What’s Happening Here?

Wednesday, September 12, 2001

It’s nearly 1 AM. I’ve been exposed to nearly sixteen hours of news, talk, and thought related to the collapse of the Twin Towers (especially) and the crash at the Pentagon this morning. A summary of my thoughts on the matter would be: “Holy shit.”


More Jan Werner

Friday, September 7, 2001

Todd Simmons wrote to me about the Jan Werner’s CD Case post:

I just read the listing of what’s in Jan Werner’s CD case on your website. Here’s an explanation of the stuff you maybe weren’t clear on (that I am):
Skipp 02 — an album by Aelters called “El Frustator” released on Skipp (http://www.ski-pp.com/)

Skipp 03 — a compilation called 1st Skipp and Stroop also on Skipp (http://www.ski-pp.com/)

2:3 Suppose — a compilation of experimental music on the Suppose label serving as an homage to the artist, poet and theorist Oswald Wiener (no website known, it’s on Forced Exposure)

Goflex — maybe you knew this already, but it’s by FX Randomiz (on Sonig)

Sous Hit — the 3rd album by French group DAT Politics, who own the Skipp label, and a member of which is Aelters
Anyway, just thought you might be interested. It’s funny… Kurt actually asked me if I wanted to drive Jan to San Antonio, but I had to decline because I was busy that day. Oh well, I might get to meet him later if I help with setup at the Cinematexas shows.


There you have it.


Immune to the Virus

Friday, September 7, 2001

So there’s this e-mail virus going around. You know it, I’m sure — it sends a randomly-selected document to everyone in the address book and everyone to whom you’ve ever sent mail to from your MICROSOFT e-mail program. I own a Macintosh, so I’m blissfully immune to this Windows/Microsoft world of virii, and I feel totally safe opening all of my e-mails. So, I’ve received several documents off of other people computers and I’ve opened them to take a look. I’ve received a meeting agenda from last fall for some business organization (whose Haloween party was a smashing success, it seems) and some University of Texas kid’s resumé. Hey, cool. If you’re a bit of a voyeur like I am (and you don’t use Microsoft products), what better virus could there be? Smells like a good time.


Alone at the Show

Friday, September 7, 2001

Strange vibes follow my third Winslow show of the season. I’d been introduced to the band by my friend and new Low Angeles resident Brenna. Low Angeles? I meant Los. Low Angels.

I’ve got a couple beers in me, so bear with me. And I’ve got a couple bears in me, so beer with me…

Anyway. Brenna’s driving to Los Angeles and I’m just back from seeing Winslow and the Swells and the Mercury Lounge here in town and I’ve been wierding myself out. I go to shows alone often times because I go on a whim at the last moment and most of my friends work or have classes to attend (I work, too, but I’m one of the few people in town for whom two hours of sleep is acceptable)… So I went to the show and really dug the music. A few (expensive fucking) drinks and some pulpy guitar-rock and I get so excited I just want to chatter endlessly… But I’m alone. And the girl I just barely know, whom I recognise and have been talking to somewhat superficially, probably won’t appreciate my just going off in whatever direction my mind feels like taking me. The number of people in the world who might actually appreciate this behavior probably number in the… twos. Or threes. I’d name them but I don’t want to give anything away. And these people dwindle as they go to different cities and get busy with meetings and homework and lovers. I get so excited that I just can’t stay — I’ve got to leave the show and go do something else (creative) or else I’ll go nuts just stewing alone in my thoughts.

I begin to appreciate the blank page. Or the white screen, this being the future and all and me being a digital boy. Maybe I’m beginning to understand the true reason writers write. And by writers, I mean Writers. Bukowski (who’s just been on my mind lately, hence the multiple references), Brautigan, Hemingway… Do these people write because they have to? Can a person get so tied up in their thoughts that no other person is a satisfactory audience? Bukowski considers his writing habit an addiction, of sorts — a crazy habit of his that is more personal indulgence than legitimate work. He worked in drudgerous (?) jobs for much of his life, so maybe he understands “real” labor better than many writers. And maybe he understands the difference between writing and “real labor” better than many writers. Back to my point. Can a person get so tied up in their thoughts that no other person is a satisfactory audience? And what does it mean?

Part of me feels that a human being is “designed” so that all of the parts have an ideal purpose. And I’m not getting into religious or spiritual territiory here &mdsah; I’m talking about the concrete. A woman has a uterus to carry a child. A man has ears to gather various information from his surroundings for a purpose. Men and women have emotoinal responses so that they will behave in certain beneficial ways. A person loves their child — ideally — so that he or she will aid and protect them.

If a person gets such a heavy pull towards expressing themselves on the blank page, are the “muscles” involved (mental, emotional) getting worked in the right way? If a person forms an emotional attachment to a character on the televsion, that person will go unfulfilled as far as that relationship is concerned — they won’t get the return that the emotion is “designed” to elicit. Or will they? If a person masturbates to porn often, they won’t get the return that the sexual impulse is “designed” to get them — a loving response from another human, children, whatever else. If a person spills their thoughts onto the page, an artifial ear, especially when the thoughts are simply those of excitement and energy, such as those I had tonight,

[Blogger cut the rest off!]


What’s in Jan Werner’s CD Case?

Friday, August 31, 2001

You might be familiar with Mouse on Mars, the sometimes-called “krautrock,” glitch-pop duo out of Köln, Germany. Well, head Mouse Jan Werner has come to Texas to participate in CinemaTexas with his installation-artist girlfriend (whose name I unfortunately forget).

