Archive for May, 2008

Thursday playlist: Muxtape edition

My friends tell me that I have a bad habit of making impossible to listen to mixes. So here”s my answer: 1. Big Blood – She Said Nothing 2. Animal Collective – Water Curses 3. High Places – Head Spins 4. M83 – Kim & Jessie 5. Atlas Sound – Ativan 6. Ermasse – […]

Plagiarism season

It’s that time of year. With two weeks to go, our students are scrambling to finish their research papers, desperately trying to eke out that A or B—or, in some cases, just pass the class. Inevitably, and unfortunately, one or two or seventeen of our students will be desperate enough to cheat. Perhaps a few […]

The carbon thing

I take the train down to Harrisburg for a wedding, three hours or so via Philadelphia. My hotel is within walking distance of the train station downtown, but to get just about anywhere else in Harrisburg you need to drive. I end up chauffeuring the bride’s mother and two cousins across the river to the […]

Angel of the Waters

New York seems, to me, to differ from other major world cities in the recyclability (is that even a word?) of its symbols — especially its architecture and public art. To get what I mean, consider the Louvre by contrast. You experience it as an art museum, and yet if you’ve given your tour book […]

In praise of all things not nice

Once when I was a teenager, I designed my own funeral. What might have been a medication red flag for some kids was only Saturday night with a new notebook for a saint-obsessed, Brian’s Song–Sunshine–Death Be Not Proud-movie-of-the-week-weepy addict, folk singing, beatnik wannabe. I listed the music first (very heavy on the Peter, Paul and […]

Thursday playlist: WTF?

1. Bidule en Ut — Schaeffer / Henry 2. Filmy Feedback — Toshiya Tsunoda 3. Lathe — Arcane Device 4. Live In Kaliningrad (Part 1) — Alexei Borisov 5. Manipulationology — Digital Drug 6. Rave, Part 1 — Ingram Marshall 7. Taw — Nobukazu Takemura 8. Track 04 — Axolotl 9. works for musique concrete […]

The Lysenko effect

Remember the Cold War – those lazy, crazy days of mutually assured destruction? Funny to think that some in Whatsitland are too young to ever have contemplated the idea that the Soviets or that Ronald “nut-job” Reagan might one day just say, “The heck with it!” and lob a few thousand nukes eastwardly or westwardly, […]

1943 Guide to Hiring Women

A couple of weeks ago, I received an email with this title in the subject line: How to Hire a Woman. Inside was a “1943 Guide to Hiring Women,” described as “an excerpt from the July 1943 issue of Transportation magazine. This was written for male supervisors of women in the work force during WWII.” […]

The anti-prophet

I wish I had time for this to be a proper and thorough-going appreciation for Dan Bejar (New Pornographers, Swan Lake, Hello Blue Roses) and his solo outfit, Destroyer, which E. Tan and I saw at Bowery Ballroom a couple weeks ago. Alas, this being the end of the semester I’m afraid you’ll get little […]

The stuff of life

I’ve been thinking about stuff a lot lately. Not “stuff” as in philosophical musings on the human condition, the meaning of existence, etc. I mean the stuff we keep in boxes, packed into closets and attics and basements. Admittedly, the two do intersect a fair amount. Last week I began wading through 15 or so […]