Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Kurt Vonnegut has just died. He was 84 years old. Too young, I say. He's one of the great American authors, a great mind and gentle soul. If he appeared pessimistic about humanity, it was only because the world and its people disappointed his idealism. We should heed his words carefully and build a better future, to avoid the horrible fates he foresaw. He will be missed and I hope his spirit continues to exist somewhere in the cosmos.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Air America Finds New Ways To Totally Suck and Piss Off Its Fans


Just when I think the new owner actually has a plan, and actually has his shit together...this happens. It's like the song says, kids - meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

I will heartedly agree that AAR's schedule has some gaping holes. But what sense does it make to remove the few key hosts the network has? To replace Sam Seder with some milktoast (sp?) host in some vain attempt to appeal to the stupid and the lazy? Didn't they already pull this stunt with, ugh, Jerry Springer?

Look, folks, it's important to expand the AAR listener base, but it's also important to understand there will always be limits to that. 30% of the country belongs to the Republican Big Brother cult. You can never reach them, their minds (if they ever owned one) are gone. That leaves you with the mass of lazy, I-don't-give-a-fuck Americans who never bother paying attention to anything that's beyond their noses. Hey, American Idol's on! Where's my beer?

At some point, you have to realize that you're not going to become widely famous or popular. That's life. Frank Zappa was never going to sell as many albums as Brittney Spears. That's a sad fact of life, kids. Mediocrity is the foam that rises to the top of the cultural beer.

Seder is one of the best talents on AAR. Certainly in the same league as Randi and Rachael. Which makes me worry about their futures. Would the point in time come when Randi herself would decide she's had enough, and jump ship? I hope not. But we've already lost Maron, Malloy, and now Seder - what's next? At least Franken has a decent excuse, winning back St. Paul's Senate seat.

I don't see anything to come along and boost this network, really. Maybe the whole notion of a full day of liberal talk radio was a pipe dream, after all. We're in the wrong country. Maybe there should've been more variety - things like, oh, real music by real DJ's, like Kyle's old Saturday show. Give kids a real alternative to this shitty state of corporatist pop culture.

There always are alternatives. Don't know if they'll pan out in a nation this dumbed down and stupid. Hell, these morons voted Bush into office in 2004. How stupid is that?! How do you sell to those dumbfucks? Besides selling sex, beer, and car crashes, I mean.

So, yeah, I'm a bit upset about Sam Seder getting the boot. I don't buy the move to a Sunday slot too much. How long did you hold out before pulling out your favorite Office Space riffs? I really oughta see that again. Ah, well, kids. Ob-La-Di, let it be, and in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make. You were never promised eternity on this earth. You were only given the present moment. Life, death, life. It's all part of the great cycle. Don't know why the Buddhists are so opposed to it. Frankly, I kinda like it. The more trips on the roller coaster ride I get to take, the better.

Seder will go on. He will totally rock your world. Don't worry. Remember what St. Bill said - It's Just a Ride.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Spinning Into Oblivion

Yet another in a seemingly-endless stream of articles on the downfall of the evil corporate music industry, this time from two music lovers who once owned a profitable music shop. From the NY Times Op-Ed. Good read.

Of course, I'd like to take this chance to point out the one avenue where music retail is growing - vinyl. CD sales are collapsing, nobody's buying digital anymore, and who can blame them? But they are turning to vinyl records in greater and greater numbers. I hold no illusions that vinyl will return to its former glory days; no, there are far too many stupid people out there, willing to be mindless drones and play to role of the simple-minded peasant. Hey, it's the "This is Why I'm Hot" song I heard at, uhh, the club, or somethin'.

Music will never die. It's the language of the soul. But the soul can whither and wilt if never used. That crushing pain in the center of your chest that you feel, as you work another lousy day at that crappy job you loathe? It's the sound of soul, gasping for air. Give it some oxygen, dumbass. Give it a chance to grow for once.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

My Letter to Salon About Their Crappy Avril Lavigne Interview

Salon posted a front-page interview to, of all things, manufactured pop singer Barbie Doll #3247, otherwise known as Avril Lavigne. I'm in a pretty lousy mood, so I fired off this letter on the site. Enjoy the read, kids!

Oh, and I'm not linking to the article in question. That would engender it with a degree of authenticity that, frankly, it doesn't deserve. We need to resist the corporate plastic zombie assault at all costs. Save your brain cells.


So...Barbie Doll #3247 has been upgraded to perform interviews. Big freakin' deal. What is it with Salon lately? It is not your damn job to promote and sell pre-packaged, manufactured "pop stars." Avril Lavigne is not a musician, and she sure as hell isn't punk. She is a consumer product.

What's next? An interview with a 2-liter bottle of Pepsi? A shiny hubcap? A Subway sandwich?

