie but was instead an hour-and-a-half of the school principal and a twelve-year-old Pee Wee Herman sitting in the Red Room of the Black Lodge from Twin Peaks. There was no music save for a dull hum which was either intentional or a boiler malfunction. Pee Wee appeared stoned and couldn't finish a single joke. 85 minutes into the play, the school principal stood up to deliver a spirited monologue on the hairstyles of the students he represented, tossing out phrases like "rich excess," "dreads of perspiration" and "you would never find one in a soup kitchen!" The stage curtains caught fire in the final minute of the play. '"Don't worry, " said the principal, "it's all part of the show." The crowd began filing out after the first stagehand fell from the flaming rafters. "Oh shoot," laughed the principal. "Well, Merry Christmas anyway!"

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

ANOTHER DREAM OF THE RAVE CUBE

It was a silent opera of glowsticks at Earth's 7,467,881st rave (the DJ failed to show) when a baldspot appeared on my hairjeans. Then I remembered the carnie sniffing at the child, a hex to be delivered: the future would hold a classic Jewish whipping and the ghost's surprise vajj.

A gift from Zeus, who had returned after so many years: a mighty cumbubble to replace the Epcot Center and the reanimation of Edie Sedgwick, who had no idea what to do with herself, spending her days sleeping in a pool again and her nights wondering "where did the gang go off to?"

A laser shone from the forest. They had returned as well.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

STRANGE FACT

An LP of inspired-by-the-Batman-television-show mostly-instrumental r&b/surf jams recently came into my possession. While it was incredibly exciting to find that the band, The Sensational Guitars of Dan & Dale, was actually Sun Ra and The Blues Project, this was a wee bit more titillating:

"Several cast members recorded records tied in to the series. Adam West released a single titled 'Miranda,' a country-tinged pop song that he actually performed in costume during live appearances in the 1960s."

Friday, January 09, 2009

SLIPPIN' ON PEELS & REFUSING TO USE THE TERM "BOOM BAP"

The groom's father was a terror, cursing over the microphone about b-movie starlets, the tangent becoming more and more like free jazz with each lewd stammer. "C-C-C-Carolyn Brandt's butt... mmmmmmmmmmmm... mmmmmagic was made!" A genuine lawmaker but hardly a peacekeeper, Truman Nierestein has been sherriff 'round these parts for 40 years and he just cracked his mid-50s: crisis time.

His son, Kelley, was about to tie the knot with Marjorie Bierbauch, ultra-distant cousin of Kelley's, yes, but just too dang cute not to marry. If I just stand in this doorway for a bit longer, thought the groom, I can see reality for all its truths and untruths.

"Where is that boy?!" shouted Truman. An elderly man in the rear of the chapel halted spanking duties and shouted, "Tell us about Carolyn Brandt!" The groom bit into a gold coin. Strains of Keith Jarrett's moans and Basketcase gargles loomed. It was getting downright fucking weird feeling.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

THE EFFIN' TRUTH

Whoa. Man. The first thing I read today -- literally, the first thing I read -- was "R.I.P. Ron Asheton." I called up Brian to tell him and he answered the phone: "NO FUCKING SHIT!" and then nothing. Our first band together, our first band, total damaged mutant teenage trash, lived in the ghost of "I Wanna Be Your Dog." We thought cover songs were impure but not, NOT now-i-wanna-be-your-dog-and-lose-my-heart-on-the-burning-sands.

We'd play it ourselves -- as loud as possible -- in my bedroom with no drums. We'd drive around Port Huron, flicking off old people, with "I Wanna Be Your Dog" booming through the brrroooooken speakers of a 1987 Mercury Tracer (a Port Huron car if ever there was one). Live, we muted the playing on the measures with vocals and ripped it wide open after each line. If Brian was ever a good frontman, it was certainly during that song, where he raged.

Once, we saw Sonic Youth and they brought Ron Asheton out to end the night with "I Wanna Be Your Dog." Who knows how long it went on. If felt like infinity. It was those three chords with one looooong blazing solo over top. We both went home with bruises. One of us lost a tooth.

You can hear a billion other bands in any solo on The Stooges. It's unreal. Cripes. Ron Asheton.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

THE END, OF BLOWJOBS & EASY-FUCKING, THE END

A spiderweb of blood.

A dog stands in the center of an arena rock concert
writhing in pain
after the first canon blast.

The rink's floor melts into wax
softer and softer
practically jelly now.

A deep fog rolls in
slivers of metal rain out from it.

Friday, January 02, 2009

STRANGER IN THE MANGER / HOMEY IN CHURCH

How long have I given myself over to Satan? I have paid for lusty princesses in more ways than one. The silky tongues and velvety fingers of a sinful Sheba. A horny stoner girl burned her ass on the range in our palatial home. An erotic Halloween at Planned Parenthood. Someone named Dr. Lesbo with the DNA of a child who took a dump on some railroad tracks. Leonard Nimoy's harem. Stiff Little Fingers plays during a karate match. The censored breasts of an octopus.