Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sonic Youth's McCarren Pool Send Off

Next year I’ll have to see Sonic Youth someplace that isn't a large concrete pit.

Saturday August 30th, the No-Wave’s elder States-band sent the McCarren Park pool off like a pig on the wing. The band’s third consecutive summer playing a pool show capped the string of performances at a venue homegrown by the thronging gentrifiers who have settled so fully the East River’s self-same shore.

When Sonic Youth (hopefully) plays yet another end of summer show somewhere I can manage to attend, most of the folk who care about the demise of the premiere faux-guerilla music venue in New York think they'll be swimming, but what seems little known is the puddle itself won't be offering crisp summer refreshment. For that they'll have to wait until 2011, and then only IF the plans for the renovation are approved.

The shows have grown year after year, the Sunday events expanding and attended by all of the young culture-seeking, families with parents cool enough to take their kids to rock concerts, and vendors seeking to feed and libate these attendees. And the Pool’s capitulation was a much debated mystery, with a singularly understood cause replete with ironically clichéd tag line – "it’s all about the music."

As the area around McCarren Park takes shape in the lines and designs of condos rising one after the next, the concerts in the pool –pay concerts on Friday and Saturday nights which fund the free extravaganzas on Sunday – are on some basic level understood to be nuisance. They can be loud and disruptive, and the music, which is not often anything resembling Lawrence Welk, doesn’t always soothe the ears of residents.

Then again, neither do the sirens, the jack-hammers, or the steam-drills which can take up their call at all hours. One recent 1 A.M. had myself and the residents of lower Franklin St. staring down at the end of our block as Con-Edison brought the aforementioned drill to rip open a healthy chunk of the street. If you are wondering what a steam-drill sounds like, take a softball bat and rhythmically beat a garage door with it.

But steam-drills don't bring in revenue. They don't pack cafes, restaurants, and other local merchants. Money moves people, places, and even neighborhoods, and most people tend to view the change as riding on the green wave. The prime suspect is your local neighborhood developers, the builders of the nickname "Condoburg" who have turned the seemingly relentless growth in value of the area into new living rooms and rooftop decks.

On the other side of the money issue, some residents are wondering about their taxes once the new pool goes in and the $50 million set aside for its rehabilitation is exhausted. If the pool's rehabilitation is a genuine city spurred plan, how fully has the ongoing existence of that pool been factored and accounted for.

I’ve marked three years running with a show by Sonic Youth, with two of those shows on Labor Day weekend. Last year’s show I watched from the fence outside the pool, perched like a bird to see over the wall while supping on massamaun from one of Greenpoint’s Manhatten Avenue Thai joints and the liter of crème soda a visiting friend and I had spiked with rum. The year before they played a surprising third fiddle to a less engaging Ween and the wholly vivacious Flaming Lips in front of the decidedly un-metropolitan, un-metrosexual, and unhipster crowd at the New York State Fair.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Obama Llama Speech-O-Rama

I've got the Speech frenzy. Obama's got a fucking speech-voice that'd raise a mountain. The dream is the day we hear the speech he gives that resonates timeless and shakes the pillars of heaven, right Egg?

Damn, speecherific! Got some twittering speech positing about modern polical speaking, because of course, the 'Bama WROTE HIS SPEECH! Yeah! That's a boy, bring the noise and bring the funk! The basic question is does McCain write his speeches? Certainly as a congressman he has given speeches written himself, but more than likely in the last 5 months certainly, and likely for some time even longer, he has not been the author of his words. Certainly, like Bush, he has edited and provided imput, but one of the features of the Repub machine is their speech writing. It's been in full effect since Reagan of course.

It has been some time since I was disowned of a complete disregard for W's speaking ability. He is a willful figure, and his speeches, it was some years ago were pointed out to me, are structured as arguments. This clarification was important. I can relate to and see his ability as practiced in speaking, though his faculties for ad-libed speaking are clearly poor (and personally an embarassment as an American), and it affirms my dislike of his speaking. For one, his content and message are antithetical at nearly all points to my thinking and beliefs (class-warrior activist intellectual, after a fashion; I write poetry and comics for fucks sake), but more to the core is my disavowal of public argument. I find it unseemly. The use of the stage or the platform, the opportunity and the gift of that place, should be used to enrich people, to bring them hope and tidings of promise, and to rouse the fires of their hearts. It is not a place to bully.