Anyway. Through connections I won’t reveal, his travel pack full of records and CDs has ended up at my house. Hopefully I’m not doing anything terrible by looking inside the CD case — I’m not going to touch the more delicate records — but I need to satisfy my curiousity about just what music Jan Werner of Mouse of Mars brought with him to Texas.

Here we go:

- A couple burnt CDs.
- The Sonig (his label) compilation
- Something the color of old bananas that I don’t recognize.
- Microstoria, “Model 3, Step 2” (another Jan project)
- Lithops, “Uni Umit” (Jan’s solo ambient project)
- Mouse on Mars, “Idology”
- Mouse on Mars, “Nuin Niggung”
- 2:3, “Supposé” (? — his girlfriend’s music, I believe)
- Mouse on Mars, “Actionist Respoke”
- Goflex
- Skipp 003 (just writing what’s printed on the disc…)
- Skipp 002
- Sous Hit (?)
- Wevie Stonder, “eat your own ears…”
- Something with a variation on the Goldschlager logo on it…
- Coldcut, “Beats + Pieces”
- Napalm Death
- Holosud, “fijnewas afpompen”
- Something unlabelled.
- Workshop, “Talent”
- Kandis, “1996-1999”
- White Noise
- Oval, “commers”
- Cibo Matto, “Moonchild Single”

And that’s all for my nosiness. Hope all is cool.



Thursday, August 30, 2001

This happens every year. Sometime in fall, the weather dramatically shifts, and I get sick and feel worthless for a few days. Normally it’s later in the season, when the warm summer gives way to the less-warm Austin winter sometime during October. This past week, though, the temperature’s gone down maybe fifteen degrees all around and the weather’s gone from big, hot, open skies to grizzly drizzly. And I’m down for the count.

It’s an interesting feeling, being this sort of sick, I suppose. There’s no sneezing or puking or spots on my bottom or anything like that. I feel numbed. My brain takes longer to process information. My body won’t move the way I want it to, exactly. I tried to run from my car the several blocks to UT’s computer lab last night and couldn’t make it much more than two-hundred yards before quitting.

So I’ve been drinking juice and trying to take it relatively easy — sending e-mails and listening to nice music on the stereo tonight. And writing in my journal here. Hopefully I’ll be perkier next week because things must get done!


Bukowski, Women

Tuesday, August 28, 2001

It’s late at night. I’m trying to write a review of the Bukowski book I just finished, “Women,” but it’s not coming out right, so I’m going to leave it out for now and come back to it when I’m more alert. Maybe the best description of the book is that it’s 300-or-so pages of sexual encounters with women, interspersed with trips to read poetry at clubs and universities around the US and Canada. If you’re a male looking for a template to live your life so that you, too, can have affairs with many women and drink lots of booze — a not uncommon fantasy — reading Bukowski’s a great place to start. You’ll learn what Bukowski and countless English-majors before him have learned: that for some inexplicable reason some women go bonkers for boys who can pour their spirit onto the page. There you go.



Friday, December 15, 2000

It’s been a while since I’ve actually used this thing, but I’m sitting in front of a computer in the computer lab at UT without a pen or paper and figured this would be the best place to write down my big vision of what should happen this summer…

Okay, so I’ve had this plan to go to Germany and work as a bike tour guide while I took a look at the insides of the music scene there and wrote of my adventures. Cool. I haven’t had any concrete plans made as to how I would go about doing this, but Claire’s been talking about how she’s intending to get a job out in San Diego and, really, if she’s going ot do that then I’m going to do this — and right. I’m not going to sit on my ass like a chump again this summer. Out bad vibes.

So here are some more concrete ideas:

I want to get a job working for Mike’s Bike Tours. I need to begin calling and e-mailing them this coming semester so that I have my best shot possible of getting a job with them. Since there’s no guaruntee that I will get a job with them (surely I’m not the only one thinking it would be cool), I need to keep in mind some back-up plans so that I can get over there and actually do some interesting work. The first back-up plan is to go through a work-abroad program such as is offered here at UT. It looks like I could fairly easily get some sort of job over there for the summer, though it might suck. And I also need to keep my ears open for other opportunities to workin Germany. And keep my ears open in the direction of Tom.

What would I want to work as in Germany if not a bike tour guide? Well, the first option would be to be some other sort of tour guide, preferably with a group that caters to college-age kids, such as me (or a few years younger). I’m not hell-bent on this, though. Other “cool job” options include working at a bar or restaurant, again preferable a “cool” place and not just a tourist shack or whatever “uncool.” If that doesn’t seem appropriate, there’s always the computer science option — go over there and try to get a job doing web development or programming of some sort. Tom might have more information about this and I need to prepare in advance so that I can deal with the paperwork and fees that will doubtless be annoying and possibly expensive.

So once I’m there, what? Well, I need to research and figure out exactly what is going on over there right now. Using my music collection as a starting point, I know that there has at least been recently an exciting music scene in Köln and possibly München, and I know about the Love Parade in Berlin (which seems like a teutonic-raver Burning Man festival to me). Magazines will probably be a good starting point for this. I need to prepare myself this coming semester to be as knowledgable as I possibly can be for this. It’s a good excuse to consider my wardrobe and general look as well as to find some good music and really try to understand some elements of youth culture yada-yada.

I think I would like to film while I’m over there. Maybe I could convince Tom Garza — if I do well in his class — to get me a grant for a DV camera or some sort of recording device. We’ll see.

More on this later.

I feel like I’m preparing for a three-month party… Eek. Don’t get carried away, Josh. Keep it in the real world.