Salon owes its readers and the general public better than this manufactured corporate drivel. This is nothing more than glorified advertising. Perhaps this is the new phase of the daily site pass - read a commercial before moving on to the real website.

I try not to be so hard, since I've always been a Salon fan. You should not be in the business of hyping consumer, excuse me, "pop stars."

This is the reason this is the worst decade in the history of popular music. Everything has become a manufactured, fake, plastic product. Everything is exactly the same, every Ken and Barbie doll is exactly the same, and all the, ahem, "songs" sound exactly the same. We're dealing with interchangable parts, folks. You can plug one part out and replace it with another without missing a beat.

Why is Barbie Doll #3247 - otherwise known by the informal title, "Avril Lavigne" - given a credible interview on her latest pre-packaged CD? What's the point? Why don't you interview Pac-Man next? It would be the same thing. She has no influence upon what she does. It's all created and built from the top. We all know this. This little Barbie clone is no more punk rock or riot grrl than a pair of shoes. Let's hope and pray your next interview isn't with the pair of shoes.

You know what would be really great? Interviewing some actual, real-life musicians. You know, the ones who play musicial instruments an' stuff. The ones who actually write their own songs, and create all the melodies and words. You know, words, an' like, uh, stuff.

But, then, you probably won't be hanging out with the Beautiful People. It's much more important to be seen with Ken and Barbie, because, uh, like, being good-looking and popular is, like, the most important thing in the world. An' stuff.

What the heck has Ani Difranco been doing lately? Go send a reporter out to find out. Oh, and while you're at it, ask her if she'll marry me. Make yourselves useful for a change.

Conversations on Ghibli B-Day Contest - With Prizes!

To commemorate the blog's first anniversary, I'm giving away a collection of, well, everything. Paintings. DVDs. Books. Fansubs. And this weird frog thing. I really don't know what it is.

Okay, here are the rules:

1) List your Miyazaki/Takahata Top 5. It can be anything and everything, from Toei Doga to Studio Ghibli. Horus, Lupin, Heidi, Conan, Gauche, Nausicaa, Totoro, Fireflies, Howl - anything goes.

2) Write a short note or essay about your favorite. Which is your number one, and why? You don't need to write a full-scale movie review (like reciting the plot), just share your love with us, speak from the heart and your own experiences.

When the contest is over, I'll compile all the votes and share some of your notes here on the blog. Send your Miyazaki/Takahata Top 5, and your favorite essay, to This contest runs through the month of April. The final day is May 1. Pass the word! Let's see who is the most popular!

Okay, here are the prizes:

First prize is a new car. Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired.

1st Prize - An R3 DVD of Omohide Poro Poro. A Kiki tote bag, perfect for showing off your new DVD. And an actual Daniel Thomas painting from my vaults. Probably a watercanvas.

Next up is the Mystery Disc. What is the Mystery Disc? What kind of stupid question is that? It's a Mystery Disc. Could be anything. Even a boat. But it's on a DVD-R, taken from my movie collection. One of the imports, that's for sure.

Finally, the dvd-rom Fansub Collection. This package includes: Horus, Prince of the Sun; The Flying Ghost Ship; Lupin III (series 1); Future Boy Conan; Anne of Green Gables; the Nemo Pilot; Ghiblies 1; and a collection of Hayao Miyazaki comics. Oh, and I'll throw in the divx codecs and the VLC Media Player so you can actually watch this.

2nd Prize - The 4-book set of Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind. This is the older Viz release, which was replaced by the larger 7-book set. So, basically, you're getting my backup copy. Sorry, Kui. Kai is dead.

Just for kicks, I'm throwing in one of the toys YesAsia sends me with each order. I've got four, you'll get one of 'em. Also, you'll get a Mystery Disc, the dvd-rom Fansubs, and one of my paintings.

3rd Prize - An R3 DVD of Whisper of the Heart. Good for you. You also receive a Mystery Disc, the dvd-rom Fansubs, and one of my paintings. Oh, and you get the second of the four YesAsia toys. Might be the hot anime girl. Might be the cop car. You don't care.

4th Prize - An R3 DVD of My Neighbor Totoro. Happy, happy. Joy, joy. You also get a Mystery Disc, the dvd-rom Fansubs, and one of my paintings. You better not sell it to Sotheby's. Oh, and you get the third of the four toys. Maybe you'll get the frog.

5th Prize - The PC game Star Wars: Empire at War. This was a Christmas gift, so don't go bragging to your friends that I spent a lot of money on you. I only paid for postage. Oh, you get the last toy, the Mystery Disc, the dvd-rom fansubs, and one of my lousy paintings.

6th-10th Prize - A Mystery Disc, the dvd-rom Fansubs, and one of my lousy paintings. No, you can't have my Pink Floyd and Cream records.

11th Prize - You're fired.