I feel a certain disdain for having not taken more time to gain a deeper knowledge of presidential oratory. I am confident Clinton and Bush Sr. composed some of their speeches to the extent of being considered the authors, but I feel the West Wing was quite accurate in portraying the state of presidential speech writing, and the merits of dedicating a staff who through their faculty aspire to invest the voice of the presidency with a rich nobility to stir and illuminate the minds of the people.

A little over the top there, but hell, you never reach the moon if you don't shoot for it. So damn restraint, and damn the fault of us all who find emotion and exclamation to be un-American and unworthy of leadership. Red is the color of passion and the blood of patriots.

O's speech did the trick. The fire is roused, and I'm back scaling the walls of interest in politics.

Good night, and good luck.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


I hate ice-cream truck music, which means I hate most things, but I feel old so thats ok. To age is to learn to hate.

about 18 hours ago from web
And the clouds parted and there were seven thunders, and there he beheld a great dumptruck of manure falling swiftly towards him 03:47 PM August 22, 2008 from web

It will take a lot to redeem today. A LOT. I'm talking sin here. 02:52 PM August 22, 2008 from web

Feels like I'm scrubbing out a commode in hell 12:42 PM August 22, 2008 from web

Simple tasks, sitting, typing, looking at shit; not going so well. 10:46 AM August 22, 2008 from web

This is the lamest fucking this I will ever say, but I just want to go home and clean my apartment. 10:22 AM August 22, 2008 from web

@BenMcCool But that is what the internet is for, to watch YouTube clips of womens beach volleyball. That is why YouTube was created,right? 09:35 AM August 22, 2008 from web in reply to BenMcCool

Hello abject poverty my friend, I've come to hang with you again, and while my spaghetti is cooking, the holes in my socks i am sewing 09:33 AM August 22, 2008 from web

The problem is feeling like you have a hangover when you haven't had a drink in 5 days. UGH! 09:00 AM August 22, 2008 from web

I think the locusts have returned 07:44 AM August 22, 2008 from web

Who the fuck am I kidding, I am bathing in dread 07:43 AM August 22, 2008 from web

Bless those portly gentlemen rising at the cracked ass of dawn to make my egg-a cheese-a sandwich, without which dread would overtake me 07:43 AM August 22, 2008 from web

packing it in, likely to return in a few. 02:37 AM August 22, 2008 from web

so, so very much to do 11:46 PM August 21, 2008 from web

Chapbook of stuff from the epic going out tomorrow for impromptu submission. Grant application needs work. Script overdue, OGN deadline near 11:46 PM August 21, 2008 from web

@neilkleid I always read what I am not writing. Super-heroes during the literary stuff, something like Rilke during the comics. 11:15 PM August 21, 2008 from web in reply to neilkleid

decompression is not freedom 10:24 PM August 21, 2008 from web

You're gonna get stuck! You're gonna get stuck! 10:23 PM August 21, 2008 from web

@templesmith If it was a platypus I might have been willing to believe that, but orangutan, no way. 09:52 PM August 21, 2008 from web in reply to templesmith

Show me the fever, into the fire, taking it higher and higher 09:40 PM August 21, 2008 from web

Friday, August 01, 2008

I'm on the Warpath Today

We’ll wake 
visions of crowds
dancing, cheerful 
clapping, and in the radiance 
will bathe our 
eyes, washing us, 
making us better.

We’ll cry out in the night 
over nightmares, 
Jerry Falwell sniffing the ass of a male 
prostitute and proclaiming, 
“This is the day the lord hath made”

That was a rough one, imagery aside, like the day, but it came to me in a fit grumpiness and god damn do I feel like swinging a baseball bat at a hypocrite today.

"We cook your meals, we haul your trash, we connect your calls, we drive your ambulances. We guard you while you sleep. Do not... fuck with us" -Tyler Durden (I'd like to something else, but I am not in the cleverest of moods for which I blame